Instagrammers to Follow – January Edition

January 19, 2017 | carrie

Grace and Jaden Photography- Portland Oregon Wedding Photographers Photo by Grace & Jaden

It’s a New Year, so why not give your Instagram game a refresh? Check out our Instagrammers of the month and hear what they have to say about using Instagram to grow your photography business.


instagrammers-to-follow-january-2017-lato-photography-94 Photo by Latophotography

At the moment we think Instagram is the best social media platform for a photographer. Instagram gives you more visibility, it’s very easy to use, and it’s also the best way to find inspiration.

instagrammers-to-follow-january-2017-lato-photography-91 Photo by Latophotography

instagrammers-to-follow-january-2017-lato-photography-92 Photo by Latophotography

Your wall is more important than any single image that you share so you have to find a good way to share the strongest photos that match with the others. Also, be sure to use the right hashtag. We only use hashtags connected with the photo’s story, the place, the mood, and sometimes the technique (analog, digital, type of preset etc…).

instagrammers-to-follow-january-2017-lato-photography-93 Photo by Latophotography

Our most popular photo we have shared is the image below. We love this photo because it’s a different way to “pose” the couple during the portrait session and we think it has been the key to its success. A lot of people said that it looks like a painting so probably the editing, light and colors made it stronger.

instagrammers-to-follow-january-2017-lato-photography-90 Photo by Latophotography

Sam Arroyo@misssamnthasmith

instagrammers-to-follow-january-2017-sam-arroyo-90 Photo by Sam Arroyo

Instagram is my favorite! It allows me to connect with my clients, scout locations for shoots as well as hikes (thank you location tagging!), and share my favorite work with others. I’ve made so many awesome friends and seen so many incredible places thanks to Instagram. It’s such a great space to share your life and work altogether.

instagrammers-to-follow-january-2017-sam-arroyo-91 Photo by Sam Arroyo

Don’t post something just to post it; love it or leave it out. Some people will see your work for the first time through Instagram and you want to give them the best sense of who you are and what you love.

Never underestimate the power of useful hashtags. I was never a huge fan of them but my husband and I started using the hashtag #adventuretimearroyos to document our adventures. We ended up booking a client from that hashtag!

Also engaging with others is so important! I’ve made it a priority to like, comment, and direct message people more. Strive to build personal relationships with other humans instead of just dumping images and not contributing anything else. Be involved.

instagrammers-to-follow-january-2017-sam-arroyo-92 Photo by Sam Arroyo

My most popular image is below. I feel like my most popular images are those that showcase real emotion and the connection that two people can share. Showcasing that connection in an amazing location, like Yosemite, also helps.

instagrammers-to-follow-january-2017-sam-arroyo-93 Photo by Sam Arroyo

Grace + Jaden@spacewolfgrace

Grace and Jaden Photography- Portland Oregon Wedding Photographers Photo by Grace & Jaden

To say that Instagram has been important for the growth of our business would be an understatement. Instagram has been a game changer for us. It’s brought us opportunities we never thought possible, connected us with an amazing community of people who are now some of our real-life best friends, allowed us to travel to amazing places, and work with huge brands, but more importantly, it has inspired us to become better photographers!

Grace and Jaden Photography- Portland Oregon Wedding Photographers Photo by Grace & Jaden

Grace and Jaden Photography- Portland Oregon Wedding Photographers Photo by Grace & Jaden

My best advice for anyone looking to grow their account is simple: post quality work and be cohesive, but more than anything, JUST BE YOURSELF. It’s easy to slap some generic quote in your caption or to use a bot that accidentally comments “great shot” on a photo of someone’s grandma’s funeral for you (awkward). But if you really want to grow, you need to engage. You need to be real. Post what you like, talk how you like, do what you want, and don’t worry about anything else.

Grace and Jaden Photography- Portland Oregon Wedding Photographers Photo by Grace & Jaden

When we first started actively instagramming, we were really passionate about showing people how much we loved our home state of Oregon. We built a strong community of people that loved travel and landscape photography, and even though we are primarily wedding photographers, the photos of ours that do the best will probably always be the ones that show big epic views. We’re totally cool with that, though, and we’ve really pushed ourselves to find creative ways to use those landscapes in our wedding work.

