Your Official Instagram Hashtag Guide for Photographers: A List Of The Best Hashtags [Instagram Tips: Part 2]

In Part 1 of my Instagram Tips series, three sure-fire tips were shared to grow the right following, the right way on Instagram. One of the methods was to use the correct hashtags for your audience. This week we're diving a little deeper into what specific hashtags will work best for you based on specific genre. Get your notes out and lets go!

Why Do Hashtags Matter?

They may not mean everything, but they do mean something. It's a piece of the puzzle to growing your audience on Instagram. Look at it as if you're advertising your work to the Instagram world. No one will know you exist unless you put your work out there at some capacity.

Hashtags Increase the Likelihood of Being Featured

In the Instagram world, there are a plethora of "Instagram Feature Pages," especially in the photography community. For example at Fstoppers, we have our very own feature page. Feature pages essentially act as a modern day magazine where quality content is congregated to one Instagram page for those to enjoy. The benefits of your work being featured on multiple of these pages are very beneficial. Your username is most likely tagged where other users can click and explore your work, which can exponentially translate into more followers. 

What Makes A Good Hashtag?

The sum of posts posted under a specific hashtag does not mean that hashtag is the right hashtag for you. There are a number of factors: sum of posts, the quality of the content, and the engagement of a community. I find the more niche a hashtag is the better. Why? Because people searching these pages genuinely care about the content that is catered to them. They aren't spam bots buzzing through #vsco or #instamood which hold no value to anyone. 

A good rule of thumb is to not post hashtags that contain over five million posts or so. That way your image will not be bogged down within seconds to a "black hole" of no return on that hashtag feed, because many users are posting that same hashtag at the same time as you. As a user, you want your image to be on the top of the hashtag feed as long as possible to those who are genuine enough to engage with you!

The Hashtag Guide

So here you have it! A complete list of hashtags handpicked for you to utilize when posting on Instagram, whatever your genre may be! You may find yourself mixing-and-matching some of these categories that best fit you. Remember, you're only allowed to use a maximum of 30 hashtags per post. With that being said, pull out your Notes app and get ready to copy and paste these hashtags!

Genre (# of Hashtags Provided)

General Photography (32)

#agameoftones #ig_masterpiece #ig_exquisite #ig_shotz #global_hotshotz #superhubs #main_vision #master_shots #exclusive_shots #hubs_united #jaw_dropping_shotz #worldshotz #theworldshotz #pixel_ig #photographyislifee #photographyislife #photographysouls #photographyeveryday #photographylover #worldbestgram #iglobal_photographers #ig_great_pics #ig_myshot #shotwithlove #justgoshoot #xposuremag #icatching #collectivelycreate #wanderlust #heatercentral #highsnobiety #shotzdelight 

Portrait (30)

#portraits #portrait #portraits_ig #pixel_ig #portraiture #expofilm3k #portrait_perfection #portraitstyles_gf #snowisblack #portraits_universe #featurepalette #bleachmyfilm #portraitmood #featurepalette  #rsa_portraits #makeportraits #profile_vision #top_portraits #life_portraits #postthepeople #quietthechaos #2instagood #way2ill #justgoshoot #artofvisuals #l0tsabraids #ftwotw #igPodium_portraits #ftmedd

Landscape (32)

#landscapephotography #landscapelover #landscape_captures #landscapes #landscape_photography #pixel_ig #landscape_hunter #landscape_lovers #landscapecaptures #landscapestyles_gf #landscape_specialist #landscapeporn #getlost #landscapephotomag #ig_landscape #trapping_tones #ig_masterpiece #ig_podium #splendid_earth #gramslayers #agameoftones #optoutside #discoverearth #exploretheglobe #nakedplanet #places_wow 

#earthfocus #ourplanetdaily #earthofficial #natgeo #nationalgeographic #awesome_earthpix

Animal/Wildlife/Nature (27)

