Protecting my New Nikon D5 Cameras

Price $39.95

I can tell you a few downsides of buying a new camera. First, when it is unique, some changes will be necessary.

One of the changes I had to go through was not having my EasyCover for the Nikon D5 to protect it for a couple of months. I just got mine last week. I bought two of the two cameras. I even made one different than the other to know which camera I was shooting. Different covers help when I need to know which camera I am shooting with due to a few things. One may be I set up one for video and the other for stills.

Another reason maybe one is set for studio flash and the other available. There are many reasons you may need to know or remember which camera is which.

One of the cameras has camouflage, and the other is black.

The great thing about getting a new camera is all the improvements, and EasyCover also made improvements over the Nikon D4 cover.

At first glance, it may look very similar, but they did listen to users and found that the Nikon D4 cover made it difficult to see your buttons. When Nikon made the Nikon D4, they improved it by creating a backlight inside the controls so you could turn on a light to see which button, but the EasyCover covered them, and you could still push them; you just lost this fantastic enhancement.

Now you can easily see your buttons on the Nikon D5. Unfortunately, they kept covering just a few, as you can see above.

Now, those who shoot with a different camera make many other covers, including lens covers. Check out all their bodies for cameras here.

A camera cover is one of the best investments anyone can make for their camera. I like to describe it as similar to my Otterbox for my Smartphone. It protects the camera.

Now, if I can get Pocketwizard to update the firmware for the Flex TT5 & TT1 for the Nikon D5, I will be thrilled.

Students’ first Missions Multimedia Storytelling packages

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 5600, ƒ/5.6, 1/100

I have had a great week in Kona, Hawaii, teaching Sébastien Pannatier and Jessie Toney Multimedia Storytelling.

Dennis Fahringer, pictured above on the left, is the YWAM School of Photography 2 leader that invited me to teach.

Neither student had ever shot video on their cameras. They had never plugged an external microphone into their cameras. The students had never done this type of storytelling before.

Now the subjects were unavailable whenever we needed them, and we had to work around their availability, which could have been the deal breaker for these stories. Still, through persistence, they each could do formal sit-down interviews and capture their stories.

Like everyone who has done a project like this and our first one, we wish we all had more b-roll in the end. I told the students that I had never felt like I had enough b-roll on any project.

Rather than me making you read a lot, here are their first projects. Please let them know by commenting below if you have some words of encouragement as they leave for Rio De Janeiro next week to spend a month capturing stories around the Olympics.

Produced by Jessie Toney

Produced by Sébastien Pannatier

Start with the Audience

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, 

Have you ever seen the acronym WIIFM? It stands for What’s In It For Me. It is the essential part of telling a story. But, first, you must understand who the audience is to craft a story that will appeal to their desires.

What’s In It For Me, are without a doubt, the most important five letters in your business writing, your Web site, and maybe even in your business success. Always tell people what’s in it for them when they do business with you.

You will likely appeal to no one if you try to reach everyone.
Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 32000, ƒ/9, 1/100
Think of you talking one-on-one with someone in your audience. It would help to have the audience in mind before picking the story.
For there to be a story, we have these basic four things:
  1. Subject 
  2. They WANT something
  3. They overcome obstacles
  4. To get it
The audience wants something too. The audience wants to be part of the story. The audience in a call to action can be the helper for the subject to attain their wants.
When I am teaching Missions Multimedia Storytelling Workshop, the hardest part of the learning for the student, which is their obstacle, has less to do about learning to use the gear. Instead, the real struggle is understanding the storyline.
They must toss out so much because it isn’t engaging the audience. 
I get the deer in the headlights looking over and over from students when they show me their work, and I ask why I should care.
They are crafting a story they are interested in, not one for the audience.
In the hero’s journey storytelling model discovered by Joseph Campbell and modified by Chris Vogler, there is a meeting of the mentor usually in Act 1. The mentor can be the role of the audience when it comes to the call to action for helping the subject attain their goal.
A good storyteller understands that the Audience, Subject, and even you as a storyteller all have a storyline. The key to the success story is when the Audience, Subject, and even you as a storyteller are all able to get what they want.
If your story seems stuck, check and see which of the storylines [Audience, Subject, Storyteller] is having problems.
One of the key things to evaluate is constantly asking how this helps us achieve our WANTS/GOAL if it doesn’t look at cutting it out.

