5 Ways to Get Sincere Followers on Instagram

5 Ways to Get Sincere Followers on Instagram

I seriously love love love (did I mention, love?) Instagram. Instagram is so addicting. I sometimes have to remind myself to put my phone down and not get sucked into the awesomeness that is Instagram. Now, I am no expert at getting followers, I’m probably a complete noob. But, I have been taking some notes for the past couple of months on when I get the most followers. Also, if you’re new to Instagram, sincere followers can sometimes be hard to come by. I want to discuss my approach to Instagram and what has worked for me. As well as advise against certain things. So, if you’re ready, let’s get started.

And bonus! There’s a freebie at the end. 🙂

check out my How Instagram Made Me a Better Photographer post

AlyDawnInstagram 5 Ways to Get Sincere Followers on Instagram

This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you in advance for supporting Aly Dawn Photography!

what I mean by sincere followers

Ok, so there’s this thing called an Insta-bot or something along those lines. DO NOT fall into the trap of these bots. They get you likes, yes, but they are not sincere! What I mean by sincere is people who are actually excited about what you post. I have quite a few of sincere followers, and I will take one of them over 10,000 likes from those bots. Seriously, my sincere followers make my day everyday. They are the ones who comment and like every single one of my posts. Yes, that’s right. I have followers like that who love me. And you should, too!

So, when I say sincere followers, I really mean people who actually care about what you’re posting, and people who follow you for you, and not for another like.

Alright, now that that’s off my chest, let’s get down to business!!

If you’re interested in having a nice long read about Instagram, this book, Instagram Marketing: Social Media Marketing Guide is a great source of information. It also has excellent exercises for you to do to help grow your following and also how to market your brand on Instagram. I highly recommend it.

my 5 ways to get sincere followers on instagram

1. post regularly

You don’t have to post everyday, but make it a goal to post every week. Set up a schedule and stick to it. Your followers will start to get used to how often you post and anticipate it. So, if you’re all over the map and posting whenever, weeks apart, it might be hard for people to want to follow you. Pick a schedule that works for you. Test out different things. Say one week, post everyday and see how it affects your following. Post 3 times a week and see how it affects your following. Play around with it. For me, I decided that daily works best for me and my followers. Sometimes I skip a day, but for the most part, I try very hard to post daily.

2. be consistent

I cannot stress this enough. Consistency is very hard, though. You have to work really hard at it. What I mean by consistency is your images look the same. If you like the moody pictures, try to always post moody pictures. If you tend to like the light and airy pictures, post light and airy. You could even go so far as to only post one genre of photography. For example, you could only post macro images. I tend to go with my style being consistent. I am a moody picture type of gal, so I try to make sure all the pictures I post to my Instagram are moody. That doesn’t mean all of my pictures are moody, per se, but all the ones I post to Instagram are!

The worst thing ever is seeing an image that you absolutely adore and then clicking to go to that person’s account and none of their images look like that. That doesn’t get you followers. I typically don’t follow someone if their work is all over the place. I am looking for consistency in the people I follow.


3. like and comment

This is hugely important. If you post an image, you should be comment and liking at least 100 other posts. Yes, that’s right. You can’t just expect people to see your account from posting one image a day. And posting more than once in a day can turn people off (I’d say that should be part of your experimenting, how many times a day should you post?).

When I post an image, I always put hashtags on that image. After I post, I go to one of those hashtags and just stroll and like and comment. Here’s the catch, don’t just like and comment on every image you can possibly see. Be a sincere follower! Comment on images that make you stop in your tracks! Like those images that you enjoyed. If you didn’t enjoy the image, don’t like it. And then if you find an image that is absolutely amazing, go to that person’s account and see if you like their account. If they have images you’d like to see on the daily, give them a follow.

As well as going in and looking at images from a certain hashtag, also make sure you like/comment on the people you follow. Be a sincere follower to them, and they might just return the favor!

I can’t stress this tip enough!

4. reply to comments

So I did a little experiment this past week. I’ll get to that in just a second … before I started getting serious about building up my followers, I wasn’t very consistent (oh! There’s that word again!) with replying to the comments  I received. I didn’t like replying right away, so I thought, oh I’ll just wait a day or two before I comment again.

Ok, fast forward to now. I did an experiment where I replied to a comment as soon as I saw it pop up. And you know what? I actually got more comments/likes on the image where I replied right away versus an image I didn’t reply right away. Perhaps that image was just better, I’ll never know for sure. But it definitely got me hooked to replying as soon as I can.