#animal_captures #animals_in_world #splendid_animals #animals_captures #animal_fanatics #animalelite #animal_sultans #animal_sultans #wildlifephotography #wildlifephotography #birdphotography #wildlifephoto #wildlifelovers #earthfocus #wildlifeplanet #wildlifeonearth #wildlifeaddicts #natgeowild #natgeo #natgeohub #natgeowildlife #natgeopl #natgeowild_hd #natgeoru #natgeopix #wildlifeperfection

Astro (20)

#astrophotography #universetoday #milkyway #astrophoto #astrography #nightsky #nightscaper #starphotography #starscape #longexpo_additction ;#udog_sky #landscape_captures #awesomeearth #milkywaychasers #natgeospace #starrynight #longexposure #astro_photography_ #ic_longexpo #fs_longexpo

Automotive (13)

#carphotography #automotivephotography #carporn #carsofinstagram #carlovers #caroftheday #carswithoutlimits #cargram #carinstagram #carlifestyle #sportscars #madwhips #cargasm 

Black & White (30)

#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

Boudoir/Glamour (24)

#boudoirphotography #boudoirphotographer #boudoirshoot #boudoirinspiration #boudoirphotos #beautyandboudoir #boudoir #implied #impliedmagazine #uncoverme #uncoveredmagazine #nakidmag #forguysmag #fusemagazineonline #sensual_ladies #sensualdays #great_captures_sensual #igf_sensual2 #sensual_guru #ig_sensual_art #glamourshots #modelsofinstagram #glamourshot #glamourmodel

Drone (24)

#dronephotography #droneoftheday #dronestagram #dronesdaily #dronefly #dronegear #drone #mavic #dji #quadcopter #djiphantom3 #uas #dronelife #dronebois #aerialphotography #phantom3 #phantom2 #phantom4 #droneporn #djiglobal #djiphantom #fromwhereidrone #natgeoworld #natgeotravel

Fashion (20)

#fashionphotographer #fashionshoot #fashioneditorial #fashionmagazine #fashionmodel #fashionph #vogue #fashiongram #fashiondiaries #topmodel #modeloftheday #modelfashion #modelsworld #testshoot #testshoots #newface #facesobsessed #endlessfaces #highfashion 

Film (23)

#filmphotography #filmisnotdead #35mm #ishootfilm #35mmfilm #filmcamera #staybrokeshootfilm #believeinfilm #buyfilmnotmegapixels #istillshootfilm #filmisalive 

#shotonfilm #filmcommunity #grainisgood #keepfilmalive #filmfeed #thirtyfivefuckingmillimeter #analogue #analoguevibes #analog #analogfeatures #analogphotography

Fine Art (18)

#fineartphotography #finearephotographer #conceptualphotography #fineartportrait #artisticphotography #emotive #artisoninstagram #of2humans #capturedconcepts #visualsoflife #l0tsabraids #featuremeofh #pixel_ig #marvelshot #whyconcept #forbiddenart #visualcreators #visualsgang

Food (27)

#feedfeed #thefeedfeed #huffposttaste #foodie_features #foodoftheday #foodpost #foodaddict #foodlife #foodinsta #foodgram #chefsofinstagram #cheflife #chefsroll #buzzfeast #hautecuisines #gloobyfood #beautifulcuisines #f52grams #foodgawker #foods4thought #foodblogfeed #todayfood #tastingtable #thekitchen #onthetable

Music (13)

#concertphoto #concertphotographer #musicphoto #musicphotography #gigphotography #livemusicphotography #onstage #ontour #bestmusicshots #liveauthentic #shows #musiclover #musicblogger 

Sports (9)

#sportsphotography #sportphotography #maxpreps #sportphoto #championship #sportsman #sportphotographer #mondaymotivation #actionphotography 

Street/Urban (41)

