089: Pei Ketron – How To Use Instagram for Photography Business Owners

Social media influencer and photographer, Pei Ketron is approaching 1,000,000 Instagram followers. Her popularity on the photography platform has resulted in photographic assignments around the world for clients including: Adobe, Apple, Discover Tasmania, Tourism Whitsundays, Turkish Airlines, UNICEF and loads more. In this interview, Pei shares how to use Instagram for photography business owners to achieve maximum traction without driving your followers away.

A lot of younger photographers may not realise what their work is worth and they don't get paid what they should be

If, like me, you've been using Instagram purely for fun, you'll discover there's a whole new avenue of marketing and business growth available to you if you follow some simple steps. The good news, you can continue to use the app for fun and personal use while growing your business at the same time.

Here's some more of what we cover:

  • How Pei generates a income from her photography via Instagram
  • Your rights as a photography and fair rates for your work
  • How social media influencers are being recruited to work on advertising campaigns
  • Finding out if you can still get discovered in Instagram despite the huge number of influential Instagram users nowadays
  • How to generate business as an Instagram user
  • You need to be committed to the community to generate business from Instagram
  • How to build your Instagram following
  • The right way to be active and interact with your followers on Instagram
  • Tips on finding Instagram users to follow
  • Things to avoid when leaving comments on Instagram
  • What is considered spammy behaviour when commenting on Instagram
  • Be yourself. Be somebody that you would want to follow
  • Meeting up (in real life) with the Instagram community in your area
  • How to differentiate yourself from other Instagram users when leaving comments on posts
  • Is it expected that you follow back when someone follow you
  • How to differentiate a good photographer from a great photographer via Instagram
  • Why Instagram is not just a number's game
  • The essence of Instagram is still about creating great images
  • Instagram filters – the do's and don'ts
  • Which editing apps Pei uses and recommends
  • Pei's workflow from capture to upload
  • The importance of hashtags and how to use them correctly

I don't know if you'll ever get to one million followers on Instagram like I believe Pei will but I'd like to think you'll be in a stronger position to grow your audience and use Instagram more effectively following this episode. If you have any tips or ideas that you've found useful as an Instagram user, share them in the comments below.

Pei Ketron Photography Podcast Interview

What’s on Offer for Premium Members

If you’re a premium member, you should have received an email with links to your version of this episode where you can hear lots more implementable content from where we dive deeper into some of the earlier topics plus some new ones that I pushed hard for that include:

  • How to use @ tags correctly and to attract the right attention
  • Pei's thought process when taking photos for Instagram
  • Why Pei considers her Instagram account as her photography portfolio
  • Consider how you want to use Instagram and how you want to present yourself
  • Pei talks about her personal choice of keeping only one Instagram feed rather than separating her personal and professional work
  • How to effectively caption feeds in Instagram
  • The importance of creating back ups as an Instagram user
  • Cautioning photographers against doubling up on posts or sending the same piece of content to all social networks
  • The need to differentiate social media content for people to have a reason to follow you on different networks
  • Apps For Capture – Cortex Camera, AvgNite Cam, Slow Shutter Cam
  • Apps For Editing – VCSO, Snap Seed, SKRWT, Squaready, TouchRetouch
  • How long Pei spends to process her photos for Instagram

Pei Ketron Photography Podcast Interview

What is your big takeaway?

Following this interview, I’d love to know what your biggest takeaway is – what is the one thing that you’d like to implement or learnt from what was shared? Let me know by leaving your thoughts in the comments below.

Instagram is not a network where you can just throw content up on it and ignore it

If you have any questions that I missed, a specific question you’d like to ask Pei or if you just want to say thanks for coming on the show, feel free to add them below.

If you’d like an easy way to show Pei your thanks, and support for the show at the same time, click the link to create a tweet and automatically show you’re listening: https://photobizx.com/pei

Pei Ketron Photography Podcast Interview 

The Resources Page

Remember the ever expanding resources page that has a listing of products, programs, hardware, books and directories mentioned in each episode of the show. If you’re looking for something that a guest has mentioned on a previous episode but just can’t remember who or what it was – you’ll find it listed in order on the resources page.

iTunes ratings, reviews and Shout-Outs

Each week before recording the podcast I check iTunes for any reviews and each week I’m excited to see what you’ve had to say about the podcast. This week I was rapt to see two awesome reviews and one pretty good one. Thanks so much to:

Deadly77 from Australia

Nefox from Australia

Rob Ve from Australia

Sincerely, thanks so much for your ratings and reviews, I appreciate the time you’ve taken and it’s a big help for the show. It’s these iTunes reviews that make a big difference to the podcast being ranked well and found in the iTunes store. If you have the time and are happy to leave an honest rating and review, head over to iTunes.

When you can guys, let me know your website or blog URL's so I can add a link to boost your SEO as a small way to say thanks again for your reviews.

