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Why Growing Your Boudoir Photography Account On Instagram Is (Almost) Impossible

Instagram Restricted Account notification

Instagram has become an essential platform for businesses looking to expand their reach and connect with potential customers, but for boudoir photographers, growing an Instagram account can be an incredibly challenging task. Instagram's restrictions on accounts posting boudoir photography content can make it difficult, if not impossible, to promote your work on the platform. Boudoir photography is a genre that captures intimate, sensual images of individuals or couples, typically in lingerie or nude. Instagram's community guidelines prohibit the posting of sexually suggestive content, which can make it challenging for boudoir photographers to share their work.

Instagram Account Restriction: If you're a boudoir photographer-- it's happened to you, although you may not have even realized it. If you're a new boudoir photographer... it's just a matter of time.

Instagram's algorithm is designed to detect and remove content that violates the platform's "community guidelines." The algorithm uses a combination of machine learning and human moderators to identify and remove inappropriate content. The machine learning component is essential because it can quickly identify potentially problematic content before it is seen by human moderators.

Instagram's AI (Artificial Intelligence) works by scanning images for various characteristics that may indicate whether the image is within the platform's guidelines. These characteristics include nudity, sexually suggestive poses, and provocative clothing. If an image contains one or more of these elements, it may be flagged as potentially violating the platform's guidelines.

Instagram's AI can also detect text in images, including captions, hashtags, and comments. If the text contains inappropriate language or promotes harmful behavior, the image may be flagged and removed.

One of the challenges for boudoir photographers is that Instagram's AI can have difficulty differentiating between artistic nudity and sexually suggestive content. This is why it is important for boudoir photographers to be strategic with the content they post and to ensure that their images are suggestive but not explicit. By being creative with angles, lighting, and wardrobe, boudoir photographers can create images that are beautiful and artistic, without being too revealing.

It's important to note that while Instagram's AI is designed to identify and remove inappropriate content, it is not perfect. The algorithm can sometimes flag content that does not violate the platform's guidelines, and it can miss content that does. This is why human moderators are also involved in the process of identifying and removing inappropriate content.

Instagram's AI works by comparing images to a database of previously flagged content. If an image is similar to content that has been flagged in the past, it may be flagged and removed. This can be a challenge for boudoir photographers, as images that are suggestive but not explicit may be flagged if they are similar to previously flagged content.

In addition to the challenges posed by Instagram's AI, boudoir photographers also face challenges posed by the platform's shadowban or "restriction" feature. A shadowban is when Instagram restricts the visibility of an account's content, making it less likely to appear in search results or on the Explore page. While the reasons for a shadowban can be unclear, it is believed that Instagram may be more likely to shadowban accounts that post boudoir photography content.

How can you check if your Instagram account is restricted? Fortunately, now it's easy. Go to the main page on your account. Hit the hamburger menu in the upper right hand corner. Go to Settings. Go to Account. Go to Account Status. If you have two green checks there, you're good. If there is a red warning sign... you're restricted.

Instagram Account Status Window

What happens when your boudoir photographer Instagram account is restricted? Well, back in the ole' days of Instagram you'd probably never even know you were restricted... I'm not sure when the Account Status section was added to the settings... but I think it's a recent in the past year or two.

Before the Account Status feature was added you may not have even know your account was restricted. What it means is the your content is not visible to anyone outside of your followers. It will not be shown to anyone else, therefore you will not grow any new subscribers. Your reels, stories, etc. will only be visible to your followers (or the percentage of followers that IG feels like sharing your content with...)

How can you un-restrict, or restore, your Instagram account? Well, it's simple...and not so simple. They will point you to the offending posts and ask you to remove them. It will look like this...

Instagram restricted content list

Theoretically, if you removed those posts, within 24 hours you'll be good to go! The bad news is... typically 2 or 3 more posts will pop in your warning list a day or so later. ...And so it goes. It's like a game of pop-a-mole. There's no end to it! 🤣 Such is the life of a boudoir photographer on Instagram.

The thing is-- your posts that are flagged will not be any different from the tens of thousands of others posts that are freely flying around Instagram with no objection. I always joke that 25% of Instagram is just women taking photos of their boobs and butts. If you take a peek at your Explore tab, it will be filled with photos and reels of women in lingerie, swimsuits, undressing... and even content that actually IS sexually explicit... but there it is... right in your Explore! That means the accounts of the people posting these photos/reels have not been restricted for posting this content. Meanwhile, your content is restricted. Doesn't make much sense, does it? Welcome to the world of Instagram!