As an architect, your job is to convey a three-dimensional concept into two-dimensional drawings. As such, you have a lot of affinity for - and perhaps some serious skill in - photography. A photograph tells a story of a place and a time, much like a building.
What if there was a way to promote your company at the same time as indulging your love of beautfiul angles and images? What if there was a way to store and share photographs for your travels, or to quickly get your latest project in front of the eyes of your favourite design editor? Well, there is a way - it’s called instagram, and every architect serious about improving their profile online should be using it.
What is Instagram?
Instagram is a photo-sharing social media site. You download the instagram app to your smartphone or tablet, and use that app to take images on the go and post them to your instagram feed. People can then comment on your images, and you can tag other users and create hashtags, similar to twitter.
What makes instagram really cool, however, is that after you’ve taken a photograph, you can add a “filter” to create cool digital effects. Make your images black and white, make them supersaturated, or give them the appearance of being shot through a pinhole camera - all with a couple of clicks. It’s really fun!
So why would an architect choose to use Instagram? Firstly, the architect’s medium online is the visual. Of course, viewers can’t touch your creations or walk through the spaces, but with stunning photography, they can get a sense of what the space might be like.
An Instagram account serves 3 primary functions:
- It’s a great place to record snapshots and inspiration from out and about. You can easily access your account wherever you are, which is great if you’re on site with a client and want to show them a shot you took a couple of months ago. Most architects using Instagram use is as an easy way to record design inspiration from their travels or from everyday life.
- Take a few clever images of your current projects and get them in front of the world. Many magazine editors and famous designers are looking on instagram. Wouldn’t it be amazing if they saw some of your work?
- Every interaction you make is improving your online presence. THis means, the more likely a potential client is going to see some of your work - or just take a shine to your personality - and hire you.
Sign Up for an Instagram Account
Instagram is a free service. You can use it on your PC, but to really get the most out of it, you’ll need the app downloaded onto your smartphone or tablet, so you can have it on you at all times. Now, whenever you see something that’s snap-worthy, you can whip out your phone!
When you sign up you have the option of creating a profile. Fill this out as completely as possible, adding your location, and a link to your main website, as well as a short description of who you are. You want to include all the info a potential customer would need to do business with you.
So many businesses have been flocking to Instagram that the company have started a blog specifically dedicated to providing advice for companies on their platform. Check out Instagram for Business for weekly tips on improving your presence.
Now you can start posting images to your account. We recommend creating a mix of images from your work with inspiration pictures and funny or personal pictures, such as shots of your kitten, or from your weekend soccer game.
Once you've got a photo you're happy with, give it an appropriate caption, tag it if appropriate (see below for more info on tagging) and play around with filters to give it a cool new look. Now you can post - and you're away!
Follow Prominent Architects
One of the first things you’ll be asked to do when you sign up is find people to follow. The app can go through your contacts list and locate people you know who have Instagram accounts - you might be surprised who is already snapping away!
It’s a great idea to start with a few followers, so if you’ve got family and friends on Instagram, that’s a good place to begin. Next, look for other architects or design professionals you’ve worked with, or clients who’ve given you projects you’ve particularly enjoyed.
After that, you should start looking to widen your Instagram network by following your favourite architects or magazines. So who should you follow? No worries, we’ve got a great list of 25 Architects and Designers on Instagram - that should get you started.
When you follow other people, their recent photos will appear in your “feed” when you open the app - similar to your Facebook feed, but only for images. This is a great opportunity for you to “Like” and comment on images, which gets your name out there, helps you to form connections and increases your followers.
Tagging Your Pics
Tagging pics is very important - this is one of the main ways you will gain new followers and get your pics in front of prominent editors. To tag a picture, simply add the tag name with the hash symbol into the comment field. You can add several different tags. Make sure you’re adding appropriate tags to each images. Here are a few popular architecture tags to get your started:
#architecture, #archdaily, #architectureporn, #buildingporn, #urban, #arquitetura, #buildings, #housing.
Instagram now allows you to create simple videos and post them to your feed. Each video can only be 15 seconds in length, and you can edit them or apply filters til your heart’s content. You can tag your videos too, and you can also geo-tag them if you’re in a particular place.
Instagram is a great way for an architect to raise their profile online, gain new followers and fans, and share and store photographic inspiration for their own projects. So why aren't you on Instagram yet?