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Gaining a following on Instagram is one of the best ways to increase brand awareness.

As someone who’s gained a huge following on Instagram (over 10K and growing!) using high-quality photography, this nutritionist has motivating tips to brush up your Instagram account.

Nutritionist and digital entrepreneur, Nadia Felsch, sat down with us to share the steps she took to get to 10K Instagram followers.

In this post, you will learn:

  • The equipment and lighting Nadia uses
  • How she integrates her brand style into her Instagram photos
  • How she experiments with props and backgrounds while keeping food the main focus
  • Her Instagram posting strategy
  • Her 3 rules for growing your Instagram following

Whether you already use Instagram or need to dust off an old account, Nadia’s story is sure to motivate you to offer a high-quality experience on Instagram while catering to your target audience, too.

How This Nutritionist Gained A Huge Following on Instagram Using High-Quality Photography

1. She doesn’t use her iPhone

As someone with a keen sense of quality, Nadia admitted she doesn’t use her iPhone for her Instagram photos. Although Instagram is a platform that many people use on the go, Nadia and her husband, Tippy Dray, set the scene in their apartment and spend an entire day shooting images for her Instagram account. They also take advantage of their apartment’s natural lighting to keep the overall imagery focused on the beauty of the food not on artificial lighting:

We only ever shoot in natural light because I just feel that it brings out the best in the beautiful food that we’re working with.

Whether Nadia is photographing alone, or with her husband, she uses a Canon 5D Mark 3. She alternates between the 24-70mm lens and a 100mm macro lens.

2. She knows her style

Knowing your style makes it easy to produce imagery and content that’s consistent across all channels. Whether you’re looking at Nadia’s Instagram account, receive one of her emails, or check out her Facebook page, the imagery is consistent.

My style is really clean, simple and bright. I absolutely love color. I’m going to look to add some depth and some texture and interest with different props and food that I’m using.

Knowing your style as an online entrepreneur is crucial for growing an engaged audience. She knows her brand and builds it into her Instagram style.

Ensuring that your website, ecommerce store, and Instagram account all blend is one of the simplest ways to stand out online. By taking a look at Nadia’s website, you can see her brand is full of contrasting colors: She uses a dark background with bright produce and a light background with dark text. She compliments it with a pop of turquoise and purple:

Great recipes will get people following on instagram so pick the right ecommerce solution and get started

These same principles translate very well to her Instagram account: And it’s not an accident. Nadia and her husband work sometimes for entire days, food styling and photographing the finished product:

Start following on instagram and don't forget the Selz upsell

Nadia uses the same attention to detail and contrasting look for her Instagram account that she uses on her website. Depending on the food, she uses different backgrounds and props:

One of the ways that I really like to work in food styling for my Instagram account is I like to think about first of all the food that I’m using but also the background I’m going to work with. For instance, with a beautiful juice with beetroot, something really bright, I’m going to work with a black background to really make it pop and just a really simple prop, a beautiful glass, probably something vintage just to give it an interest level as well.

3. She keeps food the main focus of her images

She also experiments with different props and backgrounds, making sure that the food stays the central focus of the image. Nadia says, “I’d say overall that I have quite a less is more approach, so I’ll often put things into the shot and then take them out, just pare it back and instead focus on the beauty of the food.”

A glass bowl is dazzling and attractive to look at - if you hire someone for PPC management you can focus your creativity to sell on Instagram

4. She experiments with different backgrounds

For most, Instagram means you take one picture and upload it to your account. But, with Nadia, much planning and preparation go into an individual Instagram photo.

She always experiments with different backgrounds to keep the focus on the food:

If I’m working with a dark background, for instance, posting to Instagram, I’m going to look to work with some earthy colors to complement it. Obviously, I don’t want the food or the props to get lost in the background.

Bright colors pop and get people to start following on instagram as you find your partners - read more on Selz FounderU

A lot of thought and planning goes into food styling, which comes across as high-quality and consistent with her brand. Nadia isn’t simply taking a picture of her lunch every day and posting it to her Instagram account.

Instead, she is taking dedicated time to style her food, photograph it, and share it at peak times when her audience is most active.

5. She knows her audience

Not only does knowing your audience help with building a business that resonates, but it also makes it easier to connect with them. Nadia makes an effort every day to post specifically during mealtimes. Nadia says,

By posting at mealtimes I’m hoping to offer inspiration, insights, and some tips to my followers so that they can make better food choices in their own lives.

