Instagram Reels: learn how to use them in your photo business

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25 May 2023

Instagram reels are taking users by storm, every day millions of people spend hours watching these short videos that get people so hooked, and one of them could be yours. Instagram, this social network that some time ago wanted to emulate TikTok, is taking this type of content by storm and today we want to explain how you can create reels that your followers will love.

With reels you can create fun content, that’s why it is interesting to use Instagram reels for your strategy as a photographer, because this type of content is not only trending, but it can bring many benefits to your online photography strategy.

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Learn how to create Instagram reels that go viral.

What are Instagram reels and what can you use them for in your photography business?

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Instagram reels are a way of creating content for the platform that is not much different from creating a story, although reels can use different tools. For example, you can use audio to create a new video or increase and decrease the speed of the video. They also have a line-up function to create very funny videos and add or remove objects before recording the next clip. This creates a very visual and eye-catching effect for users.

This new way of communicating serves to interact much more with your community and reach a new audience that mostly consumes content in Reel format.

Instagram Reels for photographers

It’s clear that Instagram wants us to use reels to create impactful content for its users, so if you have a photography business and learn how to create this type of publication, your visibility as a professional will increase more than you can imagine.

For those who don’t know, Instagram reels are nothing more and nothing less than a series of short videos in vertical format that you can create on this social network with a duration of between 15 and 60 seconds. These types of publications, if you know how to plan them, can go viral in a very short time and be shared and/or viewed by such a large number of users that you can’t even imagine the reach they can achieve.

On Instagram itself, as well as being able to record this short video, you will also be able to edit it by adding a series of effects, music, stickers and other elements that will make your video much more attractive to users. Because think that in this type of publication, you will only have a few seconds to capture the attention of users and potential customers.

In Instagram reels, unlike stories, you can record different clips or video fragments and then you can publish them in the same reel.

Steps to create an Instagram Reel for photographers

The first thing you need to do is to have an Instagram account. But we already take that for granted if you’ve read our post about Instagram for photographers and you’ve put into practice everything we told you in it.

Once inside the app, go to stories and within stories, go to reels. You can also post a reel if you go to the top of the wall tab where it says “+” and you can also post to news, story, featured story, guide or igtv.

Within the reels function, you can find:

  • Audio and music. You can include songs in your videos or music that is available on Instagram. We recommend that you choose music that matches the photo reels you upload, for a more inspiring effect.

  • Duration. Can be 15, 30 or 60 seconds in length on Instagram Reels.

  • Speed. Playing with speed will give you many possibilities to speed up or slow down audio and video and create fun effects in your Instagram reels.

  • Filters or effects. These are the filters that you can find in stories and that you can apply to your reels.

  • Retouch. The retouching function allows one person to create a reel in which your video and theirs are played in parallel. Perfect for creating synergies with other photo professionals.

  • Video Layout. To create collages with several videos or photos.

  • Timer for recording. Shows you a countdown before recording starts and you begin recording the series of clips.

We recommend that you try and practice before sharing your first Instagram reels. If you are a photographer, with your photography equipment and a bit of creativity and practice, you can get really fun and eye-catching reels.

Tips for creating reels that engage users if you are a photographer

The truth is that Instagram reels are perfect for showing off some of your best work in a very quick, looping and viral way, and they are also ideal for letting your creativity run wild when it comes to showing different content. And as with almost all publications on networks, this, in the long run, can translate into greater visibility for your Instagram account.

If you’re new to reels, here are 10 tips for creating your first viral videos on Instagram.

1# What does a session day look like?

During a photo shoot, you can stop for a second from taking pictures, take your mobile phone and make some recordings with your mobile phone camera of how the shoot is going. Afterwards, you can create a series of reels of the shoot accompanied by trending music. This type of publication will attract the attention of people who are in the process of looking for a similar reel.

2# Behind the camera

Videos where you see a photographer working hard on a photo shoot can also achieve a great reach in a very short time if you know how to give it your personal touch.

To create this type of reel you will need the help of a partner or family member to record you during a session, it will only take a few seconds so the favour will not be too big.

