Instagram tips

Instagram: smart advice from awesome Instagrammers

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I feel like I’m getting somewhere with Instagram now. All the hard work and perseverance is starting to pay off, but it’s been a bit of a roller-coaster ride to get here.

Instagram is a very democratic platform. Anyone’s welcome. If you want to be a travel photographer, for example, post good travel photographs and you can stand shoulder to shoulder with some of the biggest travel photographers in the world.

When I was first starting out, I wish someone had told me this – that Instagram is a place where you can be whoever you want to be. The Instagram community, I’ve found, is a lot more supportive than the Facebook or Twitter communities. It’s a place to post the things you’ve always wanted to post, but have never dared. Say what you really want to say. Share the image you really want to share. We’ll all say nice things about it – I promise!

With this in mind, I asked my favourite Instagram ladies what piece of advice they wish they’d been given when they were first starting out. Here are their lovely words of wisdom.


When I first started, I thought that if I deleted my hashtags an hour after I posted my image and re-added them all over again, it would mean that my image would jump back up and be a most-recent photo. Seriously, I actually thought I’d cracked the Instagram code and wondered why no one else was doing it. I wish someone had told me that ‘my plan’ wasn’t a plan at all.

So, I guess my advice would be that there is no code, no secret, no mystery behind a successful account. You just need to be prepared to give it your utmost love, care and attention; you need to be determined and not give up. There will be times when it feels unreachable, and you’ll look at other established accounts and wonder why you’re not getting the same response. It does take time and patience (and lots of it). There’s always space for something new on Instagram, always, so take advantage – be that new, inspiring account that everyone talks about. And if you stay engaged with the community, consistently post images you’re proud of and don’t lose heart, your account will flourish, too.


I smell Spring. Any sign of it where you are? Daffodils up yet? #WHPcolorful

A post shared by Sara Tasker (@me_and_orla) on

The numbers don’t define your talent. Especially now, in the age of the algorithm. But at any point in Instagram, it’s essential to separate your self worth from the likes and follows in order to create brilliant images. Sometimes the best photographs are less likeable; sometimes the most likeable photographs aren’t our best. Likability is just one metric in a whole spectrum of possible responses – an image can move us, upset us, excite us, make us think. Chasing approval takes you down a dead end, creatively. The only way to keep growing and developing is to stay true to your own voice, and trust that it will resonate with the right people for you.


My advice would be to stay true to yourself. Soak up all the amazing inspiration there is on Instagram, but don’t try to be someone you’re not or compare yourself too closely to others. It will stop being fun, and although Instagram can open many doors and even provide you with a career, I think it’s always got to be something you do for the love of it.


When you want to grow your Instagram these days, I can only recommend you to develop your own unique style and tell people something personal. Or show your face from time to time, tell a heart-touching poem, be outstandingly funny or have a special edit that people go crazy about. You need to stand out with a specific characteristic, because there are a lot of people making good pictures. And yes, good pictures are the key!

What advice do you wish somebody had given to you? If you’re new to Instagram, how are you finding it? Are you enjoying it or do you feel like your banging your head against a brick wall?! Let’s get a discussion going 🙂


14 thoughts on “Instagram: smart advice from awesome Instagrammers”

  1. I love this post Carolyn and I especially love how you put it that’s Instagram is a democratic platform. That’s so true and it’s amazing! Love the advise from the other ladies too, funny how we are all on the same page about being true to yourself and trying not to compare too much to others xx

  2. I really enjoyed your post Carolyn. I hadn’t understood instagram well until fairly recently, when I started to realise what a friendly and supportive community it is, and have made many like-minded friends here now. It’s great to hear from talented instagrammers like these especially – the secret it seems is just to take good pictures and to be true and real! So I’ll keep going with that and see where it takes me. 😊

    1. Hi Kate. Really happy you enjoyed the post. I’ve made lots of friends, also, which is a wonderful thing. If you’re doing that, and you’re enjoying it, you’re definitely headed in the right direction x

  3. This is great! I wish someone had told me to be patient and that it takes time, my account is steadily growing but it doesn’t happen (for most) over night. Take good photos, use good light and try to keep a consistent style and you will see growth.

  4. Thank you so much for this post, Carolyn! I feel that this post has really opened my eyes and given hope this new sense of hope and inspiration. I started an art account in December, hoping to progress fast. Being only 17, all of us teens are obsessed with the number of followers. This post has shown me that there is something more to Instagram than just the success and followers. So thank you xx

    Marisa – @artsybearr_

  5. Great read… I’m just starting out so it was very helpful. I wish someone told me at the very start not to get disheartened by the unfollows! I guess it’s better to have an appropriate audience than just any audience!

    Love your images- they have a way of relaxing me!


  6. I’ve been shooting some stuff lately that got me excited about being creative. I think that’s key. If you aren’t excited and you’re just half heartedly posting a photo because you feel you have to then what’s the point exactly? My numbers aren’t as high as the ladies in this article but they are going up so being excited and having fun is obviously a key!

  7. This post happened when I really needed it. I’ve been frustrated by the significant drop in response due to what I can only assume is the “algorithm” and yet my photos are of consistent quality. This post kept it real and reminded me that I do IG in order to honor my creativity and it shouldn’t matter about dips and lulls in following or likes. Thank you to all the ladies who you featured. Their words of advice is so appreciated. ❤

  8. The first photograph of you at the window is astonishing. Do you use Lightroom presets? If so, can I ask which ones?

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