Interviewing Techniques for Kona, Hawaii Multimedia Storytellers

Nikon D5, AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 280, ƒ/8, 1/100

When I teach students photography, multimedia, and storytelling, I often reflect on the content.

Nikon D5, AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 100, ƒ/5.6, 1/1250

When I was down at South Point on The Big Island of Hawaii, I saw how all the trees were leaning in one direction.

Nikon D5, AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 100, ƒ/10, 1/200

When I say all the trees, I mean all the trees are leaning from a constant wind. The wind is so consistent and promising that they use windmills for wind power.

Nikon D5, AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 100, ƒ/7.1, 1/800

While this strong wind is excellent, it will affect the landscape. Well, when I teach, I am trying hard not to make so much of an impression it looks like my students are too overpowered.

Some of the things we discussed today was interviewing techniques. Now when I teach with my friends Jeff Raymond and James Dockery, we compile a list of tips we give to the students. Here is that list, plus some that I have added this week:

  1. Remember, the audience doesn’t know the question from the interviewer if they are not recorded or on camera. Therefore, remind the subject to restate the question in their answer.
  2. Write down at least five good questions beforehand.
    1. Listen to their responses and be ready to deviate from your list
    2. Listen as if you only hear their words, not the question you asked
  3. Ask open-ended questions
    1. Ask questions that the subject CAN’T answer with a ‘yes’ or ‘no.’
  4. Ask “how” and “why” questions.
    1. If the person speaks in the abstract, ask, “Can you give me an example of that?”
  5. Dig for anecdotes and details
    1. Ask the person to tell you precisely what happened moment by moment
    2. Ask for specific details along the way.
  6. Understand them and their story
    1. Try to see the world through their eyes.
    2. Remember, it’s not your story. Get the subject’s story right.
  7. Ask your questions, then be quiet. Use silence, and don’t be afraid of it. No noises to affirm them. Affirm with gestures. Your noises will distract from the sound quality. 
    1. Don’t finish their sentences.
    2. Be a good listener. Sit still as they wrestle with what they are trying to say.
  8. Coach the person to speak with the passion they feel about the subject.
    1. Can you say that again, but with more feeling?
    2. Remember, they may be pretty up tight in front of the camera and need not just to relax but bring the emotion through their voice.
  9. Get the basic details right
    1. Get the spelling of their name (business card, or have them write it down).
  10. Clarify
    1. If something they said didn’t make sense, ask for clarification.
    2. Review your footage while you’re still overseas, where follow-up is much easier than after you go home.
  11. Please get to know your subject before interviewing them. Learning more about the subject will not just help the subject be more relaxed but help you understand how to interview the subject and perhaps help the subject relax.
  12. You can interview at the end of the coverage and not at the beginning. I find it is easier to have someone sum up what we saw today than have the subject talk about a lot of stuff that I never caught on camera by the end of that, again. But, again, this helps you from lacking in b-roll or images. 
  13. Ask the subject to summarize what you have seen that day. While you may not use all of this, it will help you with a starting place for the narrative.
  14. Mirror them. Keep the subject going by nodding and smiling.
  15. Keep them on topic. If you have two or more interviews in your package planned, then each person needs to know what they are covering. Sometimes I break it down to let one person tell me why something happened, and the other explains what they did to make it happen. 
  16. Help them revise their comments. Often I need about 30 to 45 seconds of words, and a person may talk for more than 5 minutes. If I were to edit it later, there would not be a good flow. I try and help them summarize what they just said or even edit. When I say edit–I mean cutting content.
  17. Get variety. I like to record longer comments often and then follow up with them, making them short. Sometimes I use the longer word. Get another direction, just in case. Doing this for a few minutes often engages their minds, and they find a new way to articulate themselves. Allow for this to happen.