#killyourcity #citykillerz #illgramers #way2ill #agameoftones #urbex #createexplore #exploretocreate #streetactivityteam #streetdreamsmag #neverstopexploring #featuremeinstagood #igersone #shoot2kill #streetshared #streetmobs #urbanphotography #streetphotography #streetexploration #urbanandstreet #imaginatones #streettogether #streetmagazine #streetmobs #peopleinsquare #moodygrams #illgrammers #instamagazine #twgrammers #shotaroundmag #illkillers #killergrams #superhubs #urbanromantix #livefolk #shotaward #_heater #yngkillers #shotzdelight #1stinstinct  #heatercentral 

Travel (37)

#getlost #explorer #optoutside #worldshotz #theworldshotz #createexplore #exploretocreate #discoverearth #travelphoto #travelworld #keepexploring #globe_travel #theglobewanderer #roamtheplanet #letsgosomewhere #exploretheglobe #nakedplanet #places_wow #instapassport #instatraveling #igtravel #travelblog #instago #mytravelgram #travelingram #sharetravelpics #worldtravelpics #stayandwander #keepitwild #rei1440project #earthfocus #ourplanetdaily #earthofficial #natgeo #nationalgeographic #awesome_earthpix #travelstoke

Wedding (27)

#weddingphotography #weddingphotographer #weddingphoto #weddingday #weddingmoments #weddingceremony #weddingstyle #weddingfashion #bridalfashion #weddinginspirations #weddingdetails #weddingideas #weddinginspo #weddingrings #weddingblog #weddingblogger #weddingplanning #loveauthentic #junebugweddings

 #destinationweddingphotographer #bridalphotographer #couplesphotography #engagementphotos #engagmentphotography #engagementsession #bridebook #vscowedding 

Stay Tuned For Part Three! 

In Part Three and the final portion of this series, I'll be sharing the fastest way to post hashtags when using Instagram. So you spend less time on Instagram and more time shooting. So stay tuned for that! In the mean time, be sure to give me a shout on Instagram and let me know what you think of the list!

Incase you missed Part One, checkout three sure-fire tips on how to gain the right followers, the right way on Instagram. Check it out here!

What Do You Think?

Did you find this list useful? Share your thoughts! Did I miss a category or hashtag? Let me know in the comments!

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25 Comments

Great articles! Would love your ideas on family photojournalism hashtags?

Kang Lee's picture

#familyphoto #familyphotography #familyportrait #familyphotographer #photojournalism #documentary #documentaryphotography #reportagespotlight #reportage #photojournalist #photodocumentary #everydayeverywhere #lensculture #fotoperiodismo #streetphotographers #everybodystreet #streetportrait #magnumphotos #streetphotographer #lensculturestreets #journalism #everydayasia #streetlife #onassignment #streettogs #everydayindia #streetphoto #storytelling #streetbwcolor #retratos #streetlife_award #dailylife

Yevgeniy Sapozhnikov's picture

I wonder if you have any analytics that show the top 10 general photography tags.

Logan Sorenson's picture

Doesn't the invite for people to use all the same hashtags in itself, defeat the purpose.

Say I use "#portrait_ig" and there are say for examples sake 14,000 pictures on IG on any given search.

Then I see that there is a post online that says "everyone should use #portrait_ig" ... Then the next day there are 100,000 pics...

Mine is not lost in the storm... Yes?

Hashtags should be appropriate and specific and ... Idk, this seems counter-productive?

Yevgeniy Sapozhnikov's picture

The goal is to use as popular of a hashtag as possible and than get to the popular section of the tag. The more popular the tag the more chance you have of people seeing your post..

Nick Pecori's picture

Great point Eugene.

Logan, yes I'm sure there will be an initial spike for a few days, but with time things will settle. I'm sharing the hashtags I would use on any given post, this method isn't going make anyone 'viral' overnight by any means. Like I mentioned in the article, this is only a small piece of the puzzle on how to consistently grow your Instagram presence over the long haul.

On the other hand, the more popular the tag the bigger the crowd you have to compete with. Arguably, the more popular the tag the *less* chance you have of being seen.What you're looking for is size of audience, not size of participation.

Logan Sorenson's picture

Just a for instance. Specific tags like... #ParkCity and #SundanceFilmFest over.... #Utah and #FilmFestival have a better chance of getting seen, more appropriate? Idk, that's my approach. But hell! I am not that popular on IG so =/ ...

David Justice's picture

The problem with this is that some hashtags are specific and should be used specifically. I try not to use a lot of tags that involve competitions like #PursuitOfPortraits and ones like that because my work doesn't fit the aesthetic those types of pages go for.

But look in that list, specifically portraits. #IgersStPete? Why would that be in there? If you're not from St Pete who cares?

Here's how I pick my tags:

- Most tags between 300,000-800,000 posts, but have some that are also larger and some that are more local. You want to engage in your local space and be reaching to larger communities as well.
- Not too vague, but not too specific. If this is going to be copy/pasted on a lot of posts, nothing like #curlyhair will be on there, but #fashionphotographer, #nycmodel, and #nycphotographer will be.
- Speaking of.. Location specific tags with <200,000 posts. These are for reaching the popular section. Most of my posts get between 150-200 likes per upload. I'm not getting 400-1000 so I have a few "sleeper" tags that will be popular in my local community (Connecticut).
- No #Wanderlust, no #love, no #beautiful. No one will see your post unless they're spamming. So many posts are submitted to those tags every second that your will become clogged in there instantly.
- And nothing like #FollowMe. It's honestly super lame.
- And don't like your own photos.

If I add new hashtags to photos already posted, will that be a benefit?

Yevgeniy Sapozhnikov's picture

It might, but it will not place the photo at the top of recent posts under that hash tag, it will place it in the spot where the photos with same time stamp are. Hope that makes sense.

Sean Conroy's picture

Great post. They definitely made a massive difference to the reach of my last photo. Good work, Fstoppers!

Wilber Smith's picture

Great articles man! whats your thoughts on Still Life hashtags, got any good ones?

Eric Pare's picture

AH! Thanks Nick! I found a couple of new ones through this post and it worked right away! #shotzdelight is new for me :) https://www.instagram.com/p/BP3OHBWl686

The game to be played with hashtags is NOT to tag your photos with the most popular tags. It's to find the most specific tags that people actually search. Maybe only 5,000 people have used it, but when people use / search it, they know what they're looking for, and your image is it. #agameoftones and #instagram are worthless as far as I'm concerned. With the huge tags, your photo is buried and only gets likes from bots. With niche tags, other similar users actually search it and see it.

Nick Pecori's picture

Bingo

Will Thomas's picture

What tools do you guys use to find niche hashtags? I have been using displaypurposes.com

Michael B. Stuart's picture

Trying that now!

Christian Webb's picture

Good stuff! Now, as a headshot photographer...I GOTTA ask: Why is #headshots #headshot NOT on that list? I figured I'd find them there under General Photography or even Portrait. Just curious. ;~>

AGYEI MCARTHUR's picture

I use Instagram & it gets me a good amount of exposure. Feel free to check out my page @ instagram.com/photographyirie like, comment, follow. Any & all input will be greatly appreciated!

Nurlan Emir's picture

As people from Asia traveling like crazy now times I use the name of my city as a hashtag on korean and japanese #ストックホルム #스톡홀름. People DM me through those # to hire me because they liked my instagram feed.

I do occasionally connect with interesting models for shooting as they visit my city.

Another pros is that my work is always on the top of the feed.

P.S. I did use # on Chinese in the past but it was tons of spam posts selling watches or girl bags so my work just dissapeared.

Anyways test it folks. :)

Tomash Masojc's picture

How people writes hashtags even in comments?

Yevgeniy Sapozhnikov's picture

One thing to add that is not hashtag related but helps with exposure on Instagram is to set location for the post if possible. As people often will browse photos by location on Instagram. Especially if it s a popular land mark.

McKinley Wiley's picture

Great article!

Are there any hashtags you recommend for video posts on IG?