I have a love hate relationship with Instagram.
The clean UI and the gorgeous photos I can view in seconds. Makes it useful to get inspiration for my next photo session.
Spending hours looking through my feed, clicking on different hashtags going down the rabbit hole for hours on end.
This is also the part I hate.
When I’m in photography slump, especially if I’m shooting the same subjects months at a time. Seeing others peoples Instagram feed can get depressing at how good their photos are and the variety.
I’m certain there are a lot of photographers that feel the same as me.
So I’ve tried to combat that with mixing up my feed with different types of Instagram posts.
I want to talk about some ways that we can try to make our Instagram feeds more interesting.
Before we do that let’s talk about Instagram hashtags.
Hashtags play a major part in getting your Instagram feed noticed by your audience.
From my experience combining high volume and low volume hashtags will get you the best results.
By high volume, I’m referring to hashtags that have over 100,000 photos tagged. such as #photography which has 457,401,974 photos tagged, your photo won’t stay long at the top of other photographers Instagram feed.
Compare to a hashtag with a much lower volume such as #newyorkpets which has 3,035 photos tagged. Sure the volume is low but your tagged photos will stay at the top of the fed for longer.
It’s important to have a good combination of both high and low volume hashtags, including hashtags local to your location because it means your Instagram photos will be seen by more users.
Below are 16 types of Instagram posts along with the hashtags to help you get more eyeballs on your photos.
Table of Contents
- Behind the Scenes
- Collage of Photos
- Flat Lay
- Close Up or Detailed Shot
- Friends and family
- Sneak Peek Posts
- Quote Posts
- Foodie Posts
- Fashion Posts
- Pet Photo Posts
- Day in the life
- Work space posts
- Planning your photos
- Getting your photos ready for Instagram
- Frequently Asked Questions
Behind the Scenes
I’m going to start with behind the scenes post because i love how they can offer a learning aspect as well as a glimpse into what goes on during your photo session.
The learning aspect of behind the scenes photo speaks volumes. You get to see all the different things that go into producing a photo.
nice pressure for some photos at looking very very simple and then you you know take it the birds eye view or i can i use step back and you kinda see the setup and you look at what goes into especially for a poo photography your even portrait photos were there’s a lot going on other than just a subject no there’s the lightning , backgrounds the angle that you taking it out and also the environment take your in.
sunlight favourite behind the scenes is irwin night trying to learn about in a different style of photography and um cutest to hell photo is constructed and y love is that you can see behind the scenes of a very low cost photo setup compared to a high cost one and no the could be similarities the door so could be differences that you can take away and incorporated into your photography.
yeah respect of behind the scenes photos that I absolutely love is that you can educate your customers. photography is become extremely saturated and to make your cousin’s understand how much effort goes into your photos as a great way to given the glimpse into your setup and just the way that you work don’t forget that a behind the instagram posts lozenges have to be a photo it could be a short 30 sec video
Behind the scenes hashtags to try:
#behindthescenes #behindthelens #behindthephotoshoot #behindthephoto #behindthecamera #behindtheshot
Collage of Photos
If you use Lightroom it’s very easy to export a collage of your photos as one photo. You can use these as a “ best of series” like the Instagram best of nine.
They’re also great if you want to do a “ year in review “ or “ month in review “ if you take a lot of photos.
Try creating collages of your best work and the different types of genres that you may photograph.
Instagram allows you to do multiple photos per post of full pictures. Mixing it up with collage of your best photos from a photo session could be an interesting way to break up your Instagram feed.
Collage photo hashtags to try:
If you like styling, flatlays are a great way to express yourself and to practice styling different objects.
Flatlays are photographed from above and a lot of the time you’ll see if they will be of clothes or a desk.
For a photographer you can use a flat lay to show off your camera equipment as they are packed in your bag.
It’s a good way to explain the type of cameras you use and why you use them.
Flat lay hashtags to try:
#flatlay #flatlaytoday #flatlayforever #flatlay_gallery #flatlaystyle #flatlaylove #flatlays #flatlay_photo
Close Up or Detailed Shot
Close-up or detail shots are just not for dressmakers to show off the intricate lace or beads on an outfit.
Macro photography has been around for a long time and is one type of detailed photography using macro lenses to get super close.
No need to buy more equipment. Simply use a telephoto lens and zoom right into you subject.
You could take detailed shots of a large object such as a building or a piece of machinery and taking small slither of a photo and really working the angles to show how the object is put together
Think of a bridge and how huge it is. But taking photos of the bolts using a zoom to get nice and close and you can create an abstract photo using the bolts as a pattern.
