I Started Vlogging on Instagram: Here's What I Learned

I Started Vlogging on Instagram: Here's What I Learned

Instagram TV has been a bit of a flop, which is a shame as the idea really excited me. However, it hasn’t stopped me from using video on Instagram.

I should — as always — prefix this article with a bit about myself. I am a commercial photographer who specializes in still life, food photography. Videography is a long way out of my comfort zone and not really in my skill set. It is also worth noting that I am no social media guru, I have a very small following and I don't really follow the rules as one should to get more popular on there, it isn't a great use of my time, although neither are the weekly videos, maybe I am just confused in general. But as I noted in this article https://fstoppers.com/business/if-its-worth-doing-its-worth-doing-badly-344540 "If it is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.” And badly I have done!

I recently saw one of these 30 seconds of 30 days videos on my Instagram timeline. I found it really interesting and thought I would have a quick play. I then quickly realized that it wasn’t going to be all that interesting nor viable for me to remember to do it with a deadline so far in the future. So I set myself the challenge of posting a 1 min video every Monday with some video clips and time-lapse bits of what my week had been like. Kind of somewhere between a Vlog and a Instagram story.

I am now about to post my 4th week's video and it is actually something that I am looking forward to making, even if a little cringe worthy due to my poor video skills. There has certainly been a massive improvement in my video work from week 1 to 4, although I was a complete novice at the start, so that isn’t really anything to marvel at. What was surprising though was how enjoyable I found making little snippets on a £20 action camera. I haven’t ever really found a camera small enough that would make me want to carry it around and use it outside of work or as a BTS camera during shoots, but as instagram is showing videos at such small resolution, this little action camera felt ideal and it has really taken me out of my comfort zone and got me using my camera in public.

The videos haven’t made any difference in my bookings or “following”, although my rather modest following on instagram does engage well with it and I see a lot more personal messages or even conversations in person about it. As I share things that I might not have in the past (mostly time lapses of me moving heaps of camera kit).

So Why am I Doing This?

I honestly couldn’t tell you, but I find it so enjoyable that I will certainly continue for the foreseeable future. I suppose it acts like a permanent Instagram story from a shoot, but in landscape. I am also learning a new skill in a non pressured way. It turns out videography is far more complex than I think most stills photographers give credit for. I am constantly stopping my shots too soon or having too shaky a footage. I am learning loads about something that isn't 100% my job, but is still in a creative field. This is incredibly satisfying.

Do I Think It Will Catch On?

No, and that is part of the enjoyment. It is something for me in a social media world where we are constantly trying to please others. There is no commercial viability to these videos, it is just a bit of fun and I urge you to have a go at it to.

Has anyone else tried anything similar?

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10 Comments

Ed Peacock's picture

Not quite vlogging but I solely post videos on my Instagram now - I think it's way more fun. (instagram.com/ed.peacock.photo/)

Scott Choucino's picture

I think video is far more engaging on instagram.

Martin Van Londen's picture

First off.. it’s called IGTV not Instagram TV. Second, video on Instagram is the biggest thing to happen to video sence YouTube.

It’s not about shaky BTS time lapses. It’s about marking videos that look like your still work. If you can do that you will open up a whole new world for your self.

Scott Choucino's picture

Yeah video on instagram is huge. It has worked far better than the integration to Facebook.

I've taken the leap into video recently as well, but posting more on YouTube than anywhere else since you can eventually monetize off of YouTube content. My strategy has been a mix of video styles, but the BTS vlogs have been both fun AND also helpful in gaining more photography clients. I think potential clients like to see how you work since a photo shoot experience for them is so much more about HOW you get the shot. It's also been great for connecting with other creatives, for the same reason of appearing to be more open about how I work. Anyway, I think there's tremendous value in these types of videos.

Good on you! Whether it's useful for business or not, if it's fun it's fun. Always nice to be putting something new out into the world :)

Jason Lorette's picture

I would like to get into doing video way more...just whenever I get excited about the idea...it fizzles fast as I really don't seem to have anything that interesting to 'say' in a video. Not sure how to get around that hurdle.

Carl Crumley's picture

I wish Instagram showed the timeline on videos so I'd know how long they are, and where I am at any given time when viewing it.

Jeff Walsh's picture

Videos on the feed are only able to be 60sec, so not a huge commitment. Videos on stories are only in 15sec increments, so again, no big time commitment. IGTV is the only place where they can be longer than a min, and there is a timeline bar.

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