One of the biggest questions I get when photographers consult with me about managing their brand on Instagram is: "Should I create a business page separate from my personal page?" This discussion was started on the Instagram for Business group by Martin Bonden, who asked what I thought about creating a business page on top of a personal page, as opposed to having just the one. Here are a few reasons why I like to keep mine all in one page as a professional photographer.
I have always known my personal and business page as one and the same but then again it's all I've known. Given I have done work for various other businesses in the past it does push a great question overall and though in the end it's up to you and how you feel it all fits within your image and overall work flow. The biggest pain in the ass has to be the lack of a switch between accounts quickly on IG though that is NOT the reason why I don't have a business page. I have a few live accounts currently along with another handful that I mange for clients on the side. I have no issue with logging in and out of each to post and engage inside each. Obviously it takes more time but in the end a few seconds to flip out and back into an account is not that hard and simply keeps me from accidently falling into one account and posting the wrong material like I have done on Twitter or Facebook.
Now, I started on the app fairly early on, just a few weeks after it went live. I created the personal page for fun under a nickname I got when I was in high school, a name I was already used to years before, thanks to my last name being "Griswold." My older brother was "Big Gris" and my younger was "Little Gris." I was just known as "The Gris," thanks to a few close friends making that decision for me. Now, I have thought about a business page before, but in the end, I feel they are both one and the same. As beautiful as a business page that features only your absolute best work and professional life is, the personal aspects of my own page show I am still human and will post what I feel fits my style and overall branding and image. It's helped me nail jobs I would have never got with wasting time jumping back and forth, fighting for various clients on a business-only style page.
As I said above, having simply one page where I feature some of my best professional work alongside my day-to-day life has brought me projects I would have never had the chance to work on if it weren't for that simple fact. It's all about finding that look or style of your own that can be adapted to many genres of shooting you truly enjoy. For example, the sample of shots below are snapshots from around my own city, shot on none other than my iPhone. Though to be completely honest, I shoot professionally with my phone 90% of the time anyway, but those photos were seen by some of the biggest names in the city, some of which eventually hired me to shoot for them, including The Conrad Hotel. The first photo is a shot of a local photographer venturing to the pool lounge in the hotel while on a photowalk. It is paired with the second photo, taken a couple weeks later when the hotel hired me to come back, stay, and shoot the location for a local magazine.
This is the Insta-meet that landed us inside the pool area of The Conrad Hotel.
This photo was featured in a local magazine.
The photos below were a more recent experience with the same brand, as I got to stay in newer suites added this year to help share more user-based photos, rather than the standard interior environmental shots you become so accustomed to seeing in magazines and on billboards these days. This has been a running client of mine for almost two years, thanks to that one simple photo in their pool lounge, when we ducked indoors to warm up while on a freezing winter photowalk. I host a photowalk each month with my local Instagram group @igersindy and have for almost three years. One photo, that honestly was taken strictly because we were hunting for locations to explore while in the winter months, turned into a multiyear client.
Though I strongly believe these two page styles should always be combined on the Instagram platform, there is one example in which this might be okay: someone with a very niche brand image. Some people have very specific niche styles in which their personal eye can never match what they do professionally and vice versa. For example, when someone shoots high fashion day in and day out, leaving them very little room to snap a random photo of their breakfast between models strutting down the runway, it could become a bit of an eyesore. Then again, each photographer has their own style and if done well, a creative eye can shoot anything with perfect execution, making it flow seamlessly together in one portfolio — in this case, a single Instagram page.
Do you have a personal and business account? Why? Or, do you mix both the personal and business-related material on one page? We would love to hear what people think of this topic! Give some solid reasons specifically for having both in this day and age. I especially would love to hear what people think of photographers in niche markets mixing and matching unrelated content with their day-to-day shooting style and brand image.