Take for instance this post: an image of baked beans with a quick note about how simple these leftovers are to make in the morning:

a food image to build a following on instagram isn't enough, sometimes you need a digital agency for advertising

Nadia knows that her audience is busy women looking for food inspiration. Sharing during those peak times makes it easy as ever to connect with her audience. Plus, they also learn to expect meal inspiration around specific times, integrating Nadia’s advice within their own lives. In this way, she also provides insight into what it’s like working with Nadia through her ebooks, courses, and workshops.

6. She posts consistently

Because Nadia’s Instagram following expects to find meal inspiration and recipes around specific times, it leads to an even more engaged audience. She says:

I usually post to Instagram roughly 2-3 times a day, and it’s roughly based on how we would be eating here in Australia. So breakfast, lunch and dinner; I find that that’s going to have the best traction with my followers.

Finding out the optimal times that your target audience is active on Instagram helps you grow your audience.

7. She posts live

With social media becoming more and more automated, it’s tempting to simply set it and forget it. But Nadia values authenticity:

I’m not using any scheduling tools with my Instagram account and everything I do is live. I just feel that it’s more authentic, my life changes all the time, the food that I eat changes all the time and I like to give a proper representation of my life.

8. She engages with like-minded and inspiring Instagram accounts

Instead of just following any Instagram account, Nadia only follows the accounts she truly loves. She shared that she’s met lots of friends through the platform:

Instagram is hands down my favorite social media platform and I think that liking sharing and following other accounts is part and parcel of using it. I only follow accounts that I really genuinely adore and I’m happy to tell them that no matter who they are. I’ve actually made a bunch of true offline friends from using the platform as well.

9. She celebrates the wins: Big and small

following on instagram

Nadia and her husband put a ton of effort into her Instagram marketing. When Nadia’s Instagram account hit that 10,000 threshold, she took to her account to get personal and thank her followers for their support.

She and her husband also said they had a little dance party:

When I hit 10k followers I certainly did celebrate, It was such a great feeling after having the account for some time and we definitely did a lot of dancing that weekend.

Building an Instagram account that stands out isn’t one of the easiest feats, so celebrating those victories is an easy way to keep your motivation high and also gives you content to share with your followers.

Nadia’s 3 Rules For Growing Your Instagram Following

1. Stay True

As much as I love puppies and fashion it just wouldn’t make sense posting those on my account as a wholefoods account.

2. Keep it real

Authenticity and my personality is something that I really pride putting across on my Instagram account and my followers seem to really enjoy that I’m sharing it as well.

3. Quality over quantity

I don’t post photos ‘just because’ and I’m never in a rush to post. I think it’s important to put across not just a beautiful image, but actual true value.

Instagram is one of the best ways to authentically connect with your target audience while growing brand awareness. As a nutritionist, focusing on food and lifestyle should always be at the foundation of your strategy. 

Even if you’re not a nutritionist, using high-quality food photography makes you stand out on Instagram. Which of these techniques will you try with your business?

About the author

Kristen Runvik

Content strategist and holistic herbalist with experience in collaborative content creation and strategy implementation, multidimensional and highly creative content development, ecommerce growth, and medicinal plant, flower, and herb expertise.

Kristen is also the Founder of Lagom Body Co., a multidimensional skincare and lifestyle brand.


  1. Kristen

    Hey Liz, thanks so much for chiming in! We were also impressed by Nadia’s attention to detail and value of high-quality images. Since most people are ‘gramming on the go, using a pro camera can really help stand out. Plus, sometimes the most simple way to do something is the most effective, even if time-consuming. Keep doing what you do :)

  2. Liz

    While I agree the tips are starter level, nonetheless, I found Nadia’s immense efforts behind the scenes photographing with a dslr and taking time to create perfect images each time – and posting live – a huge inspiration. I did think I was the only one using a Canon for Instagram not a phone! I had a food blog but have now moved to natural health and skincare products and am taking ages over each shot. I thought Insta meant Insta, but clearly it’s gone very pro! Good to know how Nadia made 10K the time-consuming way.

  3. Camilla

    I was a little disappointed after the exciting title of the article. All tips are open doors and basic stuff.

  4. Kristen

    Hey Camilla, thanks for sharing how you feel with us! We thought Nadia’s tips were great for those getting started with Instagram and how to build their audience using her smart tips (We’ve all seen Instagram accounts with terrible photography spamming everyone…). We’ll consider providing more advanced tips in the future.

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