Photography hashtags…the secret to photographer success in 2021: Instagram is by far the best social media platform for photographers in all genres. In case you need convincing, are two reasons for this: 1) Instagram is the main visual platform currently, with the largest audience of people looking for images. 2) You can create a rather large user-base on Instagram, where your network of followers can keep up to date with your latest photography.
In 2021, posting your photos, videos, hashtags, and stories frequently will help you gain more followers, who may, in turn, become clients. Many photographers are using Instagram to display their photographic portfolio. And although that is important, it doesn’t accomplish much if your Instagram posts are not getting the proper reach. Using our ultimate Instagram Photography Hashtags for 2021 guide will help you get your photos out there!
If you are familiar with Instagram, you know how important both the caption and hashtag are for images. Without them, the overall reach and branding for your images will suffer! You might think that any random hashtags you have seen before will work, or any assortment of selfie hashtags which are popular on Instagram. And, it’s kinda true, but not the whole story.
To get far reaching engagement, you need to use specific and specialized hashtags that allow you to break into the Instagram photography communities. This post will guide you in choosing the best hashtags in the most popular photography genres and niches.
What are photography hashtags in 2021 used for?
Hashtags are Instagram’s method of categorizing content and making it discoverable for its users to see. The use of Hashtags offers you exposure to a larger audience that may not have found your social media posts otherwise. Hashtags don’t just appear from hashtag searches, instead, they can dictate what will appear on other’s explore pages and other suggested posts.
Using the right hashtags may even get your post featured, reposted, and shared by others. You must tag your post with specific words that users are searching for, or that already have a decent amount of reach. If you are using the correct hashtags, your posts will show up as users search for similar photos, and your posts may even be picked up by Instagram and shared unto communities built upon hashtags.
There are four main attributes that will increase the reach of your images. Pay attention to these specific four factors:
- Frequency – How often a hashtag is used.
- The interaction or popularity of your post – How many likes and comments it has.
- The time it is shared – There are certain times when it’s best to post, like in the evening, when a lot of users are active.
- Audience strength – How large your audience is (number of followers) and how active they are on the platform.
How many hashtags can I use?
Instagram allows a maximum of 30 hashtags per post. If you want to sneak some extra in, you can add a comment to your post and write additional hashtags there. Instagram marketers, however, recommend avoiding photography hashtag stuffing – the practice of using way too many hashtags to try and create reach. Most of these experts agree that the ideal number of hashtags is somewhere between 5 – 11 per post.
Remember that it’s about using the most relevant photography hashtags, random hashtags may actually do more harm than good. Another trap that some Instagram users may fall into us creating their own hashtags. Avoid making your own hashtags unless you already have a large following associated and engages with your branding. One important step to take is to do research before using hashtags. Find the hashtags that are most used by the users you wish to invite, and use those with consistency. This will make it so that that userbase is much more likely to see your work, hopefully multiple times, and you have the ability to really spark a community that you stand out within.
It’s important to note that many hashtags are a combination of words and characters like the #landscape_lovers tag, for example. Some even combine numbers, letters, and characters! If you are using some of these more complicated hashtags, make sure that your spelling is consistent with that of the hashtag! It would be awful to see that you have repeatedly made the mistake of using the wrong hashtag for all your images!
How to choose the correct hashtags for your Instagram photos
Depending on the size of your following, you’ll have a bigger chance of getting noticed by using some specific hashtags. It’s all about comparing the competition to your profile and seeing where your account fits into the infamous and everchanging ‘Instagram algorithm.’ Although the algorithm does change, and we are unsure of what exactly it promotes, there are ways to take advantage of it using the correct hashtags.
Here is what you need to know about Instagram photography hashtags: the more posts a hashtag has, the harder it is to get a high ranking and get noticed. At the same time, the less posts a hashtag has, the harder it is for others to actually find your work through the hashtag system. The goal for the majority of photographers is to get into the top post category for a hashtag. The top nine posts in each hashtag are shown as the top results in the search feature. When growing your Instagram account, you must target the tags that strike a balance between competition and viewership. The lower viewership a hashtag, the less important reaching that top post category, but the easier it is to do. Using lower popularity genre hashtags to start building viewership is a great strategy when just starting out your Instagram account.
