How to Grow Your Pet’s Instagram

5/08/2019 10:26 am

Do you have a cute or quirky pet?


Do you love taking photographs of that pet?


Does the idea of an early retirement, thanks to the wealth and glory that an Instagram famous pet can bring, sound like the best idea ever?


Luckily, the furbaby-loving team at Ted’s Cameras agree! If you have no doubts that your feathered or furred friend is the cutest, you are doing the world a disservice by keeping this cuteness to yourself. To help you and your photogenic pet live your best life, we’ve put together a list of the best pet photography tips, cameras, lens, and hashtags. 


Here’s how to take great pet photographs and optimise Instagram posts to grow your pet’s account:

1. Aim to highlight your pet’s unique features


Firstly - how should you photograph your pets? Whether you have a rare breed of dog, a talking parrot or a moggy with a big bad attitude, what you love about your pet is what Instagram followers will want to see. Aim to capture the essence of who your pet is in your photos. 


This is where pet photography props, lighting setup and backgrounds can play a key role - from cute winter jumpers to a beautiful beachside backdrop, think about your pet’s “brand” and use everything at your disposal to find new, creative pet photography ideas.


A good lense will also help you capture your pet’s best qualities every time. The Nikon AF-S 85mm f1.8G, for example, is often used in portrait photography to great effect. The fast maximum aperture and a short-telephoto focal length is great for creating a tight-crop, as well as giving your photos a natural perspective. It also allows you to shoot a little further back from your beloved animal, which helps them stay relaxed for a better final image.


2. Utilise popular pet hashtags 


There are countless pet images posted daily - so make sure people can easily find you by using popular hashtags that are relevant to your account and photo. Commonly used hashtags such as #doggo or #petstagram are a good starting point for bringing new followers to your account and driving engagement with the community.

How to grow your Pet's Instagram

3. Practice your portrait & wildlife photography skills


Instagram is not exactly the best platform for professional photographers to showcase their work, but presenting a collection of eye-catching images to an engaged audience is never a bad thing. From finding the right light, to getting your pet to pose long enough for the photo, there are several things to master to competently capture your pet at their best, time and again.


Pet photography is like a funny mix of portrait and wildlife photography - you want to capture the unique character of your pet, but you also need to work quickly in order to get the best shot. Animals are, after all, unpredictable creatures. Unless you’re in possession of a particularly well-trained horse or very sleepy kitty, your pet will likely move just as you’re setting up the perfect photo. Practice your skills and experiment to learn what works best with your pet.

The Sony A6000 is a great option for pet photography. Light and compact, with 11FPS burst shooting, you can capture several photographs in quick succession on this camera while maintaining a crisp, clear quality.

How to grow your Pet's Instagram

4. Build a community of furry friends


It’s important that you actively engage with your audience and wider Instagram community on a regular basis. Take time to read and reply to comments made on your posts, and leave friendly comments on like-minded accounts. 


Search for posts, accounts, and groups that are relevant to your pet’s account - whether it’s the same breed, a photographer you admire, or a brand you and your pet like. If you align with the style, values or interests of an account, why not suggest a collaboration? 


If you like and trust an account that follows you, follow them back - and try to communicate with the accounts of other famous Instapets. This communication will ensure your account is seen and noticed by more users, which will lead to more followers.


5. No cat naps - you need to post often


High-quality pictures and regular posts will build an audience over time. You don’t want to be a spam page, but your pet will never be Instafamous if your account lays dormant for weeks at a time. Aim to post high-quality, varied content once or twice a day.

Having a camera that lets you post anytime, anywhere will be a great asset to your Instafame campaign. Something like the Canon Powershot G7X III is ideal - with Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity you can connect to your chosen smart device, transfer images, and upload to your account on the go. You can even live stream your pet’s adventures direct to YouTube.


6. Write unique or funny captions


On Instagram, images are obviously king - but don’t forget to write clever, engaging captions too. A witty quote, purrfect pun, or cute description will help communicate your pet’s personality, leverage hashtags, and connect with fans.


Captions are also essential to ranking highly in users’ feeds - so this is a great way to maximise your reach. Some key points to consider when writing your captions include tone of voice, your brand and caption length. Check out current trends, like the trending “dog’s point of view captions”, for inspiration.


How to grow your Pet's Instagram
How to grow your Pet's Instagram

7. Give your audience paws for thought


Keep things interesting. This is probably the hardest part, but you must find a way to ensure your content is consistently original, compelling and doesn’t simply consist of the same kind of photos and captions daily.


Look to others for inspiration and see what posts get the most likes. Think of this as a great chance to provide your pet with a rich and fulfilling life, as a change of scene and a different background can be enough to keep the interest of your followers. Get your pet out and about, exploring, and intellectually engaged - that way you’ll not only have a happy pet, but plenty of material to use on Instagram.


8. Don’t horse around: Always think ahead


Already posted for the day? That’s no reason to put away your camera and stop documenting the life of your best friend. Stockpile images and moments for use on some rainy day when you’re feeling uninspired or your busy schedule temporarily forces your pet’s Instagram fame to take a back seat.


9. Have fun with your pet!


People turn to social media for a range of reasons - but adorable pets are undoubtedly a crowd-pleaser. Famous Instagram animals often get their big break due to their lighthearted, happy and innocent nature. They remind us of all that is good in the world. You love your pet for the warmth and joy they bring to you - so help them spread this joy to the online world, and put smiles on lips.

It’s not all about the likes

Whether your pet makes it to the big time or not, the important thing is that you’re spending quality time with your favourite buddy and life companion, all while being creative and extending your photography skills - so enjoy every moment, and don’t get too wound up about Instagram likes and followers.

If you’d like more advice on some great digital camera options for your pet photography, check out our guide to the Best Digital Cameras for Photography in 2019, or head to your nearest Ted’s Cameras store for expert help today.


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