Instagram is one of the fastest growing social networks of all time, so it might be time for your church to look into setting up an account if you haven’t already.
Instagram is a photo sharing app which lets you put interesting colour/lighting filters over photos to make them look like you’ve spent more time than you actually have editing them; they are then posted for your followers to like or comment on. Most Instagram users are between 18-30 years old so it may be the perfect place to engage with the younger half of your congregation. If you have a youth leader or even a youth team, why not hand it over to them to look after?
So what photos should Churches post on Instagram?
Keep on reading for some suggestions to get you started. In the end you need to post what works for you and your church. It’s incredibly easy to fall into the trap of posting the same kinds of images you might post on your Facebook or Twitter account, but think carefully about the audience and what they might like to see. Click on the links in the text below to see examples of what I’m talking about.
Behind the Scenes:
• Show the things happening in the church between services and what it takes to prepare for a service (And all the strange props and items collected or created!).
• Take photos from places people don’t normally see such as the view from the sound desk or from high up in the tower.
• Share the other uses the building gets as well as the work to keep the buildings running
• Share photos of the different staff and volunteers who make it all happen
• Catch candids of congregation members tucking into a biscuit or greeting people at the entrance
• Introduce us those people baptised or confirmed (Get a great action shot of a baptism in progress!)
• Take photos of laughter, friendship and fellowship
• Share testimonies and stories in creative ways
• Show the fun things your church gets up to during a service or event.
• Share the unusual side of church – what people might not expect a church to be doing or involved in.
• Shine a light on the uniqueness of your church – what makes it so special?
• Instagram is the kind of place where you can loosen up, be a bit silly and share your church’s sense of humour
• It’s also a place for the beautiful, emotional and the thought provoking. Always have a play around with the filtering settings to create some really atmospheric shots – they can make bad photos look good!
• Use sites like Canva to create promotional graphics which work on Instagram, perfect for inviting the 18-30’s to particular events and services aimed at them (Though don’t rely too heavily on graphics)
• Ask those from your Church in that age group what they’d like to see on it to get them engaged.
• Use hashtags (similar to Twitter) to categorise your photos, making it easier for people to discover your account. (You can also create a church hashtag for the congregation to use when posting photos they’ve taken at church)
For specific tips on taking photos at church, read my photography tips blog and for more Instagram examples and inspiration, have a look at some of the church accounts mentioned above::
- All Saints, Peckham
- All Saints, Woodford Wells
- Christ Church W4
- Christ Church, Winchester
- St Peter’s, Brighton
- St Thomas, Norwich
- St Peter’s, Yateley
Got any more tips or questions? Let me know in the comments.
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