Instagram Tips & Tricks


As a Business Brand Photographer, I focus a lot of my social media efforts on Instagram, where visual branding really takes the main stage. I’m always trying to keep pace with the latest trends and practices here, discovering truths that allow me to turn posts into clients. (Yes, it is possible!)

Instagram has become such a valuable resource for my business and my branding. Today I’m sharing some of the many tips and tricks I’ve discovered along my journey, and the routines I tend to follow when crafting posts that will blend in beautifully with my feed.

Let’s dive in!

#1. Posting frequency. I post twice a day: once in the morning and then later that evening. It keeps my brand relevant and top-of-mind for my followers – and the frequency fits my schedule. If there are times that work better for you, create your own schedule and don’t be afraid to test new times to post!

#2. Keep your feed a mix of personal and professional: a little bit of you and a little bit of your work. Add in a sprinkle of your family if you want to – they’ve been supporters of your brand and are a key part of your journey. Kiddos and dogs may be adorable, but try not to go overboard on that kind of content.

#3. Feel free to mix professional photos with photos taken on your phone. Try to keep consistency with your brand aesthetic, but allow yourself the flexibility to use both.

#4. Lighting matters! When you’re taking a photo for Instagram, get yourself close to a natural light source, and feel free to experiment to find that perfect lighting.

#5. Go easy on Instagram filters and editing. Humans resonate with real, so try to keep your feed looking that way.

#6. Here comes a don’t. Please, don’t use Pic Stitch or other photo collage apps! Instagram has a multiple photo feature that lets you post up to 10 photos at a time. Use that feature to keep each photo separate, and let them shine.

#7. When writing captions for posts, explain exactly what you do (in really simple terms), show examples of what that means – and remind people of it. Often.

#8. Use Instagram Stories! It’s literally your own personal TV channel (for free), placing your brand in front of A LOT of eyes on Instagram. It may be uncomfortable at first, but allow yourself the patience and practice to grow.

#9. Be a cheerleader to other users. Show them love. When we show love, we get love in return. (And that’s a big part of increasing engagement.)

#10. Always respond to comments on your posts and engage with other users. I’m talking about more than just throwing some emojis up there. Take a moment to find the right words – it makes a HUGE difference!

#11. Be a tad vulnerable – as much as you can stomach. Share more about yourself, your story. Humans connect to this. (And you want to create a brand that resonates with others, right?)

#12. Smile and show your passion for the work you do! People will want to support you when you’re bursting with passion and supporting yourself on this journey.

#13. Create curiosity and be a little mischievous in whatever way you can. It reminds the rest of us that we are all still really children.

Raya Al-Hashmi
Raya On Assignment
Business Brand Photographer

Raya is a rockstar entrepreneur and a master behind the lens. Plus, we think she’s killing it on social media. That’s why we asked her to share her Instagram tips with you. We’re delighted to have her be our guest blogger for the Muffington Post. Be sure to check her out on Instagram and Facebook to see what she’s up to these days. And stay tuned…Raya will be guest blogging for us again!

Why “Solopreneur” Shouldn’t Actually Mean Going Solo

Let’s take the “solo” out of solopreneur.

Listen: this business owner thing? It’s not supposed to be done alone.

As a culture we put ourselves into our work and often wrap our identities up with what we do to pay the bills. The question, “What do you do?” translates into how you make a living and is used as a way to size up someone we’ve just met.

As a single mother who owns her own business I do find that many of my friendships are born from my work experience. My staff and clients all become my friends. It’s hard to find the time (or the energy) to get out and do new things when you work long hours, often including weekends. Makes sense that social media has become such an integral part of our day — it’s a way to feel connected while we’re working so hard!

As a business owner (and maybe one that works from home in isolation), the trick is to get out into the world and balance that hard work with a little old fashioned networking. We’re on this planet with others for a reason, after all. So set up coffee dates with other entrepreneurs in your industry. Ask more questions. Dive deep into curiosity. Explore, play, collaborate. There’s so much to benefit from learning and growing alongside others.

Here’s to making the most of our workaday worlds, and to enjoying the friendships we build along the way.


Darci Knowles
DARCI Creative
Owner/Creative Director

How One Small Business Did It Right From the Beginning – Profile of 3Bridges Yoga Studio

Few things can compare to the thrill of preparing to open a new business. It’s exhilarating, it’s nerve-wracking. Quite frankly, it’s exhausting. The decisions to make, the to-do lists to cross off – sometimes you just need a boost.

Take a hint from our savvy clients who opened a yoga studio in Portsmouth. The dynamic duo was courageous and smart. They knew they needed a strong marketing strategy, and lucky for us, they weren’t afraid to invest in marketing. They already saw the value in it, and knew they had to find a way to distinguish themselves with memorable branding.

These clients wanted to market themselves as a welcoming, non-assuming yoga studio – one that catered to every level of yoga practice, regardless of body type or physical ability. Our solution? A strategy centered on the universality of yoga, targeting individuals new to the practice. We developed the positioning line Yoga for Every Body, and we wove this branded message into all of our promotional efforts. We created a video campaign highlighting the benefits of yoga with a Student Special, and a virtual yoga program for travelers or new moms looking to begin their practice without the time to attend a scheduled studio class.

The results of these efforts were incredibly positive. In the first year of business alone, our clients saw an impressive 75% growth as new members continued to fill up the studio space. What began as a Portsmouth studio in 2011 soon expanded to a second location, and before they knew it, they became the fastest growing yoga studio on the Seacoast. Now that’s branding power.


Darci Knowles
DARCI Creative
Owner/Creative Director

A Series For Entrepreneurs (Part I)

We love entrepreneurs because they’re a breed of their own. Driven, courageous, self-sufficient – sometimes down-right crazy. There’s never a dull moment. No two business owners are quite the same, and each entrepreneurial journey is uniquely reflective of its brand.

That’s why we’ve decided to start a series of sorts, where we lovingly (and sometimes jokingly) profile our favorite entrepreneurial types. For instance, “You Know You’re a DIYer When…”.

Maybe you’re a Side Hustler, building a business on nights and weekends while killing it at your 9-5 day job. Maybe you’re a Mompreneur, a badass mother raising her children and running a business from home (as if juggling one of those things weren’t challenging enough).

Whoever you are and whatever your entrepreneurial profile might be, we want to shine a light on the beautiful chaos. The ups, the downs, the laughably relatable parts of being a business owner, while tackling whatever else life decides to throw at you. Fellow entrepreneurs – this blog series is for you.



Alanna Hogan
DARCI Creative
Copywriter & Executive Assistant, Social Media Manager