Have you taken the plunge yet and set up an Instagram account for your dog?
If not, why not?
If you’re a dog owner like me, and keen on photography like me, then Instagram is full of inspirational ways to make the most of our time with our dogs!
Besides, who doesn’t want their dog to be a celebrity?
Having an Instagram account for your dog is such a fun way to capture the good times you have, while sharing them with other dog lovers as well.
You’re probably wondering why you didn’t create one sooner!
- Why it took me so long to create an Instagram account for my dog
- Why it’s so cool having an Instagram account for your dog
- 5 tips on creating a Doggy Instagram account for your new celebrity
Why it took me so long to create an Instagram account for my dog
As a professional photographer it took me years to embrace Instagram. Some of the reasons I avoided it were:
1. I spend too much time on my iPhone as it is.
2. I thought it would add to my workload.
3. I was a little worried about copyright issues (because I’m weird like that).
Well guess what?
As soon as I created an Instagram account for my dog, for a laugh, I realised there was a whole new art to taking photos which I could embrace.
As a unique style of photography it really makes you think, and over time makes you realise what photos other people like and what they don’t.
The biggest win was this – I could start having fun with photography all over again!
Why it’s so cool having an Instagram account for your dog
For a dog owner Instagram is a fantastic network.
Looking to capture some of the fun things you and your pup get up to? On Instagram you’ll find thousands of like-minded pet owners who enjoy spending time with their animals and want to share the love. People like you and me!
Not completely convinced yet?
Hop on to Iconosquare (formally statigr.am). It’s a website which allows you to access Instagram from your computer and hashtag (#) your favourite dog subject – #agility #cattledogs #underwaterdogs #muttbreeds #labradors #paws etc.
On Iconosquare you’ll find galleries of pets doing an amazing array of things!
Once you’ve downloaded the Instagram app to your phone and set up an account you can access lots of fun galleries of other dog owners and feel the inspiration.
Take your dog off to the beach or on a hike, have a play and a tug-of-war competition in the backyard or just set up a doggy play date.
Anyone of these situations will give you plenty of opportunity to play around with your phone and capture some unique shots of your pup.
Go wild! Embrace life with your dog!
There’s also a whole list of photo competitions to get involved in which are fun and will give you even more incentive to get outdoors with your dog.
So it’s not all about flaunting your pooch! It’s much more than that!
5 tips on creating a Doggy Instagram account for your new celebrity
I bet by now you’re super keen to get started on your new Instagram account for your pending celebrity pooch.
Here’s 5 of my best tips to get you started:
1. Create a catchy “doggy” name
If you’re opening an Instagram account mainly to share photos of your dog give it a ‘doggy’ name.
Accounts that capture my attention often incorporate the dog’s name or hint at what adventures they get up to.
If you have a blog (or “Dog Blog”) try and use this as your account name – it will draw people’s attention to the fact you also write about your love of dogs.
An Instagram feed on your home page also showcases what you get up to with your pooch, which is great cross-promotion. I’ve found synchronising a bunch of social media accounts can really boost visitors.
For inspiration, here’s a starter pack of great Australian Instagram dog accounts which I think will give you some great ideas. Your first follows!
Have fun with your name – what makes you and your dog stand out from the crowd? What words sum up both your dogs and your own personalities?
2. Just add photos!
For now, don’t worry about quality. Daily shots rock, especially if they tell the story of your dog’s funky lifestyle!
Take it as an incentive to get out more with your dog and try new things. How does your dog behave in the car, at the park, on the beach, or in Bunnings? Try and capture those moments which are interesting!
Even if your first Insta posts aren’t great, you’ll be surprised how quickly you learn, adapt, and improve your doggy photo skills.
Trust me – within weeks you’ll find you’re a much better Instagram dog photographer!
If you post regularly enough you will gain more followers. I find every post attracts one or two new followers regardless of how good I think the photo is. Each photo will reach people, and some of those people will take an active interest.
Also, the more photos you take the better you will understand your camera settings and what works best. My shots have greatly improved over the 4 months I’ve had my dog on Instagram.
Some of my other articles discuss how to improve your photography, considering composition, light, angles, and so much more – so bookmark this blog and read my other stuff!!
3. Be creative!
Don’t just take all your pictures in the same spot everyday of your dog doing the same thing. It’s boring, and you don’t want others to pity the mundane life you have with your dog.
Get outdoors and get active!
Look at other Instagram accounts for some ideas. What doggy adventures give you inspiration? And why?
Outside the light is better and the action is far more entertaining. I see too many dogs on Instagram that appear to spend most of their life on their owners floor (or couch)……don’t be that person.
My main field is street photography, and what I love most about it is anything can and does happen. The same is true when you take your dog places – who will they meet, what will they see, and what random stuff will happen?
4. Add a quick story/explanation and some #hashtags
There’s no point posting a photo without a story, explanation, and some hashtags. This is what really helps you gain likes and followers who enjoy the same things you do.
A hashtag is a word (or words combined into one) prefixed with a hash (#). Instagram users follow hashtags and any photo with those hashtags may appear in their feed.
Try and be original with your hashtags, as stuff like #dog faces so much competition. You’ll likely reach more people with less used hashtags, such as #perthdogs, #scarboroughbeach, #cyclingwithdogs.
Also, the people you reach will react better to your dog photo because they’re local, or they love cycling with their own dog.
This technique is known as “long tail”, or low hanging fruit.
When you receive feedback make sure you engage with your audience – Comment/Reply/Follow Back – similar to any Social Media account.
If you’re active it will make a difference to your fellow Instagrammers and they will show their appreciation – it’s a very supportive community.
5. Play around with Instagram filters
The Instagram filters are what helps a photo go to the next level. They’re also great fun.
Use the crop and contrast button, and play with the filters (don’t overdo the frames though) and don’t be afraid to experiment a little.
Even if you post something which doesn’t work, what have you lost? Nothing!
If you’re scared you’ll share a photo before you’ve finished adjusting, or you’d like to compare your shots first, put your phone on standby (go to settings and flick over to Airplane Mode). It’s easy to share your photo later when you’ve finished tweaking the image.
The more you use filters the more you’ll realise and learn from how other Instagram dog accounts use filters.
As a photographer I believe there are 3 key ways for us to learn and improve:
- Keep trying new stuff.
- Learn from others.
- Accept (and actually be proactive in seeking) constructive criticism.
I hope these tips help you in creating an Instagram account for your dog, and help you have fun while doing so.
Check out some of my other posts as I often discuss pet photography, including tips, tricks, lighting, being unique, and getting it right!
Do you already have an Instagram account for your dog? Post a link or pics below, or what great tips and tricks you’ve learned on your journey!