A hashtag like #photographer has over 162 million posts, so it will be challenging to get noticed, whereas a specific tag like #wildlifephotographer has 700k. The best way to get a good ranking is to target lower-competition hashtags and use those as your tags. So, how can you stand out among millions as a beginner? Work your way up by targeting those easy tags and gather lots of likes, which will allow you to start posting in the bigger hashtags.
Consider targeting a hashtag that has about 1000 times more posts than your average number of likes. Let’s imagine that you get 50 likes on average per post, you should target hashtags with approximately 50.000 posts.
Take a look at this lengthy list of the best general Instagram hashtags for photographers popular in 2021:
Now that you’ve got a list of potential hashtags to use, only choose approximately ten that are most suited for your style of photography. There are niche and genre-specific hashtags as well, so if you are a wedding photographer, use a hashtag generator tool, such as this one, to search for the top hashtags in that category. You’ll find tags like #weddingphotography, that are better suited to your post than something like #pic. Using these specific hashtags will allow your posts to flourish, rather than to be thrown in with millions of other images.
Here are some great lists of hashtags for all niches and genres of photography. Look through them to find what you need!
The Best Black and White Photography Hashtags for Instagram
Even though color photography has been around for many decades, black and white photography never died. There is a whole “monochrome aesthetic” movement dedicated to amazing black and white photography, and many fine art photographers focus almost wholly on black and white photography. There are many reasons people love black and white photography, from the timeless quality, the visualization of light, and how much you can bring out from a subject when shooting in black and white. This type of photography is considered visually simplified and takes away some of the distraction that color may bring to the table. It also leaves room for interpretation and guessing because, as a viewer, you might not know what the real color of the subjects and objects is.
There are many black and white photography hashtags, including many related tags. #blackandwhitephotography has more than 25 million posts, so there is an opportunity to find a more specific and targetted hashtag to have your photography get picked up and noticed.
View this post on Instagram
St Marks My BW post processing video tutorials are now available to purchase on my website, link in my bio. I hope all you guys are keeping safe and well. Best wishes Jay #bw #longexposure #bnw #bn #bandw #nikon #zeiss #fineart #fineartphotography #artofvisuals #moodygrams #longexpo #mono #monochrome #monochromatic #monotone #blackandwhite #blackwhite #blackandwhitephotography #aov #street #art #instagram #instagood #beautiful #bnwphotography #venice #architecture #bnw_archaholics #beauty
Here are some black and white photography hashtags:
The Best Aerial Photography Hashtags
Aerial and drone photography is an up and coming category on Instagram. It is increasingly popular because access to things such as drones has never been easier for photographers. Aerial photos allow you to see the world from an entirely new perspective. The hashtag #dronephotography currently has over 4.9 million posts, and #aerialphotography has over 3 million, coming in at a combined 8 million, making it a popular new category in the photography world. Make sure to check out our aerial photography tips guide here.
Here’s a list of great hashtags for drone and aerial photos:
The Best Travel Photography Hashtags
View this post on Instagram
I remember first visiting Bangkok in 2014 where I spent a solid three days drinking beer with my two best friends – oh, how times have changed. While my teenage dream of being a professional beer drinker didn’t quite work out, I’m feeling pretty content with photography. On another note, I was inspired just yesterday by @jesseitzler’s post in which he said he’s going to do 30 things at home over the next 30 days to keep productive. So, today I cleared out my entire wardrobe and managed to fill a huge bag for charity. How are you going to remain productive during these times? Let’s discuss! 🏙🌳
This is a prime example of a travel photography hashtags post.
Wanderlust is still something that people experience, and one of the first things they do is check Instagram for travel inspiration. Travel photography is a booming industry, and combining location and photography hashtags can really get you into the travel photography niche. Using relevant hashtags here will allow you to expose your work to those who are constantly browsing through over 110 million posts currently housed in the #travelphotography hashtag.
Here is a list of the best hashtags for travel photographers:
The Best Street Photography Hashtags
Photographers who are out and about on the streets all day snapping photos are known as street photographers. They capture the essence and reality of day to day life through their lens. Street photography captures life as honestly as it can. Street photos are not usually as staged, prepared, or edited as other genres of photography; it’s all about capturing honest human images.
A popular sub-niche is street fashion photography, which has a large following on Instagram and over 25 million posts in the #streetfashion hashtag.