If you’re at home looking for inspiration respiration try taking a detailed photo of a leaf and look at all the different vein like lines that look like a complex road system.
Close up photo hashtags to try:
#closeup #macroworld #closeupphotography #detailedphotography #macrophotography
Friends and family
Show your personal side so your audience can get to know you.
Posting photos of friends and family over the holidays shows another side of you.
For some feeds it may not be a right fit and might seem odd. Especially if your feed is full of still life for instance.
But, if you have an Instagram account that has some selfies or even if you are an event photographer it would be fine. Just don’t go overboard.
Friends and family hashtags to try:
#friendsdate #friends #bffs #family #familyphotography #familyphoto
I’m a big believer that we all need to limit our screen time and simply get out of the house and try something different.
Not only will you clear your mind of all the social clutter, but might even start to see things in a whole new way.
Lately I’ve made an effort to challenge my photography and my phone camera to take photos at least once a week. I can be limiting but that is part of the challenge.
I mostly shoot nature photos and try to work at different times to get unique photos of landscapes and seascapes in my area.
I find the best part of nature photography is you can visit the same place over a period of a few months and get different photos. Autumn, winter and spring work well where I live.
Even though golden hour is popular, another time of the day when the sun is harsh can be fun, Shadows can be interesting too.
Nature hashtags to try:
#nature #naturephotography #outdoors #getoutside #outdoorphotography
Sneak Peek Posts
A sneak peek post can be used in conjunction with a behind the scenes post to get more engagement on Instagram.
I find it works well with customers get them excited about working with you and seeing the end result.
Portrait and wedding photographers do this all the time. Dropping a couple of photos into their feed before delivering the whole gallery to the client.
You next photo shoot why not show photos of you packing your equipment or scouting a new location and the show the end result.
Or you could show a short video of you editing photos.
Sneak peek post hashtags to try:
#sneakpeek #weekly_feature #bestoftheday #sneakpeekphoto
Who doesn’t like a good quote? A quote can be inspirational, it can change your mood or it can be funny.
As a photographer you have the luxury of a catalogue of ready to post photos.
Find some quotes that you like and using the text tool in Photoshop or an app like Canva to create your quote posts for Instagram.
when you’re quoting somebody make sure you put at the end the person that said the quote so they can get credit for it.
Inspirational quotes to change your mood work well when posted in the mornings and funny posts are perfect for Friday’s.
Quote hashtags to try:
#quotes #quoteoftheday #positive #wisdom #happiness #inspirationalquotes #instaquote
There’s a reason we take photos and sometimes it’s because we don’t like to be in front of the camera.
There are times that taking a selfie will show a personal side, especially if you are an event photographer taking it with your clients is an excellent way to show that you can be fun and professional.
It also puts a face to your artwork on Instagram showing the person behind the glorious photos you post in your feed.
If you’re reluctant to take a selfie try to make it artistic. Using reflections or photographing through objects to get different effects.
And we’re all seen those selfies were the photos of people’s backs in a scene looking out to the distance.
If you’re too shy maybe that could be an option for you.
Selfie hashtags to try:
#selfie #selfie_time #selfieistagram #selfie_mania
Your rolling your eyes and thinking your not that type of person that would take a photo of your meal at a restaurant.
To be honest I’m not that type of person either.
If you can take a photo of a dish that you’ve prepared set up a scene for it get some natural light coming through a window and make it into a mini photo shoot, getting nice and close detailed photos as if you were making a cover for a magazine.
What about a life style type photo where people having fun while eating a meal or having an ice cream something different along though those lines rather than just the food itself, put your own spin on it.
Foodie hashtags to try:
#foodie #foodphotograhy #foodlover #foodblogger #tastingtable
If you’re a fashion blogger you probably already taking photos of your different outfits. I know this type of Instagram posts is not for everyone.
As a professional photographer it may not necessary be your outfit. But your accessories. It could be a camera harness that use such as the Holdfast harness or even a new type of bag that you recently purchased for your wedding work to be more discreet.
You are either going to really like these type of photos or not , so I’ll leave that up to you. Try it at least once and see how you go.
Fashion hashtags to try:
#photofashion #fashionphotoshoot #fashionportrait #photographerfashion
Pet Photo Posts
Showing off your pets on Instagram is a great way to mix up your feed from the usual posts. There’s always an attraction towards puppies and kittens.
Mix it up with a day in the lifetime photo of you relaxing with your favourite fur friend.
How about a portrait of your pet you never know you might find a new source of income.