Here’s the deal, when you reply to a comment, it shows that you really do care about your sincere followers. And if you have sincere followers, you better care about them! They make Instagram fun. 🙂 Trust me.

5. use hashtags

But don’t just use any old hashtags. You really need to do your research on this. Luckily for you … I already did the research! If you’d like the Hashtag Guide, then click here! It’s just a little bonus for you because I love my readers. 🙂

Aly Dawn Photography Hashtag Guide

Remember, one post can only have 30 hashtags, so you want these hashtags to be as relevant as possible.

my growth

By following these tips, I’ve been able to grow my following by 100+ followers in just under 2 months. That might not seem like a lot, but trust me, for Instagram, it is! If you following these tips religiously, I can promise you sincere followers.

What is something you’ve done to see lots of Instagram growth? I’d love to know in the comments below!

Thanks for stopping by.

Around Our Clocks : 10 am in February

Around Our Clocks : 10 am in February

I am excited to say that I will be in a blog circle this year. I unfortunately missed January due to not having any internet. The Around Our Clocks is a blog circle where we basically do a day in the life, but focus on just one hour each month, and we also have to be in the images! So it’s a self portraits, around our clocks project and I am totally in love.

My 10 am looks like this, most days. My son seems to have a routine of always needing a diaper change around this time in the day. It never fails. The light was so perfect this day, I couldn’t resist setting up the tripod and jumping in the frame!

Interested in taking pictures of your everyday? check out my post on how to do it.

Follow the circle and go to Rachel’s post to see what their 10 am looked like this past month. It’s so fun to see everyone’s different take on it. Come back next month for another round of it!

Want to be notified of upcoming posts? Be sure to subscribe to my blog (you get a freebie!). 


A Boy and His Bath

A Boy and His Bath

Boy do we have a bath story for you! Earlier this day my son pooped his pants. Yuck! His poop is starting to change because we started feeding him real food! His favorite food so far are peas. Yummy! Anyways, this was legit our first blow out battle. I noticed he was poopy, so I promptly handed him over to my husband and said, “your turn!”. As my husband (who, by the way, didn’t complain and should earn husband of the year for just that!) started changing him, I heard him panic … his diaper had approached blow out status! Gosh it was so bad, it was on the carpet, my husband’s hands, my hands, my little ones onesie … I rushed him to the bathroom and then proceeded to take off his clothes and diaper. Once we got the poop all cleaned off (you had no idea you were about to read a poop story, did you?) I rinsed out his bath tub and put fresh water in it for him to enjoy a bath. And to get nice and clean …

My son really loves bath time. I had given him a bath just the day before. The light was really pretty in the kitchen, so I gave him a bath in our kitchen sink! Our bathroom has zero light and is not ideal to shoot in (it’s small and compact!). I played around with the different shutter speeds as my little one splashed and splashed. He really loves water. If I am holding him and need to wash my hands, as soon as I turn on the water, he lunges for it! He loves the water.

I love giving him a bath because as soon as he’s done with it, he is exhausted and it’s the perfect time for a nap (which means blogging or cleaning for me!). Win-win in my book.

So, just a boy and his bath …

Aly Dawn Photography A Boy and His Bath









Aly Dawn Photography A Boy and His Bath


I love this little boy of mine and I love capturing the memories we make together. Thank you for swinging by.

If you haven’t already, please subscribe to my blog (you’ll get a freebie!!). I post creativity exercises, personal posts, as well as tutorials for beginner photographers. If you have any questions, please comment on my blog and I’ll answer them for you!


How to Take Pictures of Your Everyday

How to Take Pictures of Your Everyday

There’s something so satisfying about photographing what you do everyday. Before I had my son, my everyday was very boring. It consisted of work, eat dinner, sleep, repeat. My weekends were exciting. But anytime my photography friends wanted me to do a Day in the Life … I couldn’t! I couldn’t figure out how to create images that showed my everyday. If you have kids, it’s a different story! There’s plenty to do and plenty to take pictures of to show your everyday. I am going to give you some tips to taking pictures of your everyday. And yes. It is possible even if you work a full day. Don’t be discouraged! You can still make time for photography. Let’s dive in.

new to photography? check out my 3 Tips to Get Started in Photography post


This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you in advance for supporting Aly Dawn Photography!

day in the life

Honestly, one of the best ways of photographing your everyday is taking place in a day in the life. A day in the life means that every hour (it could really be flexible … every two hours, twice an hour, at least 30 photos in the day, etc.) you take a picture of what you’re doing, essentially. These photos don’t have to be amazing. But they do have to show what you are doing throughout the day. This is a great photography project to try, if you haven’t already! (I should do one … they are really fun. I’ll do one if you do one!).