3# How did you take this photo?

If, for example, you are a landscape photographer or you have simply done an outdoor photo shoot in a location that you know in advance can give a lot of play, you can create a reel showing the final result and explaining in the text how you have made the image, indicating: location, what conditions there were at that moment, etc.

4# The before and after of a photo

If you take photography courses or if you simply have a style where editing is an essential part of your work, you can create a reel with the before and after of a photograph. This type of publication tends to be very popular, especially among professionals and amateur photographers, and I’m sure many followers will be happy to share it.

5# Quick tips for taking a photo

You can consider this type of reel with advice on how to take a series of photographs if, for example, you offer training courses for other photographers or even for amateurs. This type of publication can be a variant of the above advice but only explaining some more technical camera settings or giving recommendations for photographers who are just starting out.

You can also create reels on, for example: how to take photos on a rainy day, the best photos of sunsets in natural surroundings, photos on the beach, etc.

6# Recommendations for going to a reportage

If, for example, you do couple shoots or children’s shoots, you can also make Instagram reels for your clients with tips and tricks for going to a shoot, such as the type of clothes they should never wear to a shoot, the most flattering make-up and/or hairstyles, or which toys to bring to the studio for a children’s shoot.

For real estate photo reports, these reels are also very graphic and useful for what doesn’t work and what does when photographing a property.

7# Record your scenarios in fast motion

If you are a children’s photographer and you do newborn, smash cake, Christmas or any other photo shoot where the background is more elaborate than usual, you can record in fast motion how you set up each set. This way, your potential clients will be able to see all the work that goes into organising a session of this type and when they see the final result they will want to take their photos in it.

8# Slow motion reels always work very well.

Slow motion or short videos are also trending on Instagram reels. It’s a mix of normal speed video footage and slow motion footage. The result looks great and reel consumers love this type of content.

9# Got a drone? Make an Instagram reel of your aerial shots

If your equipment includes a drone, you can take advantage of how impressive these shots are to create a short video publication. These types of reels can be very viral because of the impact they can have, for example: photos of a wedding couple on a cliff, a sportsman descending a mountain or images of a sunset.

10# create trending Instagram reels

As a last recommendation, we advise you to research other photographers and the publications that are getting the most views to make your reels go viral. You can also use other social networks, such as TikTok, to get ideas and see what topics are trending on this network. You can also find out which songs are the most listened to at the moment and the most popular topics.

How to use Instagram reels to promote your work as a photographer?

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When using reels as an additional working tool, it is important that you take into account a number of aspects, for example:

  • Quality of the publications. Even if they are very short videos or show how you work behind the scenes, they still have a more professional and quality touch.

  • Storytelling. Take advantage of some of the reels to create short visual stories. If, for example, you are at a wedding, you can release a short video of the highlights of the wedding in a reel and create a final reel with a drone video.

  • Make the most of the time. You already know that these videos have a very short duration, make the most of the time and show something that will really interest your audience, so it is best to plan in advance what you are going to record.

  • Music that goes viral. If not for the content, then for the music. This happens a lot. Even if your video is not one of those that leave you speechless, if users like the music that accompanies it, they will stay a little longer to watch it.

  • Hashtags. In the descriptions of your reels, use relevant hashtags so that your videos appear in many more views and end up going viral. You can also encourage your audience to comment on the reels and share.

Include Instagram reels in your business strategy and achieve greater reach

Instagram reels have become very popular among users and the algorithm rewards users who create this type of content. This added to the fact that they are very easy to create and if you know how to choose the subject matter and how to record them, they can bring you a large number of views and who knows if you also get new customers.

Research trending posts and find out what elements other photographers are using to make them trendy and turn your Instagram reels into posts that push your boundaries.

On this occasion we would like to share with you the testimony of Javier Checa.

>> Javier Checa, ‘Arcadina is a comprehensive image management and services for photographers’

And to finish this article we would like to ask you a question: which Instagram reels do you like the most? We’ll read you in the comments.

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