Grace and Jaden Photography- Portland Oregon Wedding Photographers Photo by Grace & Jaden

Jess Hunter@iamjesshunter

instagrammers-to-follow-january-2017-jess-hunter-90 Photo by Jess Hunter

Instagram has allowed me to reach people that I would never have otherwise, whether that be clients or other photographers. I’ve been able to use a more directed, targeted type of marketing since it’s a place that I can blend who I am along with sharing the photos I love most, which helps draw in my ideal clients and ones that I really love to work with. Not only that, but I have found some of my favorite vendors to work with through Instagram, who I then collaborated with on shoots, and this leads to us getting booked together a lot now. Working with these types of vendors also means they are often sharing my photos with their own audience, and that gets my work in front of even more of my ideal clients. Instagram has also allowed me to connect with photographers in other parts of the country while I’m traveling, and has led to some incredible real life friendships. It kind of blows my mind that this little app has been such an amazing tool for me both personally and professionally.

instagrammers-to-follow-january-2017-jess-hunter-91 Photo by Jess Hunter

instagrammers-to-follow-january-2017-jess-hunter-92 Photo by Jess Hunter

Posting constantly is when I notice my following and engagement grow the most. I’ve also spent time engaging with other photographers or vendors who align with my own brand or style. It’s important to only interact if you’re genuine interested in others, rather than being inauthentic and engaging just to have people follow you. I also am careful to only post photos that fit my brand, or my core values, as well as have a consistent look that represents my editing style. Even when I post personal photos of my life or kids, they still tend to flow very well with the rest of my feed. I do think it’s important to connect with your following on a deeper level, so sharing your heart and who you are will help your “tribe” feel even closer and more connected to you, rather than just being another photographer they follow. Also, using hashtags that are relevant to the photo or either the type of clients I want to reach has been beneficial to me.

instagrammers-to-follow-january-2017-jess-hunter-93 Photo by Jess Hunter

When I share my personal thoughts, struggles, and aspirations in my captions, I often get heartfelt responses and engagement. The other types of posts that tend to be popular, are, of course, couples in a beautiful setting, specifically where the couple has awesome style. I suppose that is self-explanatory, haha!

instagrammers-to-follow-january-2017-jess-hunter-94 Photo by Jess Hunter

Paige Nelson@paigenelsonphoto

instagrammers-to-follow-january-2017-paige-nelson-92 Photo by Paige Nelson Photography

It kills me a little to think about now, but I was about two years late boarding the Instagram train so I spent a lot of time catching up. Instagram has slowly become one of my greatest marketing channels. This platform has connected me to like-minded, adventure seeking couples and some of my greatest friends in the industry. About half of all my business inquiries come through Instagram, usually after someone discovers my work through hashtags, cross-promotion, or a geolocation.

instagrammers-to-follow-january-2017-paige-nelson-91 Photo by Paige Nelson Photography

Post from the heart. Our Instagram feeds are flooded with beautiful content on an hourly basis, making it so easy to become desensitized to it all. A lot of artists out there are so focused on purely aesthetic, they miss a great opportunity to send out a more powerful message. Don’t underestimate what you have to say and how it will resonate with your followers, and I’m not talking about emojis. I use captioning to dig deeper and make my audience slow their endless scroll. At the end of the day, we are all humans. Be real and be raw. And don’t be afraid to be different – it’s your greatest asset in a social world of sameness. You might not see immediate results by going against the tide, but don’t get discouraged by the numbers. Numbers don’t tell you what kind of artist you are. If you stay true to yourself, it will all be worth it in the end. You will inevitably work with more people who value you FOR your uniqueness.

Intimate Wedding in Big Sur by Paige Nelson Photography Photo by Paige Nelson Photography

Contrary to what you might think, my most popular post was not my most liked. I recently shared a now two-year-old image from my sister and her husband’s wedding in Big Sur. It was really the wedding that started everything for me and it triggered some serious self-reflection of how I got to where I am now. I know how far even a tidbit of inspiration can go on a hard day. I shared a piece of my own passion story, and that led to some beautiful conversations with friends and followers. We see others soar on this platform, but it’s important to remember they didn’t get to where they are now over night. I want people to know the real me. I think people appreciate that rare look behind the curtain every once in awhile.

instagrammers-to-follow-january-2017-paige-nelson-90 Photo by Paige Nelson Photography

instagrammers-to-follow-january-2017-paige-nelson-94 Photo by Paige Nelson Photography

Thanks so much to Lato PhotographySam ArroyoGrace & JadenJess HunterPaige Nelson Photography for sharing their insight with us today!

Have an account you think we should include in our next edition of Instagrammers to Follow? Be sure to let us know below!



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Photographer Spotlight Interview with Roy Nuesca – Hawaii

January 17, 2017 | marissa

All Photos © Roy Nuesca

Viewing the work of Roy Nuesca is a journey through the color wheel that always circles back to the sense of serenity found in his cool, earthy tones. Using water reflections, unique silhouettes, and an always happy-go-lucky sentiment, Nuesca manages to capture both the raw and otherworldly beauty that makes Hawaii one of Earth’s most beautiful places. Growing up with a photographer father, Nuesca’s path to his own photography business was long and uncertain. A few years and a of a steady climb to success and recognition later, he is a shining example that your fate will always find its way.

Go ahead and introduce yourself!:

Hello! My name is Roy Nuesca. I am a destination wedding photographer based out of Honolulu, Hawaii.

