Growing your Instagram account to just over 87 thousand followers doesn’t happen over night. But for Tom Parker, Photographer and Instagram Influencer, it didn’t take too long. The Vancouver Island-based photographer has grown his following to over 87 thousand followers after 846 inspiring posts to go explore the outdoors. With minimal use of hashtags, Tom uses Instagram to showcase his work in nature landscapes across Vancouver Island and the world.
Tom’s work is a reflection of his lifestyle and passions, gaining a unique perspective from his surroundings. He has worked with Destination BC, Vancouver Island University, Telus, Oru Kayak, Tourism Nanaimo, Mizu and Kuhl Clothing.
I asked Tom to answer a few questions about his experience using Instagram, which he has successfully utilized to grow his own brand…
As a photographer, what was your first impression of Instagram?
Instagram (IG) is one of the reasons I’m a photographer today. When IG was first introduced, I wasn’t that interested in the app and I didn’t even download it. Over a year later we were on a hike and my friend was taking pictures for his IG account. Not knowing too much about the app, I asked him about it and slowly became interested in the sharing and community aspect of Instagram. A year later and I was using Instagram daily and have been ever since.
Tell us about your journey to 87k followers on Instagram.
At first I didn’t really know what I was going to post to my IG account. I shot anything and everything, trying to figure out what I liked to shoot the most. I eventually realized that I wanted to express my passion for living outdoors through photography. From there people seemed to appreciate and connect with my images. It’s great to see that there are people just as passionate as me about nature.
Is there an Instagram filter you frequently use?
Most of my editing is done on Lightroom, but if I do use an Instagram filter it’s usually Juno or Ludwig.
What is the biggest benefit you have gotten from Instagram?
Some of the biggest advantages of using Instagram for me are the ability to make new connections and form working relationships with like-minded people and businesses that have a passion for the outdoors. Instagram’s platform has made it easy for clients and businesses to discover photographers that align with their brand, opening up new avenues for marketing.
Do you follow a posting schedule or strategy?
I try and post once a day, as for a time I’m not sure it matters as much as it use to. Instagram’s old algorithm for running your feed was time sensitive, the more time that passes the further down the feed a photo would go. With the new algorithm it’s based off what Instagram feels you will “like” based off of your interactions with the app. This means that if you are engaging with some accounts more than others they will show up closer to the top of your feed, regardless of the time they posted.
What advice do you have for someone who is just starting out on Instagram?Try and get out shooting as much as possible, over time you will figure out what works for you and develop your own style. Its also important to post consistently. I try for one post a day or more. Consistency in the content of the posts also seems to be beneficial when trying to grow your account. If people follow you for outdoor related content then that is what they are expecting and want to see.
Where do you see Instagram heading in the next five years?
That’s the big question, it is hard to tell what is going to happen to Instagram in the future. Will it lose its popularity over time and die out with many other social media apps? Or will it be able to adapt and change accordingly to the market? I think Instagram has a good chance of surviving the battle of time and keep its popularity. The reason I think it has a good chance of surviving is that Instagram is owned by Facebook, which has been able to maintain one of the top spots in social media for over twelve years, staying ahead of their competitors. But with all the different types of apps coming out such as Snapchat, its hard to tell what will be the next big thing.
Follow Tom Parker on Instagram for more incredible image of the outdoors.