To learn more about Amber, check out the Faust Island influencer spotlight.

Amber Faust, owner of Faust Islandhas successfully grown her Instagram following to over 53,000 followers with her beautiful photography and authentic content.  Amber continues to draw in new audiences and wow current followers with her ability to consistently post captivating content on Instagram, which also happens to be her platform of choice. Take a peek at her profile – it’s easy to see why her photos and Live stories receive high engagement rates.

We wanted to find out the secret behind  her ability to curate Instagram for a beautiful, engaging, and flawless feed. Read on for her tips on how to improve Instagram for a stronger social strategy.

You currently have over 53,000 Instagram followers. How were you so successful in cultivating your following?

People love beautiful photography so I think it comes down to consistently posting beautiful photos. I know Instagram was made for mobile photography, but I rarely use my phone to take the photos (probably less than a handful of times). Instead, I always use my DSLR for consistent quality content. I have my Canon 6d set to JPG so I can easily send images to my computer. My 5d3 is set to “Raw” for golden hour images that may need a bit more editing.

What is the most difficult thing about developing your Instagram? How do you overcome those challenges?

I’d have to say it’s the constant updates – from the program itself to changing algorithms to the photo upload quality. I’ve learned that it’s okay to erase a photo with poor quality, even if it already has 25 comments and 500 likes. I want my feed to be beautiful as a whole, not just on a photo by photo basis. And I’m totally fine with erasing a beautiful photo and posting it again at a time when it’s more likely to be seen.

How do you organically weave sponsored content into your Instagram strategy?

I always use similar lighting, editing, and styling. I love bright colors, beautiful fruits, and flowers. I do all my outdoor product photography at the same time (golden hour), which is the same time that I do non-sponsored photos. Styling and editing helps your feed match.

Have you incorporated Instagram Stories or Instagram Live in your sponsored programs?

I use Instagram Stories and Instagram Live for more candid moments. For example, during the Goldfish program last week I went Live waiting for soccer practice while my soccer kid, Piper, tossed Goldfish crackers into her mouth (and mostly missed). I had about 143 people cheering her on, and when she finally got one everyone cheered. It was silly, but it drove so many people to look at my Goldfish blog post.

How has your relationship with your audience changed in the instances where you use Instagram Stories or Instagram Live?

Everyone comments and direct messages me with questions so I try to answer them all. My toddler Oli’s wardrobe gets so many questions because we shop small for most of his clothing, and everyone needs to know where we get them. We also laugh a lot at our house, and I post babies giggling almost every day to my Stories. If I skip a day, I have sweet people around the world DMing me reminders about posting videos of giggling babies.

How would you describe your Instagram feed and how its purpose differs from your other platforms?

I find that Instagram fits into our lifestyle well. I’ve been a photographer for years, so telling stories with photos comes naturally. As for the others, I am still learning Twitter and Pinterest (HELP!). Since Instagram fits into my lifestyle easily, I’ve devoted more time into cultivating it. It started as a photo essay of our days and has turned into so much more. I love Instagram.

Your Instagram is beautiful! Light-filled, captivating, and very authentic. At which point did Instagram become a priority in your content strategy?

From the start, Instagram has been my priority. It’s a fun platform and many of my Instagram friends have become real friends. It probably was a backwards way of doing it. I hear all the time about Pinterest being a bloggers secret weapon, and truthfully I hate it.

How do you bring cohesion to your Instagram feed? Colors, lighting, themes, etc.?

I like simplicity. I think a simple light-filled, bright photo with a clear subject is my favorite. If I use a prop, it’s normally a simple toy, fruit, or a flower. I don’t like clutter in a photo so I will clean everything out either manually or in Photoshop. For example, I’m constantly moving people off the beach in photos because they are distracting.

What tools do you need to stage the perfect photo? Which programs or apps do you use to edit?

Lighting! My sunroom gets such pretty lighting, so I’m constantly herding my children into that room for a photo. Or a beautiful golden sunset or sunrise! I love a simple fixed lens like a 35 or 50mm and a happy subject. If your subject isn’t happy, reschedule or promise cupcakes.

As for editing, I use Photoshop CC (most of the time in the Adobe Camera Raw filter). I suggest creating an “action” in Photoshop (or downloading one) of your common editing steps so your photos all look similar (learn more about actions on Photoshop here). Then I use Dropbox to keep a folder full of Instagram-worthy images. With Instagram’s new upload quality I’ve added the extra step of adding a dash of contrast in the Instagram app itself.

Your Instagram is such a clear extension of your blog. How do you cross-promote between your different platforms?

I used to have the automatic uploads turned on so my Instagram posted across my social channels, and it was such a lifesaver. When the recent update happened, I lost that setup but I need to figure out how to turn it back on ASAP.

What are your top 3 tips for using Instagram on your Linqia-specific programs?

  1. Spread out your Linqia Instagram posts. You don’t want your audience to feel like you are a salesperson.
  2. Post pretty photos that match your feed. Cohesion is a good way to think about it.
  3. Change the link within your Instagram bio often. Instagram only gives you one link, and it’s impossible to remember to visit a link after spotting a post. Make it easier for your followers to learn more by leaving your or blog post link up for at least 5 hours after you post your Instagram, and use the hashtag #linkinbio within your caption.

What are your goals for how to continue improving on your Linqia programs?

I’m taking a photography class! I’ve been a lifestyle photographer for so many years, but I never learned food photography. It’s so much fun being a photography student again because staging food is different than people. I’ve also recently installed Grammarly to help with my grammar, and I’m sure everyone is happy about this improvement!  

Which has been your favorite Linqia program so far? Why?

I’ve loved them all for different reasons, but GOODFOODS was my first and their guacamole is everything!