I once painted my bedroom bright red. I don’t know why I thought that was a good idea. After a week of living with it I realised why I wasn’t sleeping properly, why I felt a little nauseous in the mornings and why passers-by thought we were running a house of ill-repute – it was a terrible mistake. I’d like to point out that the passers-by were wrong obviously but I wish someone had told me before I’d wasted money on the paint. But it’s not unusual for me to make mistakes. Mistake-maker extraordinaire – that’s me. I never choose the right colour t-shirt to match my trousers and I always wish I’d ordered something else in a restaurant. This amazing ability follows me around everywhere I go so I’ve had to train myself on Instagram to avoid the obvious mistakes that can detract from making your gallery the best it can be. So in an attempt to help others avoid similar mistakes that I’ve made on Instagram I thought I’d share my 5 most annoying with you…

(Disclaimer: In no way am I claiming to be some Insta-guru but, actively running my account for years and noticing others make errors, I think I have earned enough stripes to talk about these Insta-mistakes and reduce the amount of this mess we grammers have to wade through).

Ok, along with some of the photos-mistakes I’ve posted myself, here goes…

I follow around 300 people. I’m not sure if that’s a lot or not to be honest. But I don’t want one photographer hogging the limelight and flooding my feed with image after image after image… Choose your photos carefully, think about each posting and what you are trying to say with it and balance that out across the day. Daily posting is fine but not every minute of every day posting.


I, and others, advise using relevant hashtags only. Don’t do what I did when I first started on Instagram and overload your caption with millions of unrelated most-popular hastags purely to gain followers. Followers will find and stay with you if you post good quality photographs. Fact.


Instagram is a social media. The emphasis here being on the word ‘social’. Personally I’ve found Instagram’s community kind, helpful and very supportive. And the only way to discover this is by commenting on others photos. Leaving a first message was a little daunting, but by appreciating others work, above and beyond the usual double tap, you can build rapports with others, find like-minded people and even make (virtual/real-life) friends.


Don’t follow other grammers specifically to make them follow you. I spent my first couple of years doing this and it drove me kind of crazy. I wouldn’t follow people unless they followed me back. Looking back it detracted me from concentrating on the job in hand – the job of taking and posting good photos. In my opinion you should follow those who’s photos you admire and, if they follow you back, then that’s a bonus.


I know this is a personal hate but I find liking your own photos a little too egocentric. Instagram for me is about appreciating others photographs and leaving them to like yours. Will one more like make that much difference?


By the way I repainted my bedroom the week after…a mellow yellow. Much better and proved that I can learn from my mistakes. Just about…

Tony Hammond

I’m Tony Hammond. I’m UK based. I’m a total Instagram-addict and I wish I could disco dance. Find me on Instagram at @iamtonyhammond and say hello! 

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