With this article I want to celebrate my Instagram achievement of 20 000 followers and my first two pictures with more than 1000 likes, all achieved in seven months. Let me start with some background and lessons learned, and finish with my top 10 Insta recognised picture parade.
My father was an amateur photographer, that’s why I started taking pictures at a quite young age, learning and performing all the black and white process with film cameras. The gap in my amateur photographer biography accounts for quite a few years between the moment my last film camera broke down and the moment I decided digital cameras became good enough to work with (about ten years ago). At that time I began seriously learning through photography courses and workshops, and of course, I had to buy myself a new digital camera. I knew for certain that my travel camera had to be lightweight because I think of myself as a traveller with a camera, not a full-time photographer. So already since 2009 I use Panasonic Lumix cameras and my latest is G7.
Currently I have about 60 000 pictures in my Lightroom storage, most of them are from my travels. I also like to take pictures of flowers. Meaning I have a large resource for posting on Instagram.
How I do it
Initially I was quite excited about Instagram and I thought my pictures were good and I would only post the best ones and it would be a quick success for me, but time passed and my best pictures got some 50 likes each and the number of followers was fewer than 500 in 5 weeks. I was really disappointed and discouraged but kept sticking to my strategy implemented constantly from my second picture:
• posting 7 pictures series about the same topic which could vary: countries, places, single buildings, etc. Later I tied picture series to my latest blog posts.
• writing captions for each one of my pictures.
• posting one picture every day in the afternoon or in the evening.
The use of hashtags was a long learning process for me and I think I will never be ready with this. At the moment, I always use all 30 hashtags for every picture describing what is in the picture, general Instagram hashtags, my camera, and hashtags about myself as a traveller.
A real breakthrough for gaining more followers and likes for me was joining Instagram Posse group on Facebook and one of their comment pods. Now I am a member of two not Posse related comment groups and I really like cooperating with members and their accounts.
I learned to engage with my followers by liking their pictures and actively following accounts I like. And things started to develop quite fast. I gained my first thousand followers a bit more than in ten weeks, the second thousand took me 15 days. There were some cases when I gained 1000 new followers in five days.
Some bits of my Insta learning experience were quite hard, especially about follow/unfollow game which I don’t like and do not use myself, meaning I keep following the accounts while they follow me. I have read in quite many Instagram bios that unfollow=unfollow. It’s also true about me. My possibility to follow other accounts became very dear after I reached Instagram 7500 following limit which I was initially not aware of. Still the number of my followers was about 10 000 at that time, and this limit was only slowing down the growth of my account but not stopping it. I can admit that the daily turnover of my followers is large which might be logical for this size of an account, but it always leaves a nice surplus.
My top ten pictures
And here it is: my top 10 Insta recognised picture parade. It was not as easy to make it as it seems. I believe that 100 likes for every of my first 70 pictures are worth at least the same as 500 for the latest ones, meaning for me the first likes have much more value than the latest ones. Everything is subjective of course. Anyway, please check my pick of top ten Insta photos from more than 270 posts. This rating is some kind of a balance between the number of likes and the time when pictures were posted. In the end, you can visit my Instagram account which I really love myself, and make your own choices of favourites. If you do, please let me know what they are in the comments section!
Number 10. Milford Sound, New Zealand
Number 9. Vernazza of Cinque terre, Italy
Number 8. Certosa di Pavia, Italy
I have noticed that one of the most popular Italian sights on Instagram is Milan Cathedral. But have you heard that half an hour away from Milan you can find the striking Certosa di Pavia church and monastery, a real masterpiece of the Lombard Renaissance? A new 7 pictures series: Certosa di Pavia 1/7 Read more in my blog. Link in the bio.
Number 7. Cesky Krumlov
Number 6. Gervyaty church, Belarus
Holy Trinity Church in the village of Gervyaty is among the three highest churches in Belarus (61 m) and is undoubtedly one of the finest examples of the neo-Gothic style. The temple was built in 1903 on the site of a wooden church of 1526. In the front of the temple there are a few wooden crosses with rich carvings, which is typical for Lithuanian churches. The church is located a few kilometres from the Lithuanian border. It is definitely worth visiting. Belarus Places of Worship 2/7
Number 5. Mir castle, Belarus
First picture of the new series: castles and mansions of Belarus. The Mir Castle is truly the pearl of Belarusian architecture. In its 500 of history, the castle has experienced many moments of decline and revival, and is today a national monument and the Art Museum of Belarus. It’s included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Read more in my blog. Link in my bio. Castles and mansions of Belarus 1/7
Number 4. Stratford upon Avon, England
When in Sratford upon Avon, England, take a boat or boat tour on the river or Canal. Finished in 1816, the picturesque 25-mile long Stratford-upon-Avon Canal connected the town to Birmingham and the Black Country, ensuring the shipping of coal and industrial goods. Canal & River Tours will take you from the Stratford Canal Basin through the historic lock and down the river Avon for 45 minutes of leisurely sightseeing. 7 things Stratford upon Avon 6/7
Number 3. Autumn in Sigulda, Latvia
New picture's series. Sigulda is one of the most beautiful sights of Latvia and a popular day trip from Riga. It’s especially impressive in autumn because the colorful foliage adds attractiveness to the gorgeous landscape. The landmark of the place is a tower of Turaida castle. Autumn in Sigulda, Latvia 1/7
Number 2. Wallenstein palace, Prague
Number 1. Beautiful Alesund, Norway
In the night of 23 January 1904, the Norwegian town was the scene of the Ålesund Fire once built largely of wood. Practically the entire town was destroyed during that night and the population had to leave with only a few minutes' notice. Shortly after that Alesund was rebuilt in stone, brick, and mortar in Jugendstil (Art Nouveau), the architectural style of the time. It's why the town has an unusually consistent architecture, most of the buildings having been built between 1904 and 1907. Beautiful Alesund 3/7
Author: Anita Sāne
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