Instagram for beginners

How to start an Instagram account and what to post

No clue what to do with yet another social media channel? Or you do want to check it out, but have no idea where to start? No time to figure out how the fastest growing photo-network actually works?

In 2014 Maureen van Beek showed me in 3 minutes how Instagram works and I’d like to do the same for you. Ever since I have been keeping my ‘photodiary’ on Instagram. I am becoming more and more addicted, get inspiration from the pics and people, get more pleasure from taking photo’s and got to around 3500 followers.

How does Instagram work?

Instagram is meant to share pictures directly from your smartphone. You can shoot them directly  in the app, or use pics from your camera roll. You can edit, use filters and add description and comments. In 1 click you can post/publish your pic, also on Facebook and Twitter.

Some people choose 1 theme, one style or mix various ones. Choose whatever suits you best. As ‘digital nomad’ and ‘no excuses lady’ my life is a source of inspiration for many, so I can post almost anything. When I am visiting Bali, my followers enjoy the abundance of colors. From Amsterdam I post the cosy cafe I just discovered or something about the workshop I am teaching.

I recently followed a workshop on food photography and I became aware of the ‘foodie’ cult. Many, many people all over the world post pictures of their food and share recipes. In Singapore the real pro’s even bring a special LED light to dinner date in a restaurant to make sure their food is lighted just right… 😉 Of course you don’t need to be that extreme…

Start with Instagram today; it’s really easy!

In this video I explain how you can get started and how you can post your pics in a few clicks. Make sure to turn the English subtitles on.

Start by following some interesting people, be inspired and experiment. You’ll see that one thing leads to another. Your followers will give you feedback/likes so you’ll find out what works for you and what makes you happy.

Fun Instagram accounts to follow


Clark Little: Professional photographer, internationally renowned for his pictures and videos of… waves! Check how he really owns this theme and has created a huge following.


Dehappy5_mama: Ullenka’s daughter suffered from severe eczema; doctors couldn’t cure her. They then switched to a raw food diet and within 90 days her skin was smooth again. You’ll find the before-after picture in het timeline. This high carb vegan mom make beautiful works of art of the fruits and veggies in het pictures. Colorful, happy and inspiring.

Eef Ouwehand: My friend and favorite Dutch photographer takes light, colorful and inspiring pictures from a slightly different perspective. I learned many of my tips and tricks from her.

How do you get followers?

  • Tell your friends (for example on Facebook) that you joined Instagram
  • Put a link in your email signature
  • Look for interaction: search and like photo’s on a certain theme, follow others. They’ll be curious and check your timeline.
  • Tag photo’s by using hashtags (#) indicating the theme, or items that can be seen in the picture. Like #food #sunset #coffee #dog #smile #happy. Others will search Instagram for these hashtags and will end up finding your pics.
  • There are various ‘challenges’ to participate in, like #myview #mydailycoffee of #100daysofyellow. By searching for these tags, you’ll find all pics taken on that theme and you’ll ‘meet’ like minded people.

Do more with your pics!

You can have your (recognizable, square) Instagram photos printed on magnetic stickers and posters (you can find a number of options in this article) and in super cute little cards or photo booklets (HEMA). You can link your Instagram account, choose the photos you want to use, and voila. Nice gifts, or just for yourself. There are regularly nice discounts or offers.

More inspiration?

Of course, I would really like it if you followed me on Instagram: @estherjacobsnl. Feedback and questions about my pics are more than welcome.

Want to do more with social media? Check out my workshops and online programs: