I recently caught up with co-owner and marketing mastermind behind Boston co-retail space For Now, Kaity Cimo. She runs the space with friend and business partner Katharine ReQua. They opened a year ago and have played home to over 80 brands in that time.
Tips to Create An Awesome Photographer Instagram Bio
So, you’re ready to take your photography game to the next level? Ready to put your amazing photos out there for all to see? Ready to start getting hired?
While you probably know the basics on how to start a photography Instagram account, we wanted to go in-depth on one of the most important components: the bio.
In this post, we’re going to look at all of the core elements, including your username, profile pic, description, and link. We’re going to show you the best approaches for each and use real-world examples to back it all up.
But first, just so we’re on the same page, let’s explore why it’s so important for your photographer Instagram bio to be top notch.
The Importance of a great bio
Your Instagram bio is actually a little like a photo. It’s a snapshot of your life. It tells people who you are, what you do, and what you’re all about. In essence, your bio is your calling card.
It’s also the first thing that anyone visiting your profile will see and on a platform like Instagram it’s never been more important to stand out.
We know what you’re thinking: Why can’t I just let my awesome photography speak for itself?
The reason is that your photos need to work in harmony with your bio – if you only care about one of them you risk undermining your entire account.
To sum it up, your bio is the second most important thing when it comes to building a successful photography Instagram account. Your photos obviously come first, but trying to grow your brand without a solid bio is like fighting with one hand behind your back.
The anatomy of an Instagram bio
There are four key components that make up a photography Instagram bio.
- Your username
- Your profile pic
- Your description
- Your link
Let’s look at each of these in detail – if you can get them right then your photographer Instagram bio will be far beyond the competition.
Let’s get started!
Get a handle on it
Instagram has more than a billion (yes you read that right) people using it. As a result, finding the perfect username or handle can be tricky and it’s likely that somebody’s already nabbed your first choice.
But, with a bit of research and ingenuity, it’s definitely possible to find some cool photography usernames for Instagram.
A few things to consider:
- Your username should be short and to the point – the easier it is to remember the better
- Try and pick something that can be used across multiple platforms – a consistent approach helps with branding
[TOP TIP: Use a site like Namechk to see if your chosen username is available everywhere.]
The best place to start is with your name.
I’m afraid if you’re called John Smith you’re out of luck. Ezekiel O’Hara, however, might have a better chance.
If your name is taken, consider adding a relevant modifier to the end like “photo” or “photography”.
Feeling particularly creative? Then consider thinking outside the box. You could have “takenby___” or “photosby___”. The added bonus of usernames like this is that people instantly know what your profile is about.
[TOP TIP: Avoid using periods or dashes where possible. These make your username harder to remember, plus it’s annoying to say out loud!]
A photographer Instagram account with a bad profile pic is like a chef who can’t cook pasta: it’s going to undermine the rest of your work.
What we’re trying to say is that the first photo people see when they visit your Instagram profile isn’t the latest one you’ve posted, it’s your profile pic and it needs to be good.
If you’re wanting to make photography your full-time job, or even just a side hustle, then your profile pic needs to look the part.
While it might be tempting to simply use a photo you’re particularly proud of, that doesn’t really say much about you. Plus, the profile pic is small, so any minute details won’t be visible.
Your Instagram bio is your chance to show the person behind the camera and we always recommend that your profile pic be of you.
A clean, professional headshot is generally the best approach.
This means people can put a face behind the name, and they can see that you’re an actual human being which will help build some trust with your followers.
[TOP TIP: Candid shots, even if they actually aren’t, look better than clearly posed ones. Aim for a natural photo if you can.]
That being said, don’t feel that your profile pic needs to be a straightforward, simple portrait. Feel free to include a bit of your personality, or convey something about your photography niche.
In the example above, Hannes has a shot of himself wearing snow goggles and a large coat. This emphasizes the fact that he takes outdoor shots, and often goes exploring.
[TOP TIP: Try to include one detail in your profile pic that conveys something interesting and unique about you.]
If, however, you’re less comfortable in front of the camera than behind it, then you could consider using a profile pic that relates to your work in some way.
