Rather than just give you a simple list of the “best” hashtags for photographers to copy paste (and do what everyone else is doing) we’ll go over some techniques to find your own relevant top photography hashtags in this guide.
As you know, using hashtags can be very beneficial to increase the engagement on your Instagram account and enables others to discover you.
And if you do it well you might get featured on aggregate accounts. When they share your image with their followers it’ll result in some massive reach.
So let’s find out how to discover the best photography hashtags for the type of work you create. In this guide, I’ll show you exactly how to make your own list of hashtags to gain more followers and attracts clients on Instagram!
The Best Photography Hashtags For You
As we said above, there is little use in just copy pasting some generic hashtags everyone is using.
While it might be ok to throw one in there now and then for good measure, you’ll probably gain little from them. As they are overused your post will disappear within the feed within seconds. This only gives a couple of people the chance to discover you.
So the best hashtags for photographers are those you can actually dominate.
Because the best results with using hashtags are achieved when you get featured in the “top posts”.
This way you’ll be seen by many more people for much longer, driving lots of traffic to your profile.
Of course, your Instagram marketing should be used in the more grand scheme of things so check out our ultimate guide on how to become a photographer and start your photography business.
Because if you do it right, you’ll not only be growing your following but find clients that want to work with you or buy your prints as well.
How To Find The Right Hashtags
To find the right hashtags for photographers you’ll have to do some digging. Get out a pencil and paper, or have your laptop open.
I’ve made this Google Sheets template that you can download and fill in if you’re interested.
Start With Your Target Audience
You probably already know some details about your target audience.
So let’s start there, and try to come up with some ideas about what hashtags they would be following.
For example, if you’re a wedding photographer you probably want to find local people who recently got engaged. Most of them will be between 22 and 35, with a majority of them being the bride who will be looking for a photographer.
And if you’re a portrait photographer you might be targeting actors, writers, and musicians. Or mothers of young teenagers that want to have a special image of their daughter. In this case, you’ll be looking for portrait photography hashtags to use.
So brainstorm about what hashtags those engaged 22-35 brides to be or artists could be following on Instagram, and put those on your list.
Bonus: Download this PDF with all the popular photography hashtags. Use them for inspiration to find your own with the methods below, or just use them in your posts.
Then look them up on Instagram. The good thing is that for most hashtags Instagram will suggest related tags at the top of the feed. Add the most interesting to your list as well.
Spy On Others
One of the best ways to find interesting hashtags is to look at which ones others are using.
Many will be using the same general ones as everyone, but some will have done their homework (like you). This is an ideal opportunity to join the ride.
Of course, you should look at other accounts that are in the same niche of photography you create.
Here’s a list of great Instagram photographers to get you started.
Another option is to look a the top posts for hashtags you’re interested in. Almost all of these top posts will have other hashtags that are related to the one you are looking at. Sometimes you’ll need to look at the first comment to find them.
Pro tip: You can get a notification every time a specific person posts a new photo. This way you can keep checking their hashtags. To turn on these notifications just visit their profile and click the three dots in the upper right-hand corner, then choose “Turn on Post Notifications”.
When you’re using worldwide general hashtags, you’re competing with everyone else on Instagram.
So try to find some that are only relevant or known local, and you’ll have drastically improved your chances be removing most of the competition.
Most cities have their own hashtag that you can use, as do events. Or look for local communities, news sites, groups,… that you can tag.
It might even lead you to new clients, as people tend to hire local photographers.
The more specific your hashtags are, the better.
Because there will be less competition to reach the top posts, and people following those feeds are probably more interested.
We’ll give you a list of niche related hashtags for photographers below, but here are some angles you might consider:
- Type of photography: #naturephotography, #boudoir, #portraitphotography,…
- Gear: #D750, #elinchrom, #octabox,…
- Technique: #rembrandtlighting, #shutterdrag,…
Target Hashtags Within Your Reach
When you found some hashtags and added them to your list you’ll have to do some research first to see if it’ll be possible for you to get into the “top posts”.
Get your list of hashtags and look at the feed page for each of them on your phone or online.
Let’s take #lighttrails as an example.
As you see in the screenshot below, this hashtag has 455.000 posts. This is an indicator of the amount of competition you’re up to, as these are all posts that are also trying to make it in the top 9.
So the more entries in a hashtag feed, the harder it will be for you to get in the top posts.
As the ranking is determined mostly by the number of likes and comments a post gets, your current numbers will be a great indicator of your ability to rank for a certain hashtag.
A good rule of thumb is to target hashtags that have a reach of x1000 of the average likes you get on an Instagram post.
- If you usually get about 10 likes per post, try to find hashtags with 10.000 entries.
- Get 100 likes per post? Target hashtags with 100.000 entries.
- If you get 1000 likes per post, go for hashtags with 1.000.000 entries.
This also shows you why you don’t really want to use generic hashtags for photographers like #instagood (945 million) or #photooftheday (643 million), as it will be almost impossible to end up in the “top posts”.
So go through your list and add the number of posts to them in a separate column. If you’ve downloaded my Google Sheets template, also fill in your current average posts likes and it’ll show you which hashtags are within your reach.
Make Sure They Are Relevant
When looking for hashtags for photographers it might be tempting to go after very general ones.
These often have the most followers, but as already saw above this isn’t always a good thing.
Moreover, it makes no sense to put certain hashtags in a post that has nothing to do with that tag. People only follow feeds that they are interested in, so putting a non-relevant photo on it will not make them like or follow you.
So make sure to mostly use hashtags relevant to you and the image you are posting. For example, if you’re a portrait photographer try to use portrait photography hashtags.
Create Your Own Hashtag
Everyone can introduce a new hashtag on Instagram.
If you struggle to come up with hashtags or just need some fresh ideas, take a look at the list below or try one of these hashtag generators:
Bonus: How To Get Featured On Instagram
On Instagram, you’ll find two types of accounts: Personal and Featured accounts.
Personal ones are just like yours and mine, where we post our own images.
But here we are more interested in the featured accounts, which could be seen as curations accounts. These large Instagram accounts often have huge followings and only re-post images of others to promote their work.
When they re-post an image they tag the original creator of the photo (you), exposing you to all their followers who then can click through to your account and start following you.
It a great marketing tactic, and a free organic way to grow your followers on Instagram.
Finding Feature Accounts
Featured accounts mostly focus on a specific community, photographic style, theme or topic. There are curation accounts on Instagram for street, portrait, food, travel, lifestyle and any other type of photography you can think of.
Of course, it’s best to try and find curation accounts that feature posts similar to your own posts. It wouldn’t make sense to try and get reposted by a food photography account if you’re a portrait photographer.
It might take some time to find a couple of good feature accounts that you could try to get promoted on, but this is just a one-time thing. As soon as you have a list of accounts you want to tag or which hashtags to use, you can just keep using them.
Below, in our list of hashtags, we’ve also included some hashtags for popular feature accounts on Instagram that you could try to target.
Finding accounts to get featured on is easy with Google.
Just search for “site:instagram.com feature portrait” on Google, but replace the word portrait with the style of photography you do.
This will bring up a whole list of feature accounts for that type of photography. Not all of them are huge so select the ones with a good amount of followers for you to target as we saw above with the hashtags.
You can also find local accounts by using a Google search like “site:instagram.com ‘be featured’ OR ‘get featured’ ‘tag us’ chicago”. Change the location to where you are based.
Huge feature accounts have the potential of bringing you more exposure when you get featured, but this means more people are also trying to do the same of course. Try to find a good balance.
When you found a feature account and start following them, Instagram will suggest you other accounts to follow.
It might be worth checking some of them out as well, as they will be mostly other related feature accounts.
Which Feature Accounts Are Others Targeting?