Whether you’re capturing the stylish people walking around the city or snapping pictures of bustling day-to-day life, you’ll be able to use some of the street photography related hashtags:
The Best Food Photography Hashtags
One of the most popular trends on Instagram is food photography, with over 50 million posts in the #foodphotography hashtag alone. Food unites us all, so it’s not surprising that food photography hashtags have taken the Insta world by storm since its inception. When you see a delicious meal in an appealing photo, you’ll probably crave it, too!
Restaurants, amateur chefs, as well as marketing agencies are quickly turning to food photography to attract hungry customers who love visually appealing dishes. The more delectable food looks, the more people are going to interact with a food photo, and the more likely they are to go try it out. If you want to market food or share your love of cuisine, use the many foodie and food photography hashtags available. Check out our food photography tips guide for 2021 here!
View this post on Instagram
#foodaddict #foodporn #foodphotography #foodstagram #icecreamforever #icecreamforeveryone #fatgirlsareprettytoo #icecream #icecreamtime #icecreamlover #icecreamgram #chocolate #chocolateaddict #iloveicecream🍦 #icecreamaddict #loveislove🌈 #curvesproud #biggirlsrock #biggirlsglowdifferent #gimmemoreicecreamnow #biggirlswag #usethingsnotpeople #lovepeoplenotthings💖 #quoteoftheday #celebratemysize #sizeplus #plussizeandproud #quoteoftheday #love #strongertogether #yummy
Here are some of the best hashtags to use for food photographers:
The Best Portrait Photography Hashtags
Portraiture is one of the most human artforms, with artists across mediums attempting to capture likeness, emotion, feeling, soul, and the humanity of their subjects. With the fame of portraiture in art, it’s no wonder that portrait photography is still one of the most popular types of artistic photography on Instagram, with over 38 million photos.
View this post on Instagram
Hallo, heute gibt es das zweite Bild mit @duygucbs ich wollte schon immer einmal Fotos auf einer Straße machen. Hier passte einfach alles und wir hatten viel Spaß. Wie findet ihr die Bilder? Ich bin auf eure Kommentare gespannt. . 📸 #nikond750 🔭 #sigma35mmart 💃 @duygucbs . #bnw_photography #bnw_greatshots #bnw_captures #bnwportrait #bnw #blackandwhite #schwarzweissportrait #bnwphotography #bw_captures #bwphotography #bw_art #bwportrait #bw #bw_photooftheday #blackandwhite #blackphotographers #blackwhitephotos #portraitcapturer #portraitgermany #portrait_vision #portraitphotography #portraithunger #portraitfotografie #detmold #igershooting #igportrait #instashoting #shootingnrw #tfpshooting
Great portrait photographers are experts at using light and special techniques to capture the uniqueness of each person’s face. With a dedicated following of fellow photographers and enthusiastic clients, using the #portraitphotography tag and all the similar hashtags will help you get seen.
Find your favorite hashtags on this list:
The Best Landscape Photography Hashtags
The landscape photography category is similar to travel photography, but it is focused solely on the landscape and the beauty of nature. People love to see the world around them captured on camera. Whether it’s a landscape shot of the Himalayas or the fauna of Lake Ontario, people are quick to appreciate high-quality landscape and nature photography. The hashtag #naturephotography currently has close to 100 million posts!
The landscape and nature category is easier to rank well in because there is lots of variety and very many subcategories and small niches. You can also take advantage of the fact that landscape and travel photography are so related by using hashtags from both genres to broaden your reach and goals.
Best Fashion Photography Hashtags in 2021
Fashion photography is a popular category on Instagram, with over 20 million posts. The general audience for this type of content is young, trendy, and always looking for creative content to get inspired and shop. These are some of the best audiences to reach, as Instagram favors advertiser-friendly consumers. This category is a mix of fashion photographers, bloggers, and fashion models. Many of the fashion photography hashtags used in this genre are interchangeable, and using several can help you get into other’s feeds.
But, getting exposure using these hashtags will help you get more followers in this niche. Getting good results with fashion and fashion editorial posts is challenging, but targetting longer hashtags such as #fashionphotographyexperience can make it easier to break in to. People searching for fashion photography posts are usually looking for specific aesthetics. Consider using brand hashtags as well as some of the more popular photography hashtags, along with some of the lower post count hashtags.
