I love searching Pinterest for behind the scenes footage of photographers in action.  Not to replicate a photographer’s setup but to see how others work.  I love the latest feature on the CM blog called “A Peek Inside” which showcases the offices and camera bags of the CMteam.  I am unsure if it’s the busybody in me or what but I love, love, love seeing HOW other photographers work in addition to actually viewing their work.

Most recently I’ve noticed a larger number of businesses, news organizations and television shows using Instagram to show behind-the-scenes footage of what goes on in their day to day operations.    I thought to myself, why don’t I do something like this?  Rather than take a pull back of a setup, why not take a quick Instagram snap of it and post it via Instagram?  I stopped the sneak peek for clients until after they purchase their photos so this could be a happy medium, right?  It will reach a different audience than my blog or Facebook may reach, needs less processing and gives yet another way to reach my clients.  Now, for me, I also have many personal photos on my Instagram feed (I think 99% are), but I  think too often clients see us as only setting up the perfect photo.  Even in my everyday captures that I post of my children on my blog, I take some time in the post processing efforts.  Instagram is just that – instant.

Check out these awesome streams

Instagram will give you some awesome suggestions on who to follow.  I also will look into my news feed + see what is trending with those I follow.  Kinda makes it fun to explore. I’ve compiled my favorite streams to check out over the course of my year on Instagram.  And don’t fret for those of you not on Instagram, we’ll cover that in a second.

1. tonydetroit – With over 150,000 followers, his photos tell the story of downtown Detroit.  His photos speak for themselves.  You need to see how he captures the Detroit of today and in my mind, I imagine what life was like of the Detroit so many years ago. It’s haunting.

2. katespadeny – Follow Kate Spade to see fun photos of their products, behind the scene at shoots and so much more.

3. cnnireport – Rather than publish photos as news happens, the iReport invites followers to post photos relevant to the news by tagging it with #cnnireport or sending the photo in via mail.  This allows for more interaction with Followers.  Can this translate into your business?

4. Jamie Oliver – I love food.  I love eye candy.  Jamie Oliver’s stream is the perfect blend of a glimpse into his everyday life with a mix of yummy food, a cute family and travels around the globe.

5. Joel Madden – Yes, some people may know him as part of the group Good Charlotte, husband to Nicole Richie and a lot of other things as Wikipedia says.  But visit his Instagram and you will see photos of him with his family, other musicians (loved the one of him and Seal), and working.  It’s the perfect mix of what I want to convey – family and work can coexist.

Yes, there are numerous celebrities, famous figures and even our President have an account.  But for me, it’s not only WHO I choose to follow but how OFTEN they post and the value of their content.  Or then, I could have listed the popular obvious choices – MTV or Burberry.

How can you get Instagram to work for you?

So now let’s get into what exactly Instagram can do for your business.  I am not talking about how to process an amazing iPhone photo but actually how to incorporate it INTO your business.

1. Promote your Instagram feed on your Facebook Fan Page.

Get some interest into these photos too!  Did you know you can link your Instagram to your Facebook page?  Yes, you read that right.  Add the app + let your fans feel special as an ‘Insider’.

2. Add them to your blog.

Automatically post them to your Blog under a separate category with a fun name (phone-tography or day in the life, for example).  Put ifttt.com to use!  It will push the publication of any of your Instagram posts onto your blog automatically.  There are endless possibilities of where you can publish these photos too.  Just look at the ‘recipes’ they have cooked up for you!

3. Give people insight into how cool you are!

Have you joined the Clickin Moms Instagram project CMGlimpse?  If not, you definitely should!  It gives you insight into the lives of so many of our members and can showcase to the world how super cool you are (and our community).  As of the writing of this article, there were over 4,000 photos within Instagram tagged with #cmglimpse.  Each week, you are prompted with some amazing ideas to get you thinking outside the normal scope of your cell phone photos.  Some members have gotten even more creative using their Olloclip that can be purchased from the Clickin Moms store.

4. An insiders view.

This is the main reason – give them the sneak peeks.

Just remember, it’s like any other site and you must be aware of the power, perception and privacy of your posts.

I post photos as I process images to give clients a sneak peek.

Sara Seeton gives us a glimpse of a cuddly newborn she was working with.

Sarah Phillips gives us a glimpse of her day assisting wedding photographers Zach and Jody during a wedding in Boston.

And lastly one of Clickin Moms vendors, Color Inc Pro Lab, uses it to show recent product offerings, sales and much more!

While Instagram may not be for everyone, don’t worry about limiting your clients by thinking only those with iPhones can view it (it’s available for android users now too)!  Every single one of these images was pulled from webstagram.com.  Happy photos!