Pet photo hashtags to try:
#petphotography #buzzfeedanimals #weeklyfluff #furbaby #catlifestyle #dogoftheday
Day in the life
Reality tv has made us more interested in the day in the life dana life of people in general.
Live video has made platforms such as youtube and instagram more popular allowing us to see what goes on in a typical day of both famous and regular people.
Instagram massive are you to post multiple photos as for screen allowing who is too swap to sit photos in full screen.
Show them and a new lifewith that as from different parts of the day string together to make story.
Day in the life hashtags to try:
#dayinthelife #picoftheday #dayintheoffice #typicalday
Work space posts
Showing off your work space it’s another way to show a quick behind the scenes photo
If you make homemade products and they sell any , store on etsy you can show that’s what your work area looks like to give your customers against into
you could style your desk someone so what the flat wauchope but i do at computer screen
Work space hashtags to try:
#myworkspace #worktime #workdesk #creativespace #workspace
Reposting some of your best performing posts is a great way to extend the life of a photo on instagram.
Using it also to test posting at different times of day and using different hashtags to get more engagement.
Repost hashtags to try:
#repost #throwback #throwbackthursday #throwbackthursdayphoto
Planning your photos
Now that you have some creative ideas to spice up your Instagram feed it’s time to go out and start creating the photos.
A good way to do this is to plan the type of photos your photograph on a particular day or photo session.
Photos such as a behind-the-scenes or photos of your work area can be done during the work day and only take an extra few minutes to complete.
For the photos that require you to think and be a little bit more creative I recommend you set aside particular days to photograph.
Set aside 30 minutes to an hour of pure photo time. We all know that photos just don’t happen and they do take some patients.
Depending on your schedule and lifestyle, it could be the first thing of the day before you go to work or on your way home from work, especially during daylight savings and on the weekends.
Personally I like to photograph two times a week for myself. For me it’s generally Monday morning to start the week off and Friday afternoon if I’ve completed all my editing. Sometimes a Saturday morning with the kids if I’m not photographing an event.
Getting your photos ready for Instagram
I prefer not to upload my photos at full resolution to Instagram or any other social media sites. I resize them for the particular platform. And for Instagram it’s 1080 x 1080 or 2000 x 2000 for more detailed photos.
I use these export presets to get my photos ready for Instagram.
I’ll edit my photos in Lightroom and bulk export them to Dropbox so I can have access to them either from my computer or phone to upload to Instagram.
This is a really good way of organising weeks in advance the type of photos I’ll be uploading to Instagram. Especially useful if I’m stuck in a line somewhere at the doctors or at lunch I can quickly upload a photo to make the time pass.
I also use a simple text file on with at least 20 hashtags grouped in the above Instagram post topics.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should I post on Instagram
Consistency is key when it comes to posting to any social media especially to Instagram. if you can only post once a week or once a month then do that but keep it consistent ideally posting at least once a day or every second day word keep your follow is coming back to your feed. And you’re more than likely also attract more followers if your feed is constantly updating.
Instagram has a limit of 30 hashtags per Post. I suggest trying to use all those spots up if you can but it’s ok if you do less important thing is to have a mixture of high volume and low volume hashtags.
Is landscape or portrait format better.
uploading landscape, portrait or even a square format photo will work with Instagram you have to understand that when people are going through your feed a landscape or a square photo will take less to scroll down and say a portrait photo which requires more scrolling.the majority of photos that you see on Instagram would be a landscape orientation.
Should I upload raw photos to Instagram
you should never upload your raw files to Instagram or any other social media you should always do the jpegs. because it’s a format that is widely used and also small of for you to upload and you are more than likely won’t be able to upload a real file format.
Do I need to edit my photos before I upload
you don’t necessarily have to edit your photos before you upload them to Instagram but if you want them to look your bare their best it would be a good idea. You should always remember that when you photograph in raw the photos will be flat and you need to do post processing anyway. If you shoot in JPEG the picture profile will be embedded and you won’t need to do as much editing.
What DPI is best for Instagram
When you upload to Instagram you should always export your photos to 72 DPI is that works best with mobile or desktop. 242 300 DPI should only be used for printing.
What dimensions should I use for my photos
if you’re worried about people taking your photos and using them elsewhere I would recommend the dimensions you set your photos to have a long side of a maximum of 1000 pixels
that way if you’re trying to resize a square landscape or even a portrait orientated photo if you set the long side to 1000 pixels the other side so we’ll sort themselves out.
What colour space is best for Instagram
When uploading photos to Instagram you ideally want to use the srgb colour space.