Here is a list of fashion photography hashtags to use:
- # add your location + photographer (ex. Nycphotographer)
Best Portrait Photography Hashtags
The best portrait photographers can capture their subject’s personality and distinguishing facial features through the lens. Portrait photography is still very popular, even in the age of the selfie. #portraitphotography has over 40.8 million posts making it a huge photography category and niche on Instagram.
Many people want professional-looking family photos, photos of ceremonies, photos of significant others, business photos, or want to mark special moments in their lives. They will call on portrait photographers to capture more than just their face; they want photos that capture their essence and tell a story.
To get your photos more social media exposure, combine the portrait photography hashtags with a few general photography hashtags.
Best Wedding Photography Hashtags
Wedding photography is an endless source of inspiration for couples looking to get married. The wedding photo niche is one of the most popular niches on Instagram because of their pretty and romantic aesthetic.
Many Instagram users look at wedding photos for inspiration for their wedding day. They want ideas for everything from the bride’s dress, to table décor, and even wedding venues. For up and coming wedding photographers, great photos are the perfect opportunity to land new clients.
There are currently 30.5 million posts under #weddingphotography, and most of the sub-niches and related hashtags have millions of posts, such as #bride with over 50 million. To get your wedding photos noticed, you need to use the best wedding photography niche hashtags on Instagram and dive deep into longer hashtags and sub-niches to get the most out of the platform’s algorithm, and the many Instagram users looking for their wedding inspiration.
Here are the most popular hashtags in this category:
Best Photography Tools Hashtags
This photography category is for those photographers who are using special cameras, equipment, tools, and software to create artistic and groundbreaking photographs. Using photo tools hashtags are a great way to get noticed in the photographer community. There are, in fact, specific Instagram communities and hashtags for things such as gear, software, and techniques.
Many photographers are specialists in vintage type of photos, or use Kodak cameras, or use a specific film stock, so they can take advantage of this by using specific community and niche hashtags. Many photographers are dedicated to one type of photo editing software and use it for all their edits. If you use Lightroom for example, always add #lightroom to your post because there are over 18 million posts under that hashtag. With the photography tools hashtags, you can show off your special skill and techniques.
8 Photography Hashtag Tips & Tricks in 2021
- Use Instagram Analytics Tools
To gain access to these analytics tools, an Instagram business account is required. Instagram business accounts are free and easy to create. These accounts have a feature called ‘Insights,’ which allow you to check how your posts are doing and how many impressions are coming from your hashtags. This way, it’s possible to analyze and see if you are using the right hashtags.
Here is the information that the ‘insights’ feature shows you:
- Profile views
- Summary of the last seven days of account activity
- Number of impressions
- Demographics of your followers
- Impressions on your most recent three posts
- Indicates the number of people who discovered your post through hashtags
This last piece of insight is extremely valuable: you can see how effectively you are using the hashtags. If a hashtag is bringing no engagement and impressions, it is ineffective and must be replaced.
- Doing the research
The best way to stay informed about the best photography hashtags is to do your own research every couple of months. See what is most popular in specific hashtags, and see what gets propped up to the top by Instagram. Check those photos to see what other hashtags they are using. Note that hashtags are continually changing, so try to be aware of different trends that are currently occurring in your Instagram photography niche.
- Stick to 1 niche per photo
Mixing niches can be counterproductive. To get your work seen by as many people as possible, target a specific genre or niche. When posting on Instagram, don’t use a mix of hashtags from all kinds of genres, this will NOT help your photo get seen. Always try to stick to a single niche per post.
Consider these two factors when choosing a niche:
- Know your target audience: think about who your photography might appeal to and look at what other successful Instagram accounts in the genre are doing to appeal to that audience.
- Choose the right niche for your type of photography and brand: be specific and don’t try to mix all kinds of hashtags from different niches in one photo. For example, if you are posting a wedding photo, only use hashtags from the wedding photography niche.
- Using location-based hashtags
Add your location into hashtags, as it can secure reach based on your geography. In most cases, when people search for a photographer, they want someone nearby. So, if you live in Dallas, use the #dallasphotographers hashtag, which will allow you more reach in your location. If you look at photography hashtags, many use their location. Whether it’s the location of the photographer or the location of the subject in the photo, using area-based tags will narrow down your post to appeal to those that want to find your work.