Remember that you don’t need them to tell you everything in words. You will also help communicate a good part of what they do with visuals you will capture and use as a b-roll. It would help if you told you the things the visuals don’t convey. While you have a visual that shows something happening, it often doesn’t help the audience know why.

The story will be unique if you do a good job interviewing. The branches of the report can be like Angel Oak Park on Johns Island near Charleston, South Carolina. Angel Oak is estimated to be 500 years old. The subject’s character will shine through and be who they are rather than all the wind forcing its power on the tree.

Nikon D750, AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED, ISO 400, ƒ/8, 1/250


Tips to get better tourist photos

Nikon D5, AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 4000, ƒ/5.6, 1/500

While shooting my photos of the Kilauea Volcano in the Hawaiian Volcano National park, you cannot help but notice everyone else taking pictures.

Nikon D5, AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 100, ƒ/5, 1/500

One family was doing this in the traditional way of having a stranger use their camera/smartphone to take photos.

Nikon D5, AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 100, ƒ/5. 1/1000

The other thing we saw a lot of was the selfie sticks.

Nikon D5, AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 110, ƒ/11, 1/100

Now, if you had a real camera, you most likely have a lens that will get you and your friends into the photo without a selfie stick.

Nikon D5, AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 100, ƒ/5, 1/640

I was watching these three ladies in the shade, and just a second ago, they were taking photos of the volcano away from them. But they couldn’t see their screens in the sun, so they backed up to get the picture.

The downside is that the only way people get close-up shots is to zoom in.

When you zoom in on your smartphone, you are not zooming; you are cropping in on the image and now shooting a more pixelated version. As long as it looks good on the phone, you are OK as long as everyone sees it on the phone, but if people see it on their computer monitor or even large screen TV, it will not look so good.

Nikon D5, AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 32000, ƒ/3.5, 1/500

While the guy has a camera with a zoom, the lady has an auxiliary lens she puts onto her photo to help her get closer without cropping. She is doing the same thing as a person with an interchangeable lens. She put another lens on her camera phone to get closer.

Nikon D5, AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 65535, ƒ/3.5, 1/160

Many of these camera phones do a great job. This photo here of Akaka falls with my DROID TURBO by Motorola. It is a 16-megapixel camera that does well.

Now here is the same shot with my Nikon D5.

Nikon D5, AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 100, ƒ/5, 1/400

Basically, in good sunlight, smartphones do a great job.

Now the tip I would like to share with you is that if you can fill the frame of your smartphone without cropping, then most of the latest and greatest smartphones do an excellent job in sunlight. Once-in-a-lifetime events require a camera with a zoom. So you will get better photos that you can see on other devices and even make wall prints with excellent results.

Now one final tip. Even if you have the right gear, don’t walk backward to stand in the shade so you can see your monitor. Instead, take your second hand and create the shade to see your screen.

My calling to be a photojournalist

Nikon D2X, Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX, ISO 800, ƒ/2.8, 1/20

Back in high school, I felt a call to be a preacher. For those unfamiliar with this kind of language, I will explain this a little more.

A vocation (from Latin vocātiō, meaning “a call, summons”) is an occupation to which a person is specially drawn or for which she/he is suited, trained, or qualified. Though now often used in non-religious contexts, the meanings of the term originated in Christianity.

In my Christian tradition, we believe that one is responding to God.

After this, I heard the Lord ask, “Is there anyone I can send? Will someone go for us?”

“I’ll go,” I answered. “Send me!” – Isaiah 6:8

While early in my career, I would say that when I decided not to go to seminary after getting my Social Work undergraduate degree, I took a detour; now, I would say I was learning how to tell stories.

While working on my master’s thesis on Don Rutledge, I realized I was a preacher. So here is what I wrote in my thesis:

After talking with Don, this writer felt redirected in his call to be a minister who used the camera as a central part of his ministry.  Many who are Christian photojournalists have struggled with the call.  In many ways, the Christian photojournalist is a preacher.  The photojournalist’s illustrations are not done with words in the pulpit but with photographs on the printed page.

