To share my work, is it smarter to make a website or an Instagram page?

Hi all! I’m a third year graphic design and photography student at university. I have one year remaining of my studies. Three months ago, I created an Instagram page to share my portrait photography to the public (taking portraits is what I love). At the moment, I have 116 followers (I know this is a very low following, but I hope it will grow). As Instagram is hugely popular these days and is a great photo-sharing platform, I thought it might be a nice idea to make a page for my work. However, I don’t know whether I should persist with this Instagram page, or whether I should create a website/blog instead that shows my design work as well as my photography.

Sometimes I have serious doubts about myself and I fear that my shots aren’t good enough at all. Some days, I feel pretty down and start thinking that this whole journey won’t even get me anywhere. Further, Instagram lets me see the photography of so many others, and I end up comparing my portraits to those done by professionals who are amazingly talented. Instead of becoming inspired, I usually feel quite negative. I feel like I don’t even know my strengths and weaknesses. I want my work to be bold, yet simple and minimalistic, but sometimes I don’t know how to actually create that and get the idea out of my head and into a photo.

If any of you fellow creative folk have tips or advice, or would like to share your own experiences, I’d love to hear it all! I have a few friends at uni, but sometimes I feel quite lonely on this path. Hopefully that will change once I leave uni and get into the workforce.

What is the purpose of the “sharing?”
Work or pleasure?

If I’m looking to hire someone for a photo shoot, I’m not going to be looking on instagram.
If you want freelance work, as in a freelance business, a website is essential first. Instagram, FacePlant, and all the other social media, follows as additional marketing tools.
Even if you want to be hired in-house, an online portfolio website would be pretty important.

You might want to take a look at this recent topic that asked much the same thing about Instagram:

I like your honesty.

And, it takes years of practice to get good. There’s a lot to learn, and none of us start out knowing how. We all went through the years of learning. Ya got to pay your dues.

I’m pretty good at analyzing an image and offering specific suggestions how it could be even better. She said modestly.

I’ve been a photographer for over twenty years, and am teaching it now.

So I can probably offer you meaningful suggestions for improvement, and if you care to post some of your work for constructive criticism, I’d be happy to offer some.

Also, standard portraiture is pursued by many photographers. So you might consider niche types of portraiture that the masses aren’t interested in. For example, corporate rather than family. Black and white only. Etc.

Seriously, do both.

It’s a good idea to have a portfolio site to go with your Instagram account. I usually only post 1 or 2 shots from each shoot/client on Instagram, while my portfolio has a selection of shots from each shoot and categories.

I do food photography and food styling and regularly get work through Instagram. In the last year, I’ve gotten much more work via Instagram so if your 'gram is concise and clear, I think you have a shot. Make sure you use appropriate hashtags and location tags so that locals can find you. My work is fairly niche and my portfolio site and Instagram account reflect this. Personally, I think it’s better to show the type of work you WANT to do. Not everything that you’ve EVER done.

As for the self doubt, just keep at it. Practice. Practice a lot.

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