Featured on @IG_Rock_Details
About a month ago I came across this post on Reddit's r/Photography sub, and it got me thinking more about my Instagram hashtag usage, as well as the concept of "hubs."
IG hubs are basically accounts that have a large number of followers, and use specific hashtags to find photos to feature. They're themed by region, style, or subject, and can apparently be a good way to get your work out to larger audiences.
This concept was one I was familiar with, although I had more generally heard them referred to as "feature accounts;" it seems that the two terms are synonymous.
Some hubs require payment to be featured, and some just require you to use a specific hashtag. The paid route is not one that I would take, because it's pretty much impossible to know whether or not the 4 000 followers an account has are real people, or merely pay-per-follow shell accounts. I'm sure you've received messages and comments about purchasing followers, and I can't get over the feeling that these pay-per-feature accounts have made some of these purchases.
I figured, however, that trying out some of the hashtags for free accounts can't be a horrible idea. Even if I never actually get featured, it's still a way to potentially reach a larger audience, because if I'm willing to look through these tag's submissions, I'm sure other people are too.
And so, over the last month or so I've been experimenting with my hashtag use, both for hubs and just general tags. I've found a pretty good list that has helped me to get more "likes" per photo than I was receiving before, and I'm averaging two new followers per post, sometimes more depending on the band featured in that particular photo.
And then this morning I woke up to see that a photo I posted last week had actually been chosen by one of these hubs to be featured. Pretty cool!
The account is @IG_Rock_Details, and it focuses on "sensual" and "dark" photography related to rock music. Curated by @dream_09051974, their first post was made 38 weeks ago, and they have managed to amass 3 675 followers since then - over ten times the number of my own followers, so obviously I'm pretty happy to have my work potentially exposed to that many people.
The photo in question was actually taken a year ago, at the 2015 Vans Warped Tour stop in Auburn Hills, and features Eddy Brewerton of Canterbury, U.K. based emo rock band Moose Blood. I had re-posted this photo in anticipation of this year's Warped Tour, and while I included by usual roster of hashtags on it, I never expected much to come of this shot, considering its age.
So far my photo has received 176 likes and 3 comments, which is much better than it did on my own page (17 likes, 1 comment), even if not quite as much as some of the other posts on this hub account (although considering my shots contains neither nudity nor ladies, I'm pretty happy with the outcome).
There are some perhaps more successful hubs for music photography out there, and this one might seem a little spammy with its added watermark and ridiculously long, emoji-filled descriptions, but for my first time being featured on a photography account, I'm more than pleased.
Moose Blood also happens to be a pretty sweet band, and I totally recommend checking them out. In the meantime, here are some more shots from their set at last year's Warped: