With more than 600 million monthly active users, Instagram offers great opportunities for photographers to build an audience of dedicated fans. But convincing a million of those people to follow you is a feat generally reserved for superstars, brands and a handful of influencers.

Yet, with a few well-employed tricks and excellent photography skills, these five photographers have managed to approach and even exceed that mark.

Here is how they did it and what they have learned along the way.

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