PhotoBizXposed iTunes reviews

Don’t feel your comments have to be long, involved or gushy, an honest opinion is all I ask. Don’t be shy about leaving your business name in the review either – that way I can add a link in the show-notes and show my appreciation with a proper thanks and a Google loving back-link to your website.

Do You Have a Question about Your Business or Marketing?

I'm planning a Q&A episode over the Christmas and New Year period and would love your questions! Feel free to email me or use the voicemail option on this page. You can be as detailed and specific to your busies or circumstances as you like. And, you can remain anonymous if you refer.

Alternatively, if you’d like to get in touch, ask a question about or make a suggestion for the show, you can email me andrew@photobizx.com, find me on Twitter https://twitter.com/andrewhellmich or on Facebook at https://photobizx.com/facebook – I’d love to hear from you!

Pei Ketron Photography Podcast Interview 

Links to people, places and things mentioned in this episode:

Pei Ketron Website

Pei Ketron on Instagram

Pei Ketron on Twitter

Pei Ketron Instagram's Blog

Pei Ketron on Facebook


Snap Seed




Cortex Camera

AvgNite Cam

Slow Shutter Cam

Everipedia – Pei Ketron


Nokia Lumia


Pei Ketron Photography Podcast Interview

That’s it for me this week, hope everything is going well for you in life and business!

If you’ve been enjoying the podcast, I’d love for you to tell another photographer about it – it could be in a Facebook Group you’re a part of, a photography forum, with a photographer friend or on twitter.

If you do have a twitter account, simply click here: https://photobizx.com/tweet or use the share buttons below.

Thanks and speak soon


By | 2017-03-17T21:27:02+00:00 November 3rd, 2014|Podcast|21 Comments
  • I’m doing this differently this time. I’m leaving a comment before listening to the podcast!

    I’m looking forward to this interview as I’ve recently started using Instagram in a targeted way to get more bookings for my sport photography. I post two pictures a day and use hashtags etc and so far it seems to be working as may name and work is getting out there better than on Twitter. (Instagram doesn’t have 140 character limit!)

    Anyway, I shall leave a review once I’ve listened to it. Thanks guys

    • I’ve been seeing your targeted approach to Instagram marketing in my feed and it’s obvious who your targeting and why with your images, comments and hashtags Rahim. Great to hear about the success you’ve been having with your new approach and focus.

      It’ll be interesting to hear if you have a few new ideas or want to alter your approach at all after hearing the interview with Pei.

  • thanks for the podcast, even thou I’m not an insta user I can appreciate the insights of a successful media / photographer person. Thank you Pei.

    Totally understandable about the paid content vs free comment.
    I hope to send you a good question or two for your future podcast sometime soon


    • Thanks Orlando – glad you enjoyed the episode. Any reason why you’re not using Instagram?

      Looking forward to hearing (or reading) your question. And thanks too for your support!

      • adding another Social Media presence is another time commitment…
        Question to myself is, where (which) Social Media platforms to put my focus

        • Yep, I hear you! I’ve been giving a lot of thought to a FB page for PhotoBizX but I hate the thought of ding something half heartedly and I’m already pretty stretched for time.

          Instagram for me has been more about a personal escape from the business of photography but even that’s changing now. I still love posting what I love to shoot and share there – I hope to keep it that way.

  • Hey Pei and Andrew,

    Another great interview, and one of particular interest to me as I LOVE instagram! I haven’t had the same success that Pei has, but I’ve definitely have some clients that opened the conversation with “I found you on instagram!”

    I’m a big fan of VSCO, but it was nice to hear about some of the other apps that you’re using to process your images. I’ll definitely be checking a few of them out!

    Anyway good interview, and if you want to see my instagram feed it’s http://instagram.com/shotbyca


    • Hi Chris – glad you enjoyed it, I’m a fan of Instagram as well – which you know.
      Nice to hear that you’re already finding success with it in regard to bookings, that’s fantastic. I have’t sen that myself… Yet.
      I’ve been using a couple of the apps Pei mentioned and they are very cool!

  • Hi Andrew
    Thanks for another great interview, I have never looked at instagram but with cheek it out with open eyes.
    Love the diversity of your guests

    Cheers Ian

    • No worries Ian – yes, definitely have a look! It’s a great app but can be addictive. One thing I really like is I get to see everything posted by the people I follow, not like FB who filters what I see in my feed.

  • Loved your rant Andrew. You know you’re right, and I just thought I would confirm it for you. Check back here on days when you aren’t sure you’re on the right track. You are. Who can afford to just give their time away when they make valuable content?

    You may or may not remember that I’ve been dang near lurking for a long time, but I thought I’d also stop by in hopes of some of that “link-juice,” now that I finally have a website online. Not done. Not full. Just there, but growing; Just like the business.

    And another good one with Pei. I’ve been on IG for a while, and see it as a way to target women who will likely be my target market. The trouble I have, if Pei is up for a follow up answer, is getting local. It takes a lot of work to swim back upstream from a post to determine whether a particular post is from a local commenter.

    Maybe she has one or two tips for that? Or if you want to hold this for your Q and A show, I’d love to hear it.