Today I would change that last line to say with still/motion images used in many mediums to tell the story.

Nikon D2X, Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX, ISO 800, ƒ/2.8, 1/30

The men in these photos are pastors in Burkina Faso, learning how to be effective preachers to lead their congregations.

In 1992 a few of my friends started the Southwestern Photojournalism Seminar in Fort Worth, Texas. To help identify who we were, we came up with this sentence:

The Southwestern Photojournalism Conference is the conference for those who believe photojournalism to be a calling and the act of bearing witness to be important.

I believe all photojournalists are responding to a call. Those who agree to the profession’s code of ethics that you can find here seek truth and communicate that to their audience.

The hardest part of the code of ethics to me is trying to be sure you are being truthful. Being truthful means, you must spend time getting to know the story. It would help if you dug to be sure you are representing the subject accurately and that after seeing your account will feel that you accurately described the subject’s story.

I learned how to exegete scripture While in seminary.

Exegesis includes a wide range of critical disciplines: textual criticism is the investigation into the history and origins of the text, but exegesis may include the study of the historical and cultural backgrounds for the author, the text, and the original audience. Other analysis includes classification of the type of literary genres present in the text, and an analysis of grammatical and syntactical features in the text itself.

I went to seminary after working as a photojournalist for more than six years. I found that the skill was pretty similar to what a journalist does to be sure they understand a story.

My call story is unique to me but has a lot of similarities to some biblical characters like Jacob, Joseph, and even Moses.

Looking back through the lives of these biblical characters, you see how God took each thing that often was a struggle to help prepare them for their calling.

Moses complained about his voice to God. I was born with Autism. Both of us complained about our struggle to communicate.

I can tell you that the camera brought me great comfort in helping me navigate this world. I am so thankful that my father, a Baptist preacher, advised me to be central in either Social Work or Business as an undergraduate and that I would get all my biblical studies in seminary.

Majoring in Social Work taught me how to listen with my ears and eyes. I learned how to ask questions to get to the bottom of a problem. I also learned about body language and how to read people. Social work would later help me tremendously with a camera and recognize why specific photos were better at communicating than others.

While my intention of going to seminary to get my master’s in communication to return to the church to do photojournalism, the required courses in education and theology would genuinely teach me more skills that I use today.

Nikon D2X, Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX, ISO 800, ƒ/2.8, 1/60

Had I not been willing to take a different direction by becoming a photojournalist, I might be a pastor today of a congregation. Each week I would prepare a sermon and speak to my community. Pastors equip the saints to do the work of the church.

However, because I followed the call to use photojournalism as my pulpit, the audiences I have reached through different newspapers, magazines, online media, and the list goes on is not a few hundred. Still, I am touching the world with the photos I have been privileged by my subjects with their help to capture so that audiences will understand the world in which they live better than they did before they saw these images.

I believe I am equipping the saints by educating them with photos, text/audio, and even cinema that helps to deliver stories to them so that they can take action to make this world even better because they now know more than they knew before.

My favorite thing today is to teach others who feel called into this profession of photojournalism/storyteller and equip them to do even more than I could.

Monday morning devotional for photographers

Nikon D4, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM | S, Sigma TC-2001 2x, ISO 12800, ƒ/5.6, 1/1250

There are many reasons in sports they tell you to keep your eye on the ball. However, all of them have something in common. There are many distractions in the game.

Studies on golfers showed that those who kept their eye on the ball sank more putts than those who didn’t.

They discovered that when you look at the ball, then the target, and back to the ball, the brain desperately tries to process all that information, which can yield unwanted results. So by glancing at the target first, then focusing on the ball, you narrow the mental chatter and get a more accurate shot.

The technique where before you act, you focus your gaze on the salient aspects of your goal—the rim, the catcher’s mitt, the malignant tissue, and so on is called “Quiet Eye.”

The quiet-eye technique stimulates the dorsal area of the brain, which regulates focused, goal-directed attention. It may also suppress activity in the ventral region, which oversees stimulus-driven engagement—the kind that keeps track of a scattered, fluid set of variables.