So, why would we want to take pictures of our everyday? Honestly, sometimes we might find that our everyday is boring. We are so used to what happens on a daily basis, that it could become a routine. So, why would we want to photograph it? Here are a few reasons …

  • it makes your everyday exciting again!
  • it challenges you to take something simple and make it amazing! How can you photograph breakfast and make it exciting??
  • it gets you out of your comfort zone.
  • it (hopefully) gets your creative juices flowing.

Alright! Are you ready for some down to earth tips on how to photograph your everyday? Ready? Set? Go!


how to take a picture of your everyday

First and foremost … what does your ‘everyday’ look like? Is it super busy? Is it relaxed? Does it change from day to day? I want you to write down what your typical day looks like.

Planning your shots make it so much easier to get the exact shots that you want. Write down what you do daily and how you could make the daily stuff exciting.

1. capture the daily stuff

There’s something you do daily. Whether it’s put on makeup, making breakfast/lunch for your kids, taking a walk, playing with the dogs, getting ready for the day, etc. This is the type of thing you want to capture. If you think it might be boring, that’s ok! Try to capture it anyways! Something I love to capture that happens daily is nap time.

The reason you might want to capture this daily stuff, is because it might be daily right now, but years down the road, your daily life might change and you might forget what it was like. Nap time might turn into play time, and eventually those littles will be out the door (insert sobbing face here!!!!), so capture those sweet moments and memories. They might not seem like much now, but they will later in your life.


2. it’s OK to stage the scene

So … what do I mean by stage? If you always have a perfect scene in your house, you will see me bowing down to you … teach me your ways! If you are a mom of littles, I know your house is not always picture perfect! You can set the scene up to make it look like it’s perfectly clean. Simplicity and cleanness make your images look more professional.

That being said … sometimes the mess adds to the story. Folding laundry? Being buried alive? Leave the laundry piles in and show your exasperated face!

Set the stage by cleaning up the scene, but this could also mean bribing your littles to get the photo you want. Are they playing with a board game in horrible light? Move them (ever so sneakily) to a place with beautiful light and have at it! Think before you shoot. Set the stage before you shoot!

3. be brave

So when I did my first day in the life … I was working full time! I decided to take my camera to work and to photograph what I do throughout the day. I was so scared. Nobody asked me what I was doing, but I was so self conscious. I didn’t get the images I wanted because of it. Don’t do what I did. Instead, be brave! Now that I’ve actually shot more in public I am here to tell you that no one is watching. And if, for whatever reason, they are, it really doesn’t matter! This is your work. This is your day in the life. If your day in the life includes a trip to Target, take that camera with you! Do it. If your day in the life includes going to a public park, take that camera with you! Sometimes people ask me what I am photographing … and I’ll tell them and that’s that! They really don’t care, and you most likely won’t see them again. So, who cares? Be brave!


4. don’t be afraid to jump in the frame

I mean, you are part of your daily routine, I would hope! So don’t be afraid to get in the frame with your kids. If you don’t have kids, don’t be afraid to jump in the frame! Getting in the frame adds to the feeling of ‘day in the life’. These images don’t have to be perfect. They really don’t! They just have to showcase exactly what you do each day.

5. put the camera away

Once you get the shot, put it away, and really spend time with your family. There was one time that I was itching to take a certain picture … but I could tell that my son just wasn’t having it. So, instead of giving myself a headache, I put the camera away, picked up my son, and we played and had a great time. Do that. Family is way more important than the images you take. Trust me. Spending time with them is exactly what they want. Giving them a break from the camera could actually get them more comfortable in front of the camera (could we call that reverse psychology?).

have fun

I hope you have fun capturing your every day! Now that I am home full time, I love capturing the little details of my life. It helps you connect with your audience by showing them what you do daily.

Letters to My Little One | 8 Month Old

Letters to My Little One | 8 Month Old

Monday, March 12, 2018

To my little peanut,

Eight Months. That means we’re fast approaching your birthday!! You’ll be a year old before I know it! How is that even possible? The saying, ‘they grow up too fast’ is definitely true. I have loved these last eight months with you. You are such a blessing in my life. I was incredibly blessed with such an easy & lovable first born. You make being a first time mom look easy!