As we’ll see below, feature pages on Instagram often use hashtags that you should add to your posts to get featured.
A good way to find interesting accounts then is to look at which hashtags others are using.
Guidelines For Submitting Photos
Every feature account has a specific way of picking the images they feature. Mostly this comes down to using a specific hashtag in your posts, but sometimes they also want you to tag or even follow them.
The curators then browse through all of these images with their hashtag every day to find new photos to feature on their profile.
They’ll tell you their featuring guidelines in their bio so make sure you follow them.
Sometimes they also share the hashtag to use in their individual posts.
General Tips For Getting Featured
Respect The Theme
Like we said above, feature accounts are mostly focused on a specific theme. So don’t use their hashtag to get featured if your images are about something totally different.
Make Sure Your Instagram Profile Is Great
The curators for the feature accounts will first visit your Instagram profile before recommending you. This way they can be sure that they are recommending interesting photographers to their audience.
So make sure your Instagram feed itself is looking great and has a theme and style consistent with the account you are targeting. Those visitors discovering you when you get featured are also more likely to follow you if your feed is compelling.
Don’t Watermark Your Images
When you get reposted by a feature account they credit you by tagging you. So no need to “pollute” your images with a watermark, as you’ll also never be selected this way.
Don’t Be A Stranger
You’re more likely to get featured if you are active in the Instagram community.
So don’t be a stranger, and follow, like, comment and reach out to others. Especially following and liking images from the accounts you would like to be featured in can be a great way to stand out.
Pro Tip: Feature account curation is done by real humans, who often also have their own account. So go follow and engage with them. This connection can really help you as they are more likely to choose an image from a name they recognize.
Putting Them To Use
Now that you have your list of hashtags, let’s see how you can put them to use.
The Ideal Mix
Ideally, you should use a mix of some general photography hashtags (see the list) and the more specific ones we’ve gathered in this guide.
This ensures you’ll have a good chance of getting into the top spots for some while still surfing the wave of the more popular ones that have a huge following.
You can throw in a couple related to feature accounts as we saw above for good measure.
Where Should You Put Them?
When using hashtags you have the option to put them in the caption, in a comment on your own post, or both:
If you want to use a lot of photography hashtags you can achieve a clean look by putting them in the first comment below your post. This keeps your captions free of hashtags but your image will still show up on the feed.
And as Instagram shows only the latest comments, your hashtags comment will soon disappear behind the “View All Comments”.
How Many Should You Use?
On Instagram, you’re limited to 30 hashtags per post.
This is the total of hashtags in your caption and your comments. So if you put 20 in your caption and want to use another 20 in your first comment, that comment will not get posted.
However, this doesn’t mean you should use 30 hashtags all the time.
When you use too many it starts to look spammy, especially when you use general hashtags for photographers like #photooftheday or #photography.
Although hashtags are a great way for others to find your account, you don’t want to drive your current followers away by stuffing your posts with hashtags as this makes for a poor experience.
What About Instagram Stories?
In stories, you’ll be limited to 10 per story.
However, the good news is they are actually A LOT better.
GEO-tags and hashtags that you use in Instagram stories seem to have a far bigger impact and reach than the regular ones you use in posts. This is probably due to fewer people using them.
So definitely use some when sharing a story.
Hashtags For Photographers: The List
Below you’ll find a large collection of hashtags for photographers that you can use to get you started, from popular feature accounts and niche related ones to portrait photography hashtags.
Bonus: Download the PDF with all the top photography hashtags below and many more. Paste them in your Instagram posts, or use them for inspiration to find your own.