Did you find photography or did photography find you?

Photography found me! Pretty funny actually! My dad is a photographer, so I grew up surrounded by it: loads of photo albums, framed photos all over the walls, even a studio at one point! But I just wasn’t interested. Right after high school, I moved to Los Angeles, and my parents bought me a Canon Rebel XT as a going away gift. For some reason, when I left home, photography finally got my attention.

If you could go back and tell yourself anything during your first month of business, what would it be?

You won’t need all that gear!!!!

How has witnessing so many weddings impacted your life/outlook?

For me, it’s a good reminder (since I’m married now) to always learn and improve on my marriage. To never get tired of serving, and to truly learn to put your spouse before yourself.

What workshops have been your favorites and why?

I’ve actually only been to one workshop. It was with my favorite wedding photographer ever – Jonas Peterson. I was the only one that signed up for his Oahu workshop, so it turned out to be a one-on-one session! 

If being a photographer were not an option, what would be your second choice as a profession?

Definitely something with music. Before photography, I played drums in a band for 10+ years.

What do you feel most grateful for about your career, in its current state?

I’m really grateful for the flexibility and all the destination weddings I’ve photographed so far. It truly is an honor to be able to tell other people’s stories from different parts of the world.

From your career, do you have a favorite wedding story or moment?

My favorite moment was when I actually found out how this couple felt throughout the whole wedding process. I usually have a good sense of what people are feeling, but it was difficult to read them. They were really, really nice, but I just couldn’t tell what they were thinking or feeling. They received their package and I was shocked by their response. At that time I didn’t have any reviews online, but thanks to them, I finally got my first review:

“We connected with Roy through email from Australia, he went over everything we wanted to know about and more. When we arrived in Hawaii, Roy met with us and we were blown away by his sincere kindness and professionalism. He understood us like we were old friends and made sure we were comfortable every step of the way” – Rianna & John

I had no idea this is how they felt and it reminded me to always be kind and sincere.

Who or what contributed the most to your current success?

My parents and my wife.

Which of your cameras or lenses is your most precious baby that you cannot live without?

Canon 5d mk IV and my Canon 35mm 1.4 mk II.

What is your favorite image that you’ve taken?  Can you describe how you created it? What is it that makes it different? 

I’ve always wanted to do an elopement up Haleakala in Maui. This year I finally got the chance to do that, and it was just awesome. The crazy thing was I forgot to check the weather. I used a Tripod, Canon mk III with a 24mm, 20-second exposure, and a flash behind the couple (triggered manually).

What is your favorite moment or tradition at weddings?

When the couple can have time to themselves. When they are away from everything, embracing each other, and just soaking it all in.

Have you had a long-standing goal for yourself, either one that is personal or specifically within photography?

Yes! To one day be part of Rangefinder’s 30 Rising Stars or to have a photo chosen to be on Junebug’s “Best of the Best” series. [Guys – since this interview was recorded, Roy, in fact, had an image chosen within our Best of the Best Contest! View his winning image here.]

If you could pick the brain of any professional, dead or alive, who would it be?

Hahaha. Ummm Jonas Peterson, again.

Do you have any advice for those who are just beginning to pursue a photography career?

Keep shooting. Figure out what type of photography you love doing and just go for it!

We hope you enjoyed looking through Roy’s work as much as we did! Feel free to view more in his Junebug portfolio. A big mahalo to Roy for taking part in this interview – congratulations on your approaching one-year wedding anniversary and on your recent win in our Best of the Best Wedding Photography Contest!


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Top Pics of the Week – January 13th

January 13, 2017 | gabby

top-pics-1-13-2017-4 photo by Shelley Richmond

This week’s Top Pics features candid romance in outdoor spaces that border the surreal! A big thanks to Jonnie + GarrettDarren RobertsTerralogicalHelena & LaurentShelley Richmond, Bradford MartensDan Sauer PhotographyJonathan Borba FotografiaBlush PhotographyChris & Ruth Photography, and Nadine Berns Photography for sharing your photo with us this week!

top-pics-1-13-2017-3 photo by Chris & Ruth Photography

top-pics-1-13-2017-10 photo by Dan Sauer Photography

top-pics-1-13-2017-11 photo by Nadine Berns Photography

top-pics-1-13-2017-1 photo by Darren Roberts

top-pics-1-13-2017-2 photo by Blush Photography

top-pics-1-13-2017-5 photo by Jonnie + Garrett

top-pics-1-13-2017-8 photo by Helena & Laurent

top-pics-1-13-2017-6 photo by Terralogical

top-pics-1-13-2017-9 photo by Bradford Martens

top-pics-1-13-2017-7 photo by Jonathan Borba Fotografia

Want your work to be featured in an upcoming Top Pics post? Tag your photos with #photobugcommunity on Instagram, and be sure to check out our Photobug Community Facebook page!


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