How to rock with Insta Story


Let's explore Insta Stories together! In this article I'll explain you why Insta Story is so important tool especially for photographers (but not only) and how you can use it to reach more and more people.


What is Insta Story?

It's this little pill on the top of your Insta. You can add photo, GIF, text or video using the camera button on the left top corner to tell your story. To show people how your day looks like and to show them your personality.


Insta Feed acts like your online portfolio, so usually you add there only your best photos.

Insta Story however acts to show people more your personality.

I use Insta Story to show people what kind of person I am, because I want to attract similar clients with similar values. I am not an internet exhibitionist (maybe a little bit). Everything what I do I do to find people who feel and see the world as I do, because I want to create stories for emotional couples. 



But I don't know what I can add. I am shy. I don't like talking to camera.

First of all, you are what you think you are. If you think you are shy, you are. Before I will tell you what you can add on your Insta Story let me tell you quickly my short story (oh my God, too many story word in this story). 

I've started my photography journey, because it was my way to run away, to escape. I didn't like people. I didn't want to talk with them. And then I found happiness in photographing someone's love. But I still didn't like speaking with people too much. I just liked observing those all emotions and little moments being invisible. And then I read Social Media marketing book called "Crush it!" by Gary Vaynerchuk. I've fallen in love with his philosophy, with his kindness and pure love to people and willingness to help them. He's taught me that you have to help people with no expectations in return and you need to them. YouTube? Insta Story? I thought: "Hell no! I don't like seeing and hearing myself. I'm ugly. I have a big nose."

I was fighting with myself 2 weeks before I recorded my first Insta Story. But I did it. I've been believing in Gary's philosophy so much that I've overcome one of my biggest weakness, my antipathy to people.

First videos were horrible (If you don't believe me, click this link.)

Next video, next video and next video and I've started feeling more comfortable and confident and even...liking my big nose! 

If you don't feel enough strength to speak to your audience take your time and use other ideas that I'll give you in one moment. But remember that video and your face (even if you are ugly) has the most powerful impact on people, because it's you! People see real you, your real face, your real voice and not only photoshoped photos and Walt Disney's quotes (Don't get me wrong, I love Walt Disney's quotes).

Enough of story talk about my story.


I don't know if you are aware, but when you add something on your Insta Feed only about 10% of your followers can see that. If you add something on your Insta Story much more people can see that. That's why you should add Insta Story as often as possible, at least 5-6 posts per day. Do you think I am crazy? Is it really that hard to find 1 minute per day to talk about your feelings or your day? (1 post = 15 sec).



What you can talk about or add on your Insta Story

- You talking about what you love and like, your passion, hobby.

- Your story. Why you've decided do what you do. How it's begun.

- Your journey. Ups and downs. This point is very, very important. People want to see YOU, real you, as a real human who has worse moments and who loses. When you show also your downs people will trust you more, because they will see honesty in you.

- Your backstages (photos, videos, boomerangs, selfies with couples).



- Photos of your gear, cameras, lenses.

- Kitties, kitties, kitties. I have most views when I add my kitty on Insta Story. So one more time, kitties.



- You selecting your photos.

- You editing your photos.

- You sharing your knowledge with others, your observations or what you have just discovered.

- Puppies (but better kitties).

- Polls! It's one of my favorite! Guys it's more powerful than you think! Why? Firstly, people love, love, love just love to have impact on your decisions. Talking about yourself is cool, but people love to be listened! That's why I use Polls! It can be anything, really! Secondly, Instagram Reach just goes crazy when it sees that people engage with your Poll.


- Questions! Again. Similar situations as with Polls. Use it to engage with people



- Your feelings. Just like this. How you feel with different things. BUT, be careful with sharing your opinions. Safer option is to talk how you feel than just express your opinions, as they can hurt someone.

- You enjoying your time on:

  • holidays,

  • eating and trying new things,

  • selfie with your KITTY,

  • you drinking morning coffee with no make up,

  • you taking shower (by @jacob_loafman - I love you dude), make sure to tag me with this one.

- Kitties.



The ways you can create Insta Story:

- Selfies with adding text on the image (you can use funny filters available in the app or in Snapchat).

- The simplest and most obvious way, by adding photos - Start thinking as a Insta Story photographer and shoot using your phone vertically.

- Adding 15 sec videos, you talking or anything else (If I add myself talking I use "Focus mode", anything else "Hands Free mode").

- Boomerang.

- Slow motion (iPhone - Built option, Android - Slow Motion Video FX app).

- Timelapse (Hyperlapse app).

- Screen shots of your phone e.g. music that you listen.

- And my favorite - Photo collages (undeniable the best and the simplest app ever - Unfold).


* Extra tip - Sometimes I record videos using my DSLR camera and then I edit it in Adobe Premiere program, I cut it for 15 sec pieces and then add it on Insta Story. But this is topic for another article. Let me know if you would like to see something like this.


Another useful tricks and tips that I use on Insta Story:

- I tag people, to share their work, to appreciate their creativity. 



- I use Hashtag! Yes! Hashtags also work on Insta Story and it is sooooo powerfulllll. Most of my views are from Hashtags! Here starts the magic. I've heard that you can add 10 hashtags on each post, but I tried everything and for me works only maximum 3 hashtags. And from my observation I consider that the best is to use only 1 hashtag. 

What hashtag should you use?

It depends on what kind of people you want to reach. I usually use #destinationweddingphotographer because my main goal is to reach people from another countries as my dream is to shoot abroad. 

How to add hashtag to not make the mess in your post? Let me show you.

You Select "Text", you type your hashtag then you select the whole text and choose eye dropper. You find plain area on your picture, you make your hashtag a little bit smaller using your two fingers and then you move it on the plain area.


- Geotags! It's a brain breaker for me. Guys, use geotags every single time! It increases your visability so muchhhh! You can add it by just selecting "Location" (The same place where you can add GIFs and Polls). The best thing about Geotag is that you can choose whatever location you want! So e.g. if you want to reach people from Scotland even if you are in Krakow you can do it!

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- Give, give, give and give. Don't only talk about yourself. Ask: "How do you feel today? DM me if I can help or you want to talk". Ask about opinion. Engage. Empathy.

- Call to actions. It's something broader for another article, but in one sentence this is your call to make action by your audience. So e.g. call to action will be "if you like my video, comment your thoughts under the movie", "Check out my website to see the new story!".

There is one main rule about call to actions. You don't ask. You tell your audience specifically what to do, so instead of "Please, can you do it?" you write "Please, do it."

- Be yourself, don't pretend someone who you are not, but keep in mind that people don't like negativity and pessimism. Keep everything in positive manner.

- Don't criticize or hate anyone or anything. NEVER, ever. This is not your business how someone does things or why. Focus on yourself and on your job. Don't judge others.

- Use Insta Story to direct your viewers to source you want e.g. YouTube, Facebook, your website. ("Check out my new video! YouTube -> Michal Brzegowy")


* And the last additional the most powerful Insta Story tip that...I don't use - Live. Guys there isn't anything more powerful than Live videos on IS. If you start Live everyone sees it as it is always appearing at the first place on Instagram. Why I don't use it? Because this is my weakness. I am making excuses. Maybe with this article I will take step further and I will start making Lives! Hopefully! :)


Thank you for reading. If you need anything, you have some questions or thoughts just DM me.