General Hashtags For Photographers
#photo #photogram #photographer #photooftheday #pictures #photographyislife #capture #instalove #picoftheday #exposure #instagood #agameoftones #photographysouls #photographyeveryday #photographylover #iglobal_photographers #shotwithlove #justgoshoot
#agameoftones #artofvisuals #createcommune #fatal.frames #folkgood #gallery_legit #globalcapture #igpodium #igshotz #illgrammers #justgoshoot #livefolk #moodygrams #mobilemag #portrait_perfection #posepatch #thecreatorclass #theimaged #thevisualcollective #weekly_feature #visualambassadors #l0tsabraids #featuremeofh
#50mm #35mm #85mm (or any other focal length) #nikond800 #nikond750 (or any other camera) #aperture #bokeh #depthoffield #fisheyelens #goldenratio #longexposure #longexposure_shots #longexposure_world #macro #macrophotography #panorama #ruleofthirds #symmetry #vignette #wideangle #rembrandt #looplighting #splitlighting
Portrait Photography Hashtags
#portraitphotographer #portraitphotography #portrait #portrait_perfection #portraitmood #portraits #portraitpage #headshots #pursuitofportraits #portraitperfection #makeportraits #portraiture #life_portraits #portraits_ig #portraitoftheday #postmoreportraits #portraitsmag #portrait_ig #portrait_mood #instaportrait #discoverportrait #igportrait
Black & White
#bwstylesgf #bnw_captures #bnw_universe #insta_bw #bwmasters #igfotogram_bw #excellent_bnw #igblacknwhite #blackandwhite_perfection #bnw_demand #bnwmood #bnw_planet #bnw_society #bnw_magazine #bnw_globe #bnw_of_our_world #top_bnw #bw_lovers #bw_photooftheday #bw_crew #bwstyleoftheday #noir_vision #bnw_diamond #flair_bw #rsa_bnw #bnw_life #bnw_guru #love_bnw #jj_blackwhite #bwsquare
#weddingphoto #weddingphotographer #weddingphotography #adventurouswedding #bridalparty #bridestory #herecomesthebride #mrandmrs #newlyweds #weddingceremony #weddingday #weddingdetails #weddingideas #weddinginspirations #weddinginspo #weddingmoments #weddingstyle #destinationweddingphotographer #bridalphotographer #couplesphotography #engagementphotos #engagmentphotography #engagementsession #bridebook #vscowedding
#concertphoto #concertphotographer #musicphoto #musicphotography #gigphotography #livemusicphotography #onstage #ontour #bestmusicshots #shows #musiclover
Fine Art Photography
#fineartphotography #fineartphotographer #conceptualphotography #fineartportrait #artisticphotography #artistoninstagram #of2humans
#filmphotography #filmisnotdead #35mm #ishootfilm #35mmfilm #filmcamera #staybrokeshootfilm #believeinfilm #buyfilmnotmegapixels #istillshootfilm #filmisalive #shotonfilm #filmcommunity #grainisgood #keepfilmalive #filmfeed #thirtyfivefuckingmillimeter #analogue #analoguevibes #analog #analogfeatures #analogphotography
#landscapephotography #landscapelover #landscape_captures #landscapes #landscape_photography #landscape_hunter #landscape_lovers #landscapecaptures #landscapestyles_gf #landscape_specialist #landscapeporn #landscapephotomag #ig_landscape
#fashionphotographer #fashionshoot #fashioneditorial #fashionmagazine #fashionmodel #fashionph #vogue #fashiongram #fashiondiaries #modelfashion
#urbanphotography #streetphotography #streetexploration #urbanandstreet #streettogether #streetmagazine
#boudoirphotography #boudoirphotographer #boudoirshoot #boudoirinspiration #boudoirphotos #beautyandboudoir #boudoir #impliedmagazine #sensualdays #great_captures_sensual #ig_sensual_art #glamourshots #glamourshot #glamourmodel
#animal_captures #wildlifephotography #wildlifephotography #birdphotography #wildlifephoto #wildlifelovers #earthfocus #wildlifeplanet #wildlifeonearth #wildlifeaddicts #natgeowild #natgeo #natgeohub #natgeowildlife #natgeopl #natgeowild_hd #natgeoru #natgeopix #wildlifeperfection