- Avoid spammy hashtags and fillers
Instagram posts should never look like spammy with too many irrelevant hashtags that have nothing to do with your photo. Instagram may shadowban your account for using the wrong hashtags, or using too many, which may appear like spam. This means that, while your account is still active, Instagram is no longer pushing it to new audiences. The use of irrelevant hashtags may even result in a decline of overall impressions on your posts.
- Put hashtags in the caption
Don’t try to stuff your post with excess hashtags. Always place your relevant hashtags in the caption of your post, not in comments. Adding comments with hashtags to your post may get your account blocked. The best way to prepare a post is:
- to add a brief but catchy text description
- add some space
- add your hashtags at the bottom of the post
- Don’t use the same hashtags in every post
Instagram’s algorithm prefers fresh content. For this reason, always mix up your hashtags for each post. Stick to the same niche if that applies to the post, but use a variety of hashtags to avoid getting blocked for spam. Settle on a list of hashtags for the image, the locations, and keep that list handy. Here’s what to do:
- Don’t copy and paste a set of hashtags and use them for every post repeatedly
- Mix up the order of the hashtags and add at least three different or new ones
- Focus on the hashtags that you can target
- Post during peak traffic
Instagram users are most active during certain times of the day. You want to post during a time when there are lots of people using the app. Do some research to find out when the peak traffic is for your target audience and time zone. For example, Friday evenings are a high traffic period. During the week, the afternoons and evenings have lots of engagement. If you post when there are more users online, your posts are more likely to gain traction.
Time to start posting your photos using hashtags!
Hashtags are a great way to get more presence on Instagram, but only if you are using them correctly. This guide should have been able to teach you what you need to be doing to get the Instagram hashtag game down.
Without doing some research before posting, you won’t be as successful on the platform because the competition is incredibly tight. There are over 95 million posts on Instagram per day, and getting noticed is hard. Use the best photography hashtags for 2021 to get your posts to the right people.
Featured image link found here.
Do you have any photography hashtag ideas for Instagram in 2021? Share them in the comments section!
Additional Photography Hashtag Niches to Copy & Paste
- Photo shoot hashtags: Posting pics from a photo shoot? Check out the 50 most popular photo shoot hashtags
- Photography tools hashtags: Boast about your latest photography tools with these photography tools hashtags.
- Macro photography hashtags: The latest and most popular macro photography hashtags for Instagram.
- Mobile photography hashtags: Get the most traction on your IG photos with these mobile photography hashtags.
- Film photography hashtags: Use these 50 most popular film photography hashtags to get traction for your film content on IG.
- Night photography hashtags: Your evening photos should be seen by as many as possible, so long as you use the right evening photography hashtags.
- Lifestyle photography hashtags: Show off your lifestyle and reach more audiences with the right hashtags.
- Model photography hashtags: Make sure everyone sees your model photo shoots with these model hashtags for IG.
- Family photography hashtags: Copy & paste the 75 most popular family photography hashtags.
- Home photography hashtags: Indoors has plenty of photography potential – show it off with our hashtags.
- Long exposure photography hashtags: Long exposure photography is in now – make sure your audience sees it.
- Fine art photography hashtags: Fine art is not just paintings; your photography will be appreciated by fine art enthusiasts.
- Nail polish photography hashtags: Show off your funky nail polish designs with these super popular nail art hashtags.
- City photography hashtags: The urban city has tons of photography potential; show off your photos and reach new fans.
- Car & Auto photography hashtags: Car photo hashtags for 2021 will make sure your Mustang is seen by all.
- Wildlife photography hashtags: Wildlife photography can be pretty wild; get the best hashtags here.
- Engagement photography hashtags: A marriage proposal should be seen by all; copy & paste the 75 most popular engagement photography hashtags for 2021.
- Concert photography hashtags: Live music photography hashtags FTW.
- Real estate photography hashtags: Realtors, this is your time to shine – grab these popular real estate photography hashtags for 2021 and promote your listings!
- Glitter photography hashtags: Glitter photography is all the rage these days, make sure you use these hashtags for your glitter photos.
- Analog photography hashtags: Analog photos have dedicated fans – make sure you reach them w/ these hashtags.
- Gender reveal photography hashtags: Gender reveal photography is more popular than ever, make sure to capitalize on that with our list of 100+ most popular gender reveal hashtags.