Instagram is launching a new way for creators to share long-form video content. Here’s how freelance photographers can make the most of their new IGTV channels.

Photographers, get ready. Instagram is here with its latest platform update, IGTV.

With a constant stream of innovative updates to the platform, it’s no wonder we can’t stop talking about Instagram. IGTV is the latest from Instagram, allowing users to post long-form vertical video content in a channel. Hence the name IGTV.

Photographers are already sharing images and motion-format content on Instagram Stories, but how can photographers start creating and sharing longer-form content for IGTV? If you’re already on longer video sharing platforms such as YouTube you have something of a head start. If not, IGTV is still a fresh opportunity for photographers to hone their skills in creating long-form content.

At Shutterstock Custom, we work with global brands to create content for Instagram Stories, includes content specifically for IGTV. So, we’re going to review a few creative ways photographers can use IGTV for their visual business.

Here are our tips on creative ways to use IGTV for photographers.



Maximize Vertical Space

IGTV is built for vertical video or visuals, so our top tip is to upload content in vertical format. Upload at the ideal aspect ratio of 9:16 as it will take up the entire length of the screen, although you can upload at 4:5 as well. The composition will fit best when it’s set to IGTV’s ideal standards. While IGTV offers the ability to upload horizontal clips, it isn’t a very good user experience as it causes audiences to have to flip their phone to consume content.

Top 10 Tips on How to Use IGTV as a Photographer — Use Vertical Space

Biography Links

IGTV offers the ability to add both hashtags and links in the biography of the channel. This is a fantastic way to push an audience to an online portfolio or additional photo showcase. Not only will this allow brands and like-minded users to find additional work, but it encourages dialogue about the content they find on IGTV outside of the platform.


Add CTAs When Using Sound

Sound doesn’t automatically play with uploaded content on IGTV. If you need to share music or sounds, adding call-to-actions to turn on the sound is a great way to keep an audience engaged. Alternatively, writing a description on top of the video while it plays will also draw in viewers.

Top 10 Tips on How to Use IGTV as a Photographer — Include Sound with CTAs

Go Behind the Scenes

Show an audience what it’s like to be on a photoshoot. Or, take them along on a trip if you’re going abroad on an adventure! Whether shooting for a client or completing a personal project, it’s a great way to showcase more of what actually happens as a photographer. It opens up a whole new world behind the scenes of the beautiful content being created on the app.


Capture a View and Keep Engagement High

A view on content means that the viewer watched for three seconds or more. If they scroll past before that three seconds, it doesn’t count as a view. Keep your audience engaged by having the attention-grabbing message of the content at the very beginning. A great tip is to announce giveaways and contests at the start of the video. If you’re showcasing photography from a trip, have text that explains your location with the best photograph at the beginning before diving deeper. Immediate dialogue is another great way to pique interest immediately. Having a conversation with a fellow photographer, doing an interview, or telling impactful stories to the audience is a great way to start IGTV content.



Tell Genuine Stories

IGTV gives photographers longer than ever to attract their audience and share unique aspects of their work and story. It’s an opportunity to tell more meaningful, deeper stories to engage people with posted content. Consider breaking down walls, and showing a more intimate side to the photographs you post. Tell unique stories that might not be visible in photographs, and keep it authentic.

Top 10 Tips on How to Use IGTV as a Photographer — Tell Genuine Stories

Image via Instagram.


Use Instagram to Promote IGTV

Instagram is a really incredible visual tool that allows so many different elements of branded storytelling. When strategizing, create call-to-actions on other Instagram platform offerings such as Stories or posts. Directing your audience to this new and exciting platform is a great way to build up more engagement with people who are already loyal to you.

Top 10 Tips on How to Use IGTV as a Photographer — Use Instagram to Promote IGTV

Image via Instagram.


Ask Your Audience What They Want

Similar to the last tip, consider using Instagram’s new “Questions” sticker to ask an audience what they’d like answered. Then, use IGTV to answer the questions. This is a great way to use both platforms effectively to engage an audience into following work on both platforms.

Top 10 Tips on How to Use IGTV as a Photographer — Ask Your Audience What They Want

Image via Instagram.


Offer Tips and Tutorials

There’s a whole world of knowledge that photographers have that needs to be shared with the world. IGTV is the perfect platform to share it. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a food photographer who wants to share tips on creating flatlays, or a landscape photographer who is an expert at sunrises. Share your knowledge with the audience you’ve gathered on Instagram. On IGTV, accounts currently have between 10 minutes to 1 hour (depending on how large your account is) to share a long-form video, so use it to your advantage and share content that’s beneficial for viewers.

Top 10 Tips on How to Use IGTV as a Photographer — Offer Tips and Tutorials

Just Start Posting!

Photographers have the opportunity right now to be early adopters of IGTV, so start posting! Instagram Stories expanded quickly, and no doubt IGTV will do the same. In fact, clients at Shutterstock Custom are already requesting content to be made specific for Instagram Stories, and IGTV is sure to follow. Post content that did well on Instagram Stories to start, and tailor what you post from there. This article also features tips on current visual trends on Instagram. If you haven’t already, follow us on Instagram @Shutterstock and @ShutterstockContributors. We can’t wait to see what you post on IGTV.

Top image via Kalamurzing.

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