Not So Easy

According to researchers, the focusing times are as short as a fifth of a second between beginner and expert.

Nikon D4, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 2500, ƒ/6.3, 1/5000

The moral to the story of “Little Red Riding Hood” is that children must obey their parents and that they must never talk to strangers. Even an amiable stranger is capable of having bad intentions.

Nikon D5, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM | S, Sigma TC-2001 2x, ISO 10000, ƒ/5.6, 1/400

Red Riding Hood is distracted by the Wolf, and we know what happens to her grandmother because of her not listening to her mother and not talking to strangers.

What is my ball?

I continually ask myself what the ball I should concentrate on today is. What is the target that I should be focusing my attention on now?

I go to scripture to help me discover the ball for today.

Timothy, you belong to God, so keep away from all these evil things. Try your best to please God and to be like him. Be faithful, loving, dependable, and gentle. Fight a good fight for the faith and claim eternal life. God offered it to you when you clearly told about your faith, while so many people listened. – 1 Timothy 6:11-12

We must do the right thing by being faithful, loving, dependable, and gentle. Those words are verbs implying action.

“I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” ― Martin Luther

Martin Luther was incredibly, overwhelmingly busy. His calendar was always full. And yet, despite his incredible workload, he found praying necessary. He had to meet with God before meeting with the day’s cares. He would not dive into his day without first being refreshed by the Lord. He knew he couldn’t serve the Lord well without first asking God for help.

I do not know what your ball is for today. I know that you will be more likely to find it through prayer. Taking the time to stop and spend time being still will let your mind calm itself. You will be able to concentrate and have that “Quiet Eye” moment where you can eliminate all those distractions keeping you from seeing the ball.

Less is more for the Storyteller

The more I teach, the more I believe you can do much more with much less.

To be a successful photographer, you need camera gear, but I believe this is something you acquire over time, not something even if you had unlimited funds to buy everything you think you will ever need.

If you want to join me in my multimedia workshop in Honduras, this is the basic kit I recommend:

  1. DSLR or Mirrorless camera and lens
    1. Microphone input
    2. Headphone output
  2. Lavalier microphone
  3. Headphones rather than earbuds
  4. Tripod
  5. LCD Viewfinder
  6. Laptop
    1. Adobe Premier or Final Cut
    2. Photo editing software [Adobe Lightroom]
While keeping your gear essential can help you concentrate more on capturing than figuring out how to use all that gear, you will be surprised that as a teacher, I am focusing on getting you walking rather than running.



We need to remember why you are learning how to do multimedia storytelling. You have a person/organization wanting to get their message out to an audience to get them involved.

In pure journalism, the reporter keeps their audience informed so they can choose how they want to get involved. Most of the time, this is through their voting, volunteering, or even advocacy work they may choose to do.


Unless you are independently wealthy, you cannot be creating stories just for yourself because it is fun. While the subjects you will cover may want people to get involved, the audience will determine if they think it is compelling enough to warrant their attention.
An audience is more motivated to take action when something impacts them. Again this is why journalists keep the story’s impact on the audience paramount. 
Once you understand who your audience is and what concerns them finding those stories they might be interested in is far more effective than just finding exciting stories for you. 

The Story

You must dig deep and know far more about the subject than you will ever tell in a story. We have heard the analogy used repeatedly, but speaking just the tip of the iceberg story is so essential to make it an engaging story.
While facts are super important in a story, emotions connect and pull the audience into the story much more than facts.
I would say that the facts are the Queen of the story, but the emotions are the King of the story.
There are two effective ways to capture emotions: 1) Visuals & 2) Words.
I believe the most impactful visual is the still photo because people need to pause on the image to absorb a genuinely emotional moment. But, just as importantly, I think the audio recording of the human voice is the most powerful way to communicate emotions. So, in combination, you can deliver that one-two punch.

“I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”
― Mark Twain

The most powerful stories are well crafted and keep you on the edge of your seat. To do so takes a lot of time. Time to understand the audience, the subject, and the storytelling skills to craft a captivating story.