    Well, Keep on Going, and I’ll keep on absorbing and applying the information. Thanks again, Andrew. Every week is a blast!

    • Pei

      Hi Byron – Thanks for the follow-up question. Unfortunately, at this time, Instagram does not give users access to more specific data that would help with localized and targeted outreach. There are some 3rd party companies such as Iconosquare (formerly Statigram) that do statistical breakdowns of the content and followers a person has, but nothing as sophisticated as Facebook offers. Let’s hope for something more helpful in the near future!

    • Thanks Byron – fantastic and reassuring to read your comments. It’s always nice to have that feeling that I am indeed on the right track.

      And yes, I sure do know you’ve been ‘lurking’ for a while now 🙂 Hope the link juice helps with your SEO. I don’t know a photographer that has a website that’s all done – that’s one area of a photographers business that is forever evolving. Hopefully you’re able to do most of the modifications and updates yourself as you grow.

      I see Pei has answered your question – awesome!

      I’ll add to what Pei said. In my case, if I see comments on my IG account, or any social media account, I always aim to reply and engage, no matter if that person is local, interested in doing business or just up for a chat. That may become an issue as your follower numbers grow but while you can, engage with everybody you can… you never know where conversations will lead or the relationships that will evolve.

      Also, if you’re particular and accurate with your location and hash tagging, I think you’ll find most comments relevant and worthy of reply or engagement.

      Great to have you listening Byron and even better to see you emerge from the shadows and leave a comment 🙂

      Speak soon

  • Hi Pei and Andrew,

    Pei I loved the interview with Andrew and thank you for sharing so much on the podcast.

    I have one question about shooting with your iPhone. You mentioned in the interview, that before cell phone cameras produced quality images, you would carry your DSLR everywhere you went. You also mentioned that now almost all of your photos are shot on a cell phone. Have you considered carrying a small mirrorless (or other small alternative) with an eye-fi card to send the photos directly to your cell phone or are you totally happy to shoot with the cell phone camera?

    Pei, after checking out some of your work, I can’t believe some of your photos are taken with a cell phone. Truly amazing!

    • Pei

      Hi Jamie – Thanks for the compliment and your question! I have definitely thought about getting a small mirrorless camera to carry around, but not for Instagram purposes. It’s actually a point of pride for me to be able to say that I captured everything on Instagram with an iPhone, so as of right now, I’m fully committed to my plan of shooting iPhone-only for the duration of my time on Instagram. The only exception would be client work that requires something else (like Nokia or my shoot for Bloomingdale’s which was shot on a GoPro with a drone).

  • Really good episode Andrew.
    Thanks Pei for taking time out of your day to share with us.
    I learned a lot and even bought the SCRWT app during the podcast and am consideting buying Cortex Camera.
    Are you sure you don’t get a cut from all the sales you drive to the apps you use?
    haha, j/k
    Oh yeah, you can add one more follower on IG, too!

  • That was a great interview Andrew. Thanks you.
    I am new to instagram, starting only a few months ago. I thought it was full off teenagers taking selfies. I was completely wrong and I now consider it a marketing tool for sure and have gotten business directly from it.
    The hardest thing is just to get started, but once the ball starts rolling its really easy to maintain. An easy time saver is to use the dropbox app and one day a week upload x amounts of photos that will be your content for the week and then just download one each day (or couple of days) which takes literally about 1 minute.

    • Hi Lanie, glad you enjoyed the episode and thanks for adding your comments.

      It’s funny you mention dropbox as a way to keep a fodder of images ready to go for Instagram – or any asocial media – I do EXACTLY that and talked about it in this weeks episode. Great minds think alike 🙂

      In addition to Dropbox, Min Wye from this weeks episode also had a great workflow idea/tip – he has created a series of Lightroom outputs that send edited images to different folders for each of his social media accounts all at the best sizes and resolutions for that account. Pretty cool and something that only needs to be set up once.

      Great to have you listening and commenting!

      Speak soon

  • Once again, I enjoyed this interview. I’ve been using Instagram more strategically lately to promote my photography and have found it very good to generate interest. I will continue to use hashtags as much as possible though. I may cut back once I have close to 1 million followers tho!

    One thing I’ve noticed with Instagram is that it compresses the hell out of my photos that I have taken on a DSLR and not my phone. So, I looked into it and, just as a tip, if you optimise the shot for the web before you upload it, it doesn’t compress it nearly as bad!

    • Thanks Rahim – I’ve noticed your strategic use of Instagram for your fitness photography and it’s good to see and read about the success you’re having.

      The hashtag comments from Pei were interesting and I can see both points of view. I myself get tired of seeing tons of hashtags on a post but I appreciate why photographers are using them. I haven’t unfollowed anyone for using too many myself, not if I enjoy their photography anyway.

      Cool tip re the ‘optimising for web’ – this is where setting up output presets in Ligtroom (as Min Wye talked about in his episode) is a terrific way to deal with photos for different social media applications.