Katrin’s photography is a little mysterious and surreal and her profile pic supports that. In this case, not showing her face makes Katrin a little more mysterious too and suits the work she produces.
Don’t neglect the caption
We know: you’re a photographer, not a writer!
Unfortunately, crafting the perfect description is essential for your photographer bio.
So, what exactly should you say?
First, let’s consider the character limit. Instagram gives you 150 characters with which to describe your life. That’s pretty difficult.
It means you need to keep it short and sweet and remember that:
- You don’t want to run out of characters
- People are visiting your profile to see photos, not read a novel.
[TOP TIP: Even though your hard limit is 150 characters, you should aim to use fewer. Instagram can truncate descriptions if they take up too much space.]
As a minimum, you should include the fact that you’re a photographer. You should also include the type of photos you take.
If you’re a wedding photographer, mention that. If you like to travel and take landscape shots, say it. If you take artsy portraits of stray dogs in Vietnam, then put that in your description.
Where relevant, you can include your location or an email address.
Alternatively, you can use your description to draw attention to a specific aspect of your photography business. This could be a book or a collection of prints.
[TOP TIP: Break up your description with line breaks to make it easier to scan through.]
The final thing you need to consider when it comes to your description is that it needs to convey your personality.
Imagine that you’re writing it in your journal, posting a tweet, or texting your friend.
When people read your description, they need to feel like they’re listening to you.
In other words, don’t be boring.
[TOP TIP: If you’re the kind of person that uses emoji, then feel free to include some in your description to add a burst of color and quirkiness.]
I link, therefore I am
The final element of your Instagram bio that we’re going to cover is your link.
Instagram isn’t the biggest fan of external linking. Links in comments aren’t clickable, and neither are the ones that you put in your captions.
That means you really only have one link that you can include and you should make sure to get the most out of it.
The most common approach is to use your own website if you have one. This way people can learn more about you, and potentially even purchase your prints if you have a store.
If you don’t have your own site, don’t worry!
You could also link to your account on Photoshelter or Flickr or wherever you maintain your portfolio.
You could even link to another social media account if you want to cross-pollinate your followers to another platform.
In that example, Matt’s bit.ly link takes you to his portfolio on Photoshelter.
[TOP TIP: If you aren’t sharing your own URL, use bit.ly (or an alternative) to shorten it and make it cleaner to look at.]
If you have a lot of links you’d like to include, but don’t know which to choose, then a service like Linktr.ee might help.
Your Linktree page contains all the important links that you want to send people to. You can then simply link to your Linktree page on your Instagram bio.
This is a great way of keeping your followers engaged.
Some photographer Instagram bios that we love
We thought we’d finish by sharing some awesome examples of photography Instagram accounts to inspire you.
Simone offers a fantastic example of how to keep things clean and minimal. For starters, his username, “brahmino”, is short and memorable.
His profile pic is an atmospheric shot of him, reflecting the type of photos he shoots. His bio explains what he does, where he’s based and conveys his brusque personality.
Jankse is a particularly interesting example in that they basically do the opposite of what we recommend in this guide. They epitomize minimalism.
Their profile pic is beautifully abstract, much like a lot of their work. There’s no description, only a link to their email address. They let their photos speak for themselves, and we love it.
Darryll predominantly shoots quirky photos of toys and figurines in funny situations. One of the most important things to consider when creating your bio is making sure it reflects your personality.
This is why Darryll’s bio is an awesome example. His profile pic shows the stormtrooper figurine that he uses in his photography. His description is funny, yet still describes what he does. It’s brilliant!
If you want to see some more great examples, then check out our list of the top photography influencers on Instagram.
What are you waiting for?
You now know everything you need to know about creating an awesome photographer bio on Instagram.
Here’s a quick recap:
Your username should be short and as close to your name as possible. Add something photography related if you must.
Your profile pic should show your face so people can see that you’re human. Alternatively, show something related to your photography.
Your description should succinctly sum up who you are and what you do. Show your personality.
Your link should direct people to your website if you have one, or your portfolio. If you have lots of links, consider using Linktr.ee.
We can’t wait to see what you guys come up with! Be sure to share links to your bios with us!
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