Ivona from Northern Ireland said she makes £100 or more for every picture that she posts
Most people use their Instagram accounts to show off pictures of where they have been on holiday or their latest night on the town. But for some, the social network isn’t just an image sharing site – but a way of them making a living.
Thanks to app Takumi, which connects Instagrammers with brands looking to partner them, amatuer photographers can make thousands each year by agreeing to take pictures of their products and posting them online.
Brands can be willing to pay as much as £2,000 per image, in the hope it will act as an ad for their products. And all types of bloggers and amateur photographers interested in areas from beauty to travel have been able to give up their jobs and focus full-time on Instagramming their pictures.
Here we meet two Instagrammers who for them, the social network is their job.
Ivona decided to focus her Instagram account on fashion and beauty
‘I don’t even own a proper camera’ – fashion and beauty influencer, Ivona Moore
Ivona, 24, from Northern Ireland only set up her Instagram account last year but it is already the way she makes her living.
The married mother-of-one, who is originally from Lithuania, can make more than £100 for every picture she posts online after receiving briefs from brands through the app Takumi.
And she does all this without even using a professional camera and captures her images like most other people by using her mobile phone.
She explained: ‘I’ve always liked taking pictures, I wouldn’t say I’m skilled but have a good idea of what looks good and creative. All of my photos are taken on my phone because I wouldn’t know where to start in choosing a camera.’
Her Instagram page shows her modelling clothes such as party dresses and accessories from brands such as AX Paris, Pretty Little Thing and Superdry. Other beauty firms she has worked with have included Elizabeth Arden, Garnier and hair brand Bed Head.
Ivona, who posts pictures several times a week, built her online following by simply posting a steady stream of pictures using a string of hashtags to make herself more searchable.
She added: ‘It’s a great opportunity for brands to be exposed by bloggers. I can make over £100 by posting a picture. I believe more advanced bloggers with more following can gain more money.
‘Imagine just taking photos for a living? So many bloggers are able to do that nowadays. Everything is possible if you invest your time. I think a good picture is not trying to copy someone else’s or be someone else! I’m quite a minimalist and clean images work best.’
Neel Patel, said he can make up to £300 for posting just one picture on his Instagram
‘I didn’t even know you could make money from Instagram!’ – Lifestyle influencer, Neel Patel a.k.a Flunking Monkey)
Like most other students, 22-year-old Neel Patel from London started his Instagram account while he was at university.
Back then his account consisted of the typical images of nights out with friends and pictures of his food. But he decided to begin posting pictures of his travels all over the world. Now he has almost 35,000 followers and can make up to £300 for posting just one picture on his account, meaning he is able to focus on photography full-time after giving up his job as an editor for a science company.
Through the Takumi app, he has teamed up with brands such as menswear companies as well as travel and hotel chains. In a recent commission, he was even flown to Eindhoven in Holland, all expenses paid in return for posting pictures on his account.
But he warns that his job still does require hard work and insists it is not just easy money. Neel said: ‘It’s a very unpredictable industry; if I were to receive three to four campaigns or more a month I would earn the same as someone working a 9 to 5 job.
‘Although it’s not to be taken lightly, as a lot of hard work and effort goes into every campaign, it’s not easy money as much as the images may portray.
‘I didn’t really know much about Takumi at first, or that it was even possible for people to make money through Instagram.’
Neel’s account focuses on travel and lifestyle and some of his recent posts show him enjoying a holiday in Jamaica as well as taking pictures of his travel essential products.
He added: ‘I take pictures if I find a really cool spot I want to share it with people, just as much as a great dish I may have eaten the other day or this new shirt I’m really happy to be wearing.
‘I think in many ways Instagram is fantasy but what I try to do is, show people the kind of life they could live, rather than being stuck at home all day or only going away once in a while.
‘I mean if I could inspire someone to go pursue his or her dream of moving to Bali or becoming a photographer that would be amazing!’