Come with Gary S. Chapman and me to Honduras. We have great stories that need telling, and many audiences want to hear those stories.

Watch background and lighting ratios in your photos.

Nikon D750, Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM, ISO 50, ƒ/7.1, 1/160

When I shoot something in the studio, as simple as this setup is here, I test a few things to be sure all the lights are as I want for the final image.

Here is the setup for the photo above:

Watch your backgrounds

One of the things all photographers need to pay attention to is their backgrounds. Now, not just compositionally, but just as important is the golden ratio compared to the subject. For the most part, you want it to be more brightly.

Here, your eye goes to the background, not the subject I want your watch to go to first. Pay attention to this when you are shooting in natural light.

How do you fix this? You can move the subject or your feet and circle the subject until you find a darker background. You can also add more light to the subject. You can do that with a reflector or a flash, for example.

Another thing that can help your photos is a backlight shining on the subject to create a rim light.

Here, there is a light just slightly behind the subject pointed down. Now, here, it is a little too bright. But sometimes, it can work.

Nikon D4, Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.8G, ISO 50, ƒ/2.8, 1/60

Here are a few more examples of backlighting:

Nikon D3S, AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D, ISO 200, ƒ/2.8, 1/400
Nikon D3, AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D, ISO 200, ƒ/1.4, 1/4000

The photos show how the background is slightly darker than the subject. With photography, you can take control of this with your camera. In all three portraits, I use an auxiliary flash off the camera to brighten the subject enough so that the sunlit areas in the background are correctly exposed.

Three tips to remember:

  • Watch your background
  • Use Backlight
  • Watch the ratio of light on the subject versus the background.

Photographers need to understand difference between Captions & Keywords

Are you looking for a photo? How do you find what you need?

Well, most people look for photos. They need to type a few words into a search window and then look at their results.

Two main fields are embedded in photographs that are the principal places search engines look for matches: the Description/Caption and Keyword fields of the Metadata.

Image Metadata is information attached to image files that provide details about the picture. This is commonly used for title, description, keywords, and location information. Metadata can be added from the camera the photo was taken with or added by the photographer in their image editing software.

The image above is a screen grab of the metadata of this photograph using the software PhotoMechanic.

If it is just you looking for your images, then whatever you want to do to help you jog your memory will help, but that will not work for people who do not know what your image looks like.

Now there are two ways people are looking for a photograph. The most searched way would most likely be looking for a picture to be used that fits a theme. These are generic searches.

To find the photo above, they may search for phrases like: “basketball,” “men’s college basketball,” or “college basketball.”

Now, if those terms are spelled exactly in the Keywords Metadata field, then the odds are pretty good the photo will find its way to their computer screen.

“Keyword” field is limited to generic terms

Once the person sees your photo, they most likely will not open special photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, or PhotoMechanic to see what keywords were used for this photo.

They may have even used a different keyword like “competition” to find the image. Now, look at the very top image that shows the fields. A person must take some time to look at a picture, think about how the photograph might be used, and create a keyword for how someone might look up such a photo. Commas separate keywords. The words between the commas will determine if the photo matches someone’s search.

There is a second way a person will look for a photograph, and this is based on something specific like personal names. This is where a generic photo will not work.

To find the photo above, the person might search for “Eric Williams,” “Will Bynum,” or “Theodis Tarver” because they are writing something about them.

When this person downloads the photograph, the odds are very high that they will open photo editing software to read the CAPTION. This is because, most likely, they will use that information with the photograph when they publish it.

“Caption” field contains the specifics about a photo

New field

Now with the plugin LR/INSTAGRAM, you can publish your photos to your Instagram account. There is one more field that you can work in a while using Lightroom. You have to go to the Metadata and select in the pull-down menu LR/Instagram. Then you can see the fields that you want to use when posting to Instagram. You want to use the #hashtag field, and I recommend also using the caption field, which is the same as the IPTC caption field.

#hastags function just like your keywords. If they do, why don’t you use the keywords for publishing? They are missing the # symbol social media uses to signal a keyword from the caption information.

