Instagram Vs Pinterest: Which is Better for Photographers?

Are you a photographer looking to showcase your portfolio, gain a consistent influx of traffic to your website and market your business effectively? The first step is to decide on the platform you want to invest your time in. It’s a crucial decision since it will be your key lead generator and the place where your work will be the most visible to potential customers. 

We’ve compiled a list of PROS and CONS for both Instagram and Pinterest so you don’t need to worry about countless hours of research and trial and error. Get straight to the fun stuff and start promoting your photography to a large audience!



  • Short-form video is all the rage right now and Instagram is the perfect platform for it! Unlike Pinterest which is photo-centric, through Instagram Reels you can film a studio tour or a behind-the-scenes insight of your camera set up. It’s engaging and interesting, plus it allows your personality to shine!


  • Instagram’s audience is significantly larger. The app has reached 1 billion active users compared to Pinterest’s 200 million users and as you know, more users means a better chance for wider reach.


  • Instagram is primarily a mobile app; you can view content on the desktop, reply to DMs and comment on posts but you can’t upload anything new to your feed. Since e-commerce conversions commonly occur exclusively on desktop, this is a huge downfall for your business.


  • Have you launched a brand new website for your photography portfolio? Want to share it on Instagram? It’s not as straightforward compared to Pinterest. You can share links in your bio but not in posts, and you can only share a link via stories if you have more than 10,000 followers. Many customers, no matter how much they adore your work, will not go through the process of clicking on your profile to find the link, meaning you’ll lose out on a potential sale



  1. Go into your account settings and click ‘switch to professional account’, that way you’ll be able to track your analytics straight from the app! You’ll be able to see the amount of profile visits, your age and gender demographic, your top posts, most active times and much more!


  2. The first thing people see are the visuals so make it stand out! Use the same 2-4 colours that compliment each other and fit your brand’s voice. To do this well we recommend Canva, with thousands of beautiful and unique templates to fit your every design need. Check it out here.


  3. Try creating a brand-specific hashtag! If we use CANDESCENT as an example, say we want to share real life stories about women in business. We could create our very own hashtag called #CANDESCENTSTORIES, it’s super unique and will grab people’s attention. Plus it’ll mean that content won’t get lost since it’s all under one hashtag.


  4. ‘Call To Actions’ are the key to engagement success. You can write a perfect caption on your top 5 cameras for beginners but without directing a question to your audience, your post will fall flat. Try asking ‘what camera do you use right now?’ or ‘are you a beginner photographer?’ This builds interest from the right audience, which Instagram’s algorithm will recognise and in turn increase your account’s visibility.


  5. Comment with intention. There’s nothing worse than seeing ‘follow for follow’ or a zero-effort heart eyes emoji. You might think that this is getting your account seen but it offers no value. Try and ask a genuine question instead, or comment on a small detail in the photo that not many people would have noticed. Remember that your goal is to build a strong community, not gain 10k followers overnight. 



  • If you have content that’s repinnable, that serves your audience and their needs, it will never get buried under thousands of other pins. You will always have an opportunity to resurface on people’s feeds and get noticed by new customers. Instead of losing momentum and having to keep reposting, your photos will be doing the work for you (as long as they have repinnable value!)


  • If your goal is to sell your photos, Pinterest is perfect. With 55% of pinners using the app to seek out and purchase products, it’s a great way to share your photography and direct customers straight to your site. As a business owner, your Pinterest profile is essentially your online store where you can curate your best work and generate sales instantly!


  • Certain styles of photography get more visibility compared to others. For example, human faces are less likely to get pinned, meaning that if you’re a portrait photographer you have less repinnable opportunity. Therefore your style, colours and composition must match what does well on Pinterest for your business to reach a wider audience.


  • 70% of Pinterest users are female which is great if women are your target audience but if they’re not, you’re going to struggle to get your work noticed. Compared to Instagram, whose audience is equally men and women, Pinterest may be hindering your reach if there’s less of your target demographic.



  1. Remember that consistency is what makes your brand memorable. Not sure how to do this? The answer is colour-coordination! Pick one colour and add pops of it in every photo to remain consistent and pleasing to the eye.
  2. Add concise and targeted text overlays that offer solutions. For example, writing ‘Be Happy’ is good but saying ‘10 Tips You Need to Excel in Photoshop’ is a lot more intriguing. Why? It’s the answer to a question that the customer has searched for.


  3. Make the most of seasonal changes and holidays! People will be searching for Halloween costume ideas in October so tailor your content to fit that need. Is it transitioning into Spring? Post some recipes for Easter treats. Keeping up with what’s current will help your business stay relevant and visible on the platform.


  4. Be strategic with your keywords. For example, take the words ‘portrait’, ‘lighting’ and ‘aperture’, type them into the Pinterest search bar and, because of the guided search feature, related keywords will pop up. These are what your audience is searching for. Once you’ve got a good list of at least 15-20 keywords, add these to your descriptions. Pinterest is essentially a search engine which means your descriptions should contain the right words in order to be seen.


  5. Applying for Rich Pins will allow you to sync all of your data from your website. For photography, we recommend Product Rich Pins. They feature up-to-date prices, availability and will even highlight which one of your products is the most popular so your audience knows what’s selling fast. This creates a much more smooth and simple experience for both you and your customers, it’s a win-win!

Which platform do you think is the right fit for your photography business? Do you think implementing both into your business strategy is worth your time?

Either way, both apps are fantastic tools and have the opportunity to really scale your business to the next level! Let us know your thoughts over on our social media; are you Team Instagram or Team Pinterest? @WeAreCandescent

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