So You Want to be an Instagram Influencer: Part 2, Shooting Your Content

With an ever-changing Instagram algorithm it can be difficult to predict what move to make, and when to make it. And that’s just if you’re a product or service-based brand on social media. If you’re an influencer (or working on becoming one), there’s a whole other set of rules you need to follow.

This second part of our multi-part blog series on becoming an Instagram influencer is focusing on shooting your content, planning your content, and posting your content. Here are some topics we’ll be covering:

Shooting Your Content

  • What’s most important: regular feed content, Reels, or IG Stories?

  • Professional vs iPhone photography

  • DIY Photoshoot set-up

  • What to be aware of when shooting

  • Quality over quantity

  • Staying on brand

What’s most important: regular feed content, Reels, or IG Stories?

Great question! With so many changes on Instagram’s backend over the last year, it’s no surprise that everyone’s been asking this. Long story short, feed posts are still VERY important but Reels are currently taking the cake. What we mean is, Reels seriously help with increasing your engagement, and the chances of getting “noticed” for whatever it is you do!

As we mentioned in our first blog post in this series, here are the rules that Instagram prefers you to follow, and some things to keep in mind when shooting your content:

Instagram Feed

  • Take up the real estate of the page. Post vertical photos that are 4:5 in ratio (1080 x 1350).

  • Within that 4:5 aspect ratio, make sure your content is vertically centered. What we mean is, make sure you haven’t cut off your head when someone is viewing the photo square on your profile grid.

  • Post high-quality photos. Nothing pixelated or grainy.


Reels are still considered a fairly new feature, so we don’t have concrete rules to share but these are the suggestions we’ve found helpful.

  • Use the audio Instagram provides, not audio outside of Instagram.

  • Hop on trending songs, challenges, etc.

  • Post consistently! We’re hearing now you should be posting Reels 3-5x per week to maintain or increase overall engagement.

Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories is a feature that people definitely sleep on - don’t be that person! Here are a few tips to apply to Instagram Stories to increase your engagement:

  • Post on Instagram Stories almost every day, every few hours.

  • About once a week, let your Stories “run out,” meaning allow your profile to have no content on your Stories for at least 24 hours. This will “reset” your engagement.

  • When you start posting again on your Stories after those 24 hours, have your first Story include a sticker (circled in yellow below)

  • It’s also always a great idea to use these location, topic, and account-based stickers to maximize engagement (circled in green below)!

Instagram stories allow people to stay on your content/account for longer, which Instagram calculates into your engagement.

The longer someone stays on your content, the more Instagram will also show your feed content to them, providing avenues for higher & more consistent engagement.

Thanks to the introduction of TikTok, Instagram is heading closer to it’s original roots and becoming (what we believe it was always trying to be) a content creator platform...which is ideal for influencers in so many ways! However, you’ll have to be extra diligent in discovering your brand and finding your unique touch in order to stand out.

For more information on establishing your creative brand, check out our first blog in this series! So You Want to be an Instagram influencer: Part 1, Branding.

Professional vs. iPhone photography

If you have the money to spend on content for your page, by all means go for it! Just make sure you find the right photographer/videographer for your brand and the style of content you want to produce. You also want to make sure that if you hire a photographer, it's someone who you can work with consistently to keep your images cohesive.

With that said, iPhone photography (or any type of high-quality photography device) can be just as good, and FREE!

DIY Photoshoot Set-Up

If you’re doing indoor shoots, you can definitely buy large or mini professional background hanging props, but if you’re not there yet, you can get some yards of fabric to create the effect! Check out your local fabric, craft, and home improvement store for samples and cost-effective.

Giant ring lights are a staple when it comes to shooting, however, natural light is always the best source! Lifestyle & outdoor photos also provide more opportunities for creativity - use your bathroom, kitchen and your neighborhood to get creative!

Check out my recent Reel of how I created my own furry wall using bathroom rugs from Ross!

DIY photoshoot set-up ideas

What to be Aware of When Shooting

Here’s a few things to keep in mind for top-notch content if you’re shooting yourself:


Know where the light is coming from during the time of day you’ll be shooting and take advantage of this free resource. A ring light is still a great investment to ensure clean, clear photos and will enable light to come from all directions. Make sure the light is not behind your product! You don’t want any back-lit, foggy-looking photos.

Your angles

No no, not which side is your best side. Make sure you don’t have anything in your shot that shouldn’t be and that everything is centered (unless you’re going for a more eclectic look).

Also make sure nothing’s cut off that should be in the photo...yes, including your head, shoes, fingers, bag, etc. This happens and often goes unnoticed until you go to edit your photos!

Quality Over Quantity

Both are equally important! However, you’re more likely to receive higher engagement if you post high quality, super creative content rather than low-quality basic content.

But remember: both are equally important!

Staying on Brand

As we’ve mentioned in our first blog in this series, STAYING ON BRAND IS SO IMPORTANT! Yes, you can totally evolve your brand if you change your mind, but no matter your brand, stay true to it.

If you haven’t read it, check it out here: So You Want to be an Influencer: Part 1, Branding


Becoming an influencer - an effective one - is definitely not as easy as it was just 2 years ago! And quite honestly...that's fair!

Subscribe to our blog at the bottom of the page to be notified when Part 3 & Part 4 of our series, "So You Want To Be An Influencer?" drops! We'll be dissecting topics from shooting content & writing copy, to how to get brand deals!