Now, if you are Social Media literate, you will know the difference between #hashtags and captions. Just remember that:

#hashtag = (keyword – #)

Why does all this work? $$$$$$$$$$ Yes, the main reason you would want to do this is so you can make your images findable on the web and then sell them. Two ways your photos are sold–Prints for personal use or Licensing an image for use [stock photography].

I use PhotoShelter to do both of these for me. Here are links to learn how you can make money with your images:

Stock Sales on PhotoShelter

Print Sales on PhotoShelter

The key to either of these is the ability of someone to find your images; they need you to fill in the caption information and the keyword information for them to find your pictures.

Why Instagram is great for photographers


Instagram is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing, and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, and share them either publicly or privately on the app, as well as through a variety of other social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr. – Wikipedia

How do you find work?

To get hired, you need to find your audience. Where the clients hang out is where your potential clients are that you want to show your work.

Many years ago, photojournalists and photographers got work by flying to places like New York and making appointments at as many publications or agencies that they could pack together in a few days to a week.

It was common for people to spend $3,000 to $6,000 on transportation, hotel, and miscellaneous expenses to show their work. Most photographers would have a few books. Each of these books costs a few hundred dollars or more to produce. You often would drop off your book and hope they would give you a call. So having a few books were essential to get your work out there.

Today clients are more likely to ask you to send them a link to your website. Face-to-face meetings are more reserved for actual projects than just seeing people’s work.

How do you get their attention today?

Twitter might be the best way to get your work noticed if you are a writer.

Twitter is an online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called “tweets”. Registered users can read and post tweets, but those who are unregistered can only read them. – Wikipedia

It is essential to note the difference between Twitter and Instagram. Twitter is about sharing TEXT, and the programmers set up Instagram for PHOTOS/VIDEOS.

While you can post photos on Twitter, the audience expects mainly text. Instagram requires an image or photo because that is what the audience expects.

People like Instagram because it is visual, and this is the audience that will appreciate your images.

Your Target Audience uses Instagram.

The odds are that your audience [Potential Customers] uses Instagram. Go to and search the names of the companies you want to work with in the future.

I searched for Delta Air Lines, and before I could finish typing, it popped up first.

When you go to their account, they tell you to share your travel pics and use the hashtag #Delta.

Hashtags are a pound sign immediately followed by a keyword. They’re used for categorization on social media.

Instagram is another hotspot for hashtags, and the good news for those who love to tag photos extensively is that there doesn’t seem to be a saturation point.

Interactions are highest on Instagram posts with 11+ hashtags.

Now here is another tip. If you use @Delta, whoever manages the Instagram feed for Delta gets an alert/email that you have tagged them.

@NAME is the business account. So only the account holder will get an email, whereas the hashtag is something anyone who follows that hashtag will see.

Believe me there is someone at Delta paying attention to those posts. If they like it they may share your post and if they really like your style they may end up hiring you to shoot material for their Instagram feed and other projects.


While I just showed you the backdoor to getting your work in front of potential clients, you must use this technique in such a way as to be relevant to your potential client.

If you tag your photo with @NAMEOFBUSINESS, it is sure that the image is something they would post on their account.


Here is a post where I and tagging Coca-Cola.

Here is a post that I tagged Nescafe.

I also used hashtags for the country and region of the world.

Remember that using the correct account name and hashtags to get in front of your potential customers doesn’t mean success. Your images must be compelling, and they must think your work style is worth pursuing.

Now here are some of the Instagram accounts I follow because I think they are relevant and reaching an audience:

I follow many others, but this is a good sample. In my opinion, most successful photographers use Instagram to marry the text and images, so there is a short story.
I have noticed that most successful people tend to stay on theme for their Instagram posts. 
Be careful how you evaluate Instagram accounts!!!! Please do not base your opinions on what you think about their work alone. I highly recommend taking the time to analyze a budget and figure out why they have 40K+ followers. Humans of NY has 5.5 million followers. Now, if you are a trained photojournalist, you may find fault with the work of some of these Instagram celebrities. Don’t discount them. Learn from them and then put your personal touch on your posts using some of their techniques.