How to Get More Followers on Instagram-Learn from a Pro – Kirsten Alana

How to Get More Followers on Instagram-Learn from a Pro – Kirsten Alana

Wondering how to grow your Instagram following? Wish you knew how to take a gorgeous photo that really excites your audience?

I recently had the good fortune to review a gorgeous property in Mauritius with a group of travel writers, bloggers and photographers. Among them was Kirsten Alana, her site is Aviators and a Camera. I followed her around like a wanna be on Nicole Richie’s heels. When she took a shot, I tried from the same angle. She taught me things I didn’t even know my camera could do. In short, she really upped my game in terms of images and Instagram. She has over 11,000 followers, she’s clearly doing something right. I asked her to give some insight on her best practices and to share some of her favorite photographs.

How to Get More Followers on Instagram

Kirsten Alana – Instagrammer Extraordinaire


Why do you love Instagram?

No other social media platform is a global community with as narrow a focus as Instagram, and the same level of interaction.  It’s all people who love photos (and now short videos). Unlike Twitter and Facebook where it’s about words, and photos and videos and infographics and it’s a little bit schizophrenic at times, Instagram is more focused and there’s more engagement. At least for me.

How long have you been on Instagram and how did you grow your massive following?

The terrific statistics site tells me that I posted my first photo on October 14, 2010 so wow, I’ve been on it more than three years and I didn’t even celebrate that birthday! I don’t have the precise answer to how I built my following but I do have a few golden rules that I am sure have helped.
  • 1) I always reply to comments on my photographs.
  • 2) I use hashtags, but not too many, and I don’t put them in the caption of a photo. I save them for a comment just after that.
  • 3) I don’t post too many selfies but I do occasionally include myself in photographs because I think that those who follow me want to connect with a person but also care more about where I am traveling. It’s about balance.

What do you think makes the perfect travel photo?

I think there is no such thing as the perfect travel photo because the world is a very large, diverse place and the opportunities for subjects are simply endless. But I know that the ones which do best on my stream usually involve sunshine and a good story. My favorite travel photo of all time though, is this one by Steve McCurry:

What’s your best advice for someone just starting out?

Shoot, shoot, shoot. It doesn’t matter the camera or the smartphone or whatever tool you choose to use to create a photograph, no one is Steve McCurry with their first shutter click. Practice makes perfect. And finding your own voice is key. Frankly, I am still not sure what mine is but I take photographs every day in the hopes I will one day figure it out and every day I see subtle improvements in my own work and in the choices I make as a photographer.
Here are a few of Kirsten’s favorite Instagram images:
How to Get More Instagram Followers


How to Get More Instagram Followers

South African Safari

How to Get More Instagram Followers

New York City

How to Get More Instagram Followers

Mauritius (mine was almost as good)

Le Prince Maurice

Possibly one of my all time favorite photos – by Kirsten

Follow Kirsten on Instagram HERE. And if you’re not following me, um, why? Follow me HERE, I’m just trying to keep up.

Please mention in your post that anyone can take the linky code and host it on their sites, the code can be found here and you can use this code:

get the InLinkz code




Baby maker, risk taker, shoe lover, world saver, travel freak.

  • Darling woman, I am SOO glad we finally met in Mauritius!!!! Thank you for featuring me and thank you for all your sweet words. Also, if anyone ever wants Instagram tutoring, I am available for Skype sessions. They just need to email me: kirsten [at] kirstenalana [dot] com

    December 12, 2013 at 9:22 am
  • Excellent tips and nice to get to know Kirsten from the interview!

    December 12, 2013 at 9:42 am
  • Great tips– I have been following Kirsten’s stream ever since your trip to Mauritius—talk about stunning photographs.

    December 12, 2013 at 10:13 am
  • Fab post! I absolutely love Kirsten Alana’s iPhoneography and Instagram photos! It’s so lovely that you’re introducing Kirsten to your readers.

    December 12, 2013 at 11:11 am
  • Good tips, I’ve only about 11,000 followers to go 😉

    December 12, 2013 at 2:06 pm
  • Excellent tips, I need to shoot shoot shoot more I think… 🙂

    December 12, 2013 at 2:42 pm
  • I’ve been following Kirsten for a while now. Love her photos and it’s always fun to see the world through her eyes! Thanks for sharing!

    December 12, 2013 at 4:54 pm
  • Nice tips – and I love that Morocco photo!

    December 12, 2013 at 4:56 pm
  • Jennifer

    This is one of your best posts. Thank you! I learned a bunch. I will never be as good as you but I’ll aim for it! Thanks KM!

    December 12, 2013 at 10:14 pm
  • Great piece, Kim. Really good advice.

    December 13, 2013 at 6:36 am
  • I think instagram is one of the best social medias to build a following in for the same reasons she mentioned – its all focused on the photos.
    The tips were simple but great, I’ll try adding my hashtags as a comment after, i think it would make the description seem more presentable that way.

    January 8, 2014 at 9:47 am
  • Today, I went to the beach with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4
    year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put
    the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and
    it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back!
    LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to tell someone!

    January 17, 2014 at 4:22 pm
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