I was just looking at your birth images & reminiscing … you were so tiny! You had a small head … and you were skinny. So fragile! I’m so thankful for my photography skills. Because of those skills, I have these images to look back on. Just the other day I was holding you while your slept … I realized how big you are now. Your hands & feet have gotten a lot bigger & you’re starting to look more like a toddler … Your wrist is so chubby it has a cute wrist line. And your knuckles are so chubby you have dimples! You thighs now have rolls that I am absolutely in love with. Rolls for days. Your cute little chubby belly sticks out when you sit or stand! I love it so much! Your chin is now so round – I love it! Before I know it, you’ll be a toddler.

I’m hugging you closer this month. Our little family had an accident and it made me realize how short and precious life is. Luckily no one was seriously injured. We were on our way from my grandpa’s funeral (you would have loved him … I know you’ll meet him again someday) to the church for a little gathering. Long story short, we hit the car in front of us. Right after we the collision and I realized what had happened, I asked daddy if he was ok, and he was. Then I panicked! You weren’t making any noise. I frantically unbuckled my seat belt, thinking for sure something was wrong. When I went to open the door, it was a little stuck from the impact (our poor car is most likely totaled) once I got that open, I quickly opened the back door and looked at you. You looked at me, and then smiled. I knew right then and there that you were OK. But we of course got you checked out just in case. All in all, the accident could have been much worse. I’m so thankful we all walked away with just a few bruises (daddy hurt his arm and I sprained my wrist). I know we had a guardian angel watching over us that day.

This month has been a fun one. You’ve learned how to sign ‘milk’ and you do it often. You now have a third tooth coming on top, your other two are on the bottom. You’re starting to talk more & say dada & mama – which I am not counting as your first words because you’ve said them for a while now. You can pull yourself up and you can now successfully ‘cruise’ around the furniture. You love to cruise around your table. We also do this fun game where we plant your feet & say … 1 … 2 … 3 … and then let go. You stand there for a few seconds before slowly falling to the ground. I don’t think it’ll be long before you can stand there for as long as you want! And then shortly after that … walking. I’m not sure I’m ready for that! I feel like once you start walking, you’ll suddenly turn into my little toddler instead of my little baby. But in my eyes, you’ll always be my little baby.

One of your favorite things right now is a game of ‘catch’. I throw a ball to you & you laugh. It’s so cute. You can bet I got a video of it! You also love it when daddy & I sing to you. Your favorite song is Baby Shark. You smile so big when we start singing it.

You’re adorable, my sweet little one. I can’t get enough, and neither can daddy! And you absolutely love your daddy. This morning as he was leaving for work, you reached for him and gave him a nice long snuggle … daddy said it was really hard to go to work! I can only imagine the type of relationship you will have with your daddy when you’re older. I picture you and him playing catch in the back yard. I picture you talking to him when you need advice. I picture you looking up to him as an amazing example in all things. I’m excited to see the relationship grow and develop over the years.

Right now as I type this up, you are playing with your toys. Experimenting with how different toys make different noises. You are so smart. You know what you want and you know how to get it. You also love reading books. There’s this one book that we read to you that has things you can touch, like soft, fuzzy, rough, smooth, etc. You love touching the different spots! You also like turning the pages.

Your curiosity is so cute. One of your favorite games to play is any version of hide & seek. You also love to put things in a box and then take them back out. But your all time favorite toy is a spoon! It’s hilarious! If I ever use a spoon to eat, you try so hard to take it away from me. Motherhood is great. I love all the cute & funny things you do. And staying home with you only makes it better. I don’t miss a single moment!

You love music. If we ever watch a movie & a song suddenly comes on, your face lights up and you immediately look at the screen. You watch the whole scene that has music before getting bored again.

It’s such a pleasure to watch you grow … to learn … it’s so amazing. I’m amazed that you were once in my belly. You were so little … and now you won’t stop growing! You talk, you explore, you stand, you crawl, you laugh & smile, you’re amazing. But one thing you will always be to me, is my little boy. No matter how big you get. When you’re taller than me, you will still be my little boy. Thank you for being such a sweet little one.

I am blessed to be your mommy.

I love you so much!

Love, mommy



read month 1 here
read month 2 here
read month 3 here
read month 4 here
read month 5 here
read month 6 here
read month 7 here