A Brief Guide to Success on Instagram: The Easy Way!

If your measure of photographic success involves getting more creative, expanding your portfolio, improving your skills, or increasing sales, then read no further, cos’ that’s just ridiculous.  No, we all know the real measure of success is racking up crispy likes and legions of adoring fans on Instagram!

Now, a lot of people seem to think that getting ahead on the ‘gram somehow involves being a good photographer or a lot of hard work, but it doesn’t have to be that way.  Herewith are my top tips for being a successful landscape and travel photographer on Instagram: the easy way!

1 Saturate

If you’re staring at a yet-unposted image and your eyeballs have only just started bleeding from the colour overdose, you’ve got more work to do.  Load that puppy into Photoshop and max those vibrance and saturation sliders until it receives a hazardous substance classification from the Environmental Protection Agency.  Rinse eyeballs and repeat.  The Instaverse loves this stuff!

2 Desaturate

Erm, I’m not exactly sure how this fits with the advice just given, but for goodness sake, grow a beard, throw on a fedora hat, and drain the life out of that picture.  Let’s face it, everyone loves getting depressed over a moody landscape devoid of any soul, so this is a sure fire way of pulling in those legions.  To get your gloom on just send those Photoshop colour sliders in a downward direction, or if you’re feeling particularly lazy, purchase a preset pack; just about every man, woman and and dog on Instagram is selling them!

Bonus tip: Be sure to apply these techniques to every image in your feed.  Then at first glance people will think you’ve uploaded exactly the same image multiple times!

3 Up your selfie game

How can you unequivocally prove to your followers that you were actually there?  How is your audience supposed to get a sense of that vast and untouched landscape without chucking a person with their arms in the air into it?  By getting yourself in the frame, that’s how!  But to truly get those likes going through the roof, you’re gonna need to go next level and do things which leaves your viewers asking “what the hell are they even doing?!”  Options here include a photo of you casually checking the time on your definitely not sponsored watch, skateboarding down the centreline of a major highway and pretending like there’s never any traffic, and wearing appealing but otherwise very impractical clothing in an alpine environment.

4 Iconic

Popular places are popular for a reason, right?  Rather than expand your horizons by exploring some equally if not more beautiful but lesser known places, just keep going back to shoot those like-magnets time and time again.  Don’t even try a new composition!  And when it comes to posting, save yourself the dilemma of choosing what banger to drop by using a spin wheel.  You can post the same locations and compositions over and over again, and honestly, barely anyone notices.

5 Authentic schmauthentic

No one cares about how much effort you put into getting the shot, so whatever you do, don’t bother spending all night in a cold tent on a mountaintop or in a dodgy old van by the sea.  After spending the night at a comfortable hotel, at sunrise simply find a spot with a good outlook, pitch the tent / park up the van, and get that oh-so-dreamy shot of your feet dangling out the door from under your yak-hair blanket.  Post away with a “woke up to this, my amazing life ❤” caption and then listen to the beautiful sound of your phone notifications going a million miles a minute.  I honestly didn’t think a tip like this would work but having witnessed some ‘grammers do this on at least a couple of occasions it comes highly recommended!

6 Cheat

Not exactly a hot tip these days as lots of ‘successful’ Instagrammers are already doing it.  But for those who don’t yet know, why spend hours and hours genuinely engaging with your audience and growing your follower-base when a bot can do it for you?  Gone are the days when they’d auto-comment dim-witted things like “beautiful scenery” on a shot of a cat or get you in trouble by dropping likes on pornographic imagery.  They’re so much cleverererer now!  Better yet, skip that step entirely and buy an army of fake followers.  Watch as that follower count jumps by 10,000 in an instant and feel that warm glow of success ooze through every fibre of your body.

7 Copy and paste

Rather than write detailed or heartfelt comments on people’s posts because you want to develop genuine relationships with people (cos’ that takes time) – or perhaps you’re not a bot but for some reason you want people to think you’re a bot – feel free to use my pre-prepared comments below:

  • Wow

  • Great shot

  • ????????

  • Nice click

  • Love your work.  Mine’s much better though, check out my page and give me a follow!

Disclaimer: copying and pasting these comments may not actually be faster than typing them yourself

8 Photoshop

Those mountains not steep and gnarly enough?  Stretch them! Sunset not rewarding enough?  Replace that sky!  Moon not big enough?  Enlarge it until it’s sitting inside the Earth’s atmosphere!  Sitting at your computer inventing stuff that didn’t happen is so much easier than working for the shot.  What’s even better is you don’t have to tell your audience about it; it’ll get lapped up as real and featured on 50 major Instagram hubs before you can even say ‘misrepresentation’.

9 Follow/unfollow

Don’t know about you, but nothing makes me want to follow another person more than seeing them repeatedly pop up in my notifications as they follow me, unfollow me, and follow me again.   Times one thousand.  I think to myself “wow, that person must really, really like me”, so obviously I start following them.  Of course, when they immediately unfollow me for good my heart is crushed and I think about giving up photography and Instagram altogether.  But as a means of growing your followers, kudos to those people!

So there you have it!  Implement just a handful of these tips and you’ll be well on your way to giving up your day job and leading the lucrative life of an influencer. I’m sure there’s a few tips I’ve missed so if you’ve got anything more then let me know in the comments below!