This time we interviewed the Milan-based fashion photographer Azzurra Piccardi and talked about her strategies and best working tactics when it comes to using Instagram as a business tool.
Azzurra Piccardi is a fashion, beauty and portrait photographer, who also spends some of her time retouching and educating. Born and raised in Tuscany, Azzurra started photographing at the age of 4 when she got her first analogue camera. After finishing her Masters in Photography, Azzurra got to learn and train with some of the best professionals in the industry, such as Nick Knight or Annie Leibovitz. Today, she’s followed by tens of thousands on Instagram and her range of clients includes names like Carolina Herrera, Elle Italy, Levi’s, and Wella to name a few.
In this interview, we talked with Piccardi’s about her use of Instagram and her approach to the app as a business tool.
First of all, could you briefly introduce yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
I am Azzurra Piccardi, a fashion, beauty, portrait photographer and high-end retoucher, working wherever my camera takes me. I work as freelancer for fashion and beauty brands, companies, music bands and magazines.
Visual communication has always been a crucial aspect of my work. I aim to create emotions for the brands I work with by using storytelling in a dynamic balance with beauty. I’ve been collaborating with luxury brands such as Wella, Zalando, Carolina Herrera, Levi’s, Ugg, and others; and have a long list of awards and important publications, including the Prix de la Photographie de Paris (PX3) and the International Photography Award (IPA) to name a few.
How is your relationship with Instagram? How often do you use it?
I use Instagram mainly for work, so I use it every day in order to be consistent with my audience and give them useful content and entertainment.
In what way does Instagram work for you?
I use it professionally to showcase my work, know people in the industry, get in contact with them, and collaborate with brands, both fashion (for content creation) and photography equipment (for brand awareness as I also teach photography).
Do you plan your Instagram content? What is your process?
Depends. Well, I should plan Instagram content, but is not always easy as I work regularly. For that reason I don’t always plan everything, but I’m always trying my best in order to get an interesting feed. Of course, paid jobs and paid collaborations have priority.
Do you have a way of predicting how a picture is going to perform? What would you say works well with your followers?
This is always difficult. Every time I post a picture that I think will perform only ok, it goes great and vice-versa. I guess it depends on the emotions the picture and the caption evoke on people. But still, it is always difficult to predict. If I’d have to guess, I’d say posts where I tell stories and show my job work best.
What are your strategies to influence content performance and engagement? Do you use any resources?
Collaboration is the key. Collaborate with people, tag them and let them share your content. This is the ultimate strategy.
How much time do you spend engaging with your followers? Do you consider it is important to do it?
It is crucial to engage with them in an interesting way so they feel they always need more from you. I spend every day a couple of hours on Instagram engaging and posting (stories and feed).
What is your opinion regarding automated tools to trick the algorithm?
Those automatic things to increase following may seem to work in the beginning, but then you will end up either with a lot of non-existing people or a lot of people that are not interested in your work, so they will not interact with your content. I do not recommend it.
If you had to choose 3 elements to focus on when it comes to Instagram strategy, what would they be?
Content is king, copywriting, and eventually collaboration.
Who’s your favorite Instagrammer at the moment?
I don’t have one in particular as I follow many of them. But I would say Marisa (@marisa).
To see more of Azzurra Piccardi’s work, have a look at her Cherrydeck profile or at her website, here. For more insights on how to promote yourself on Instagram, read our Instagram guide available on your Cherrydeck profile. ?