So you're a photographer now! You got yourself either an amazing Canon DSLR or a slick Sony mirrorless camera, but here comes this question, Are you doing this as a hobby? Or are you trying to become a full pro and shoot weddings, product, or portraits? If you answered "Trying to go full pro!", then you have to start building your portfolio and what is the best portfolio for professional photographers nowadays? Instagram!

From my own personal experience, Instagram is the best place for potential clients to take a look at your work; there are few things that I've learned from personal experience and from others that play into using Instagram and I'm gonna show you with these tips.

1. Firing up your Instagram

Now what I mean by "Firing Up Your Instagram" is simply just getting one. You're probably thinking "David, I already have an Instagram; I have had an Instagram for years!" and my answer is "Great!" now do you want to stick with having your personal Instagram be dedicated to your photography?

If the answer is "Yes", Boom! Step 1 is DONE. But if you answered "No", it is best if you make a new Instagram account and have it dedicated to your photography and your photography ONLY. If you have your Instagram filled with some of your photography work mixed in with your favorite memes, inspirational quotes, and Snapchat videos from that party you were at last weekend, it might not look good in the perspective of potential clients.

2. Picking a theme

Now from my own personal experience, picking a theme can mean two things. A theme can mean the subject in the photo. Instagrammers like __miel.y theme can be something simple like coffee and his whole feed is just coffee photos! Another example would be rwakeland's theme is New York City and he takes some of the most beautiful cityscape photos of New York.

Theme can also mean your editing style. Brandon Woelfel's theme uses a lot of neon colors and lights and my own theme[Yes, I'm totally shamelessly plugging in my own Instagram. Follow me @davidrkirchner ;)] usually consists of a moody feel with high contrast and POPPING colors.

3. Location tagging

Using location tagging is a great way for a photographer to get regular people and businesses to see your work. A lot of photographers in the Baltimore area will tag their work on Instagram in Baltimore, Maryland so they can reach people in that area and that could lead to potential clients who might want either portrait, product shots, or shots of their businesses and that will slide into your Instagram DMs and be like "Hey bro, dope shots. Can you do some shots for me?".

For example, on my page, if I post a photo that I shot in my apartment, I always location tag "Towson University". I did that for every photo I shot either on campus or at my apartment and then one day the company, Spin, the orange bike company that partnered with Towson University and provided students with bikes to use on campus, found me on Instagram and sent me a DM basically saying "Hey David, you have great photos! Can you do some photos for us??" and I was like "Uhhh yes!? Here are my rates. What do you need and when do you need the photos by?"

This is why I always encourage people to location tag their photos because it is a great way for people and businesses to see your work and want to reach out to you!

4. Keep posting!

This is probably THE MOST IMPORTANT THING I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH! Just keep going out, shoot, and posting! Go out to cities and take cityscape photos! Go to parks, mountains, or waterfalls and take some landscape photos! Bring your friends and take their portraits!

Find some random stuff around your house and take some product photos! It allows you to practice using your camera, it will allow you to challenge yourself with different styles of photography and it will show that potential clients that you are an active photographer.

So these are just handful of tips from my personal experience that has really helped me grow as a photographer and if you're trying to start up your photography career, I really hope you got something out of this and take my personal experience and tips into consideration.

See yall next week!