So you know you’re supposed to use hashtags, but you’re not sure how! Here’s our guide to photography hashtags!

Ok, so you finally joined Instagram, and you have heard about this thing called a hashtag. You think it’s for all the cool young kids and you’re a little hesitant about jumping on this new trending bandwagon! Maybe I’m projecting a little. We’re here to help explain what hashtags are and why you should be using them to your advantage!

What is a hashtag?

A #hashtag is a word or phrase used to categorize your photographs, so they are grouped with similar photos. Hashtags always start with a # and the phrase must not have any spacing. Other use of punctuation, spaces or special characters will cause the hashtag to “break,” and it will NOT show up in that category! Hashtag categories can range from 15 photos all the way to more popular hashtags that could have upwards of 300 million photos!

What elements make a good photography hashtag?

We need to be intentional with our hashtags to make sure they are reaching the right people! So what elements make up a good hashtag for photography specifically? First, we need to think of the hashtags that our potential CLIENTS are searching and NOT other photographers.  Think of how a normal (non-photographer) would word something! Instead of only using the hashtag #lifestylenewbornphotography, try #babyphotography! We often forget that our clients don’t use the same lingo as photographers, and our posts can sometimes get directed towards a different crowd!

photography hashtags

Your ideal client and how to use hashtags to get in front of them!

Outlining your dream client is essential because you can then think with their mind. Who is your ideal client? Give them a name! From there, you can think of hashtags that they are searching for or using themselves. Our ideal clients are NOT other photographers, so stay away from hashtags that are too specific to this category (unless you are producing educational tips for photographers)!

Here’s a quick video on identifying your ideal clients!

Keep in mind…


  • You can only use up to 30 hashtags in a post.
  • Vary the order of your hashtags in each post (the algorithm will notice and penalize you if you copy/paste for each post).
  • Keep the hashtag more specific (500,000-1,000,000 posts) so yours doesn’t get lost. General hashtags, like #photography, are WAY too large a category.
  • Hashtags are listed via time stamp, so make sure to add them to the post immediately!
  • Be specific to your niche photography market.
  • Create your personal business hashtag that you and your clients can use.
  • Create a “note” of common hashtags in your phone that you can quickly pull up when posting on the go.
  • Include at least 5-10 unique hashtags from that specific session.

Photography Hashtags

What are the best hashtags for photographers?

Here are some of the best hashtags specific to photography! Remember, while you can use these, you’ll want to customize your hashtags for your particular photo AND location!  So if you do a quick search, you’ll notice that the hashtag #photography has over 335,000,000 posts. Now, if you use the hashtag #photography, your photo is going to get lost in a matter of seconds. You want to narrow down your hashtag to the TYPE of photography you are doing and reflecting in your photos. For example, #headshots has around 1.6 million posts. And if you make it even more specific, like #headshotphotography, you’ll find that there are only 130,000 posts.

You also want to make sure to interact with the hashtags you are using! What does this mean? You need to spend the time TALKING to people. Trust me, just try to engage with your “ideal” clients for 15 minutes a day and seeing your numbers grow!

What are the top photography hashtags?

Specific Hashtags

Being specific with your hashtags will likely get you noticed by those also using that same hashtag. You’ll probably be seen by fewer people; it’s a great way to get continually noticed and followed by some of the same people!

Popular Hashtags

If you’re lucky and choose the right hashtag, you may end up being featured and shown to thousands of social media users. Trending hashtags may not be famous for long, but if you get in at the right time, you never know what could happen. A #viralpost perhaps?

photography hashtags

Generic Hashtags

There are some generic photography hashtags, and millions of people follow them. Some of the most popular photography hashtags are #photooftheday #photographer #photography. While your photo may get lost, it could potentially be found. It’s a good idea to diversify your 30 hashtags to try and cover the gamut of popular to VERY specific.

Starter photography hashtags!

It’s crucial that you tailor your hashtags to YOUR area. You want to target your city so that potential clients will see your work.  Along with your general hashtags, you want to allocate 10 of those to the specific photo you are posting. See some examples below!

Type of photographer and your city!

#(category)photographer(yourcity), for example, #familyphotographersandiego

Variations: #familyphotographysandiegocalifornia, #sandiegofamilyphotographer, #sandiegophotography, #photographersofsandiego

#(type of photography), for example, #newbornlifestyle, #seniors2019, #familybeachsession, #corporateheadshots, #equestrianphotography, #travelphotos(city,state)

Include your location!

#(location of the session) for example #scrippspier, #abudhabi, #budapest, #niagrafalls, #brooklynnyc

Hashtags are not as complicated as you may think! The great part about Instagram specifically is that once you type in your keyword, it will pull up a list of related keyword hashtags that you may also decide to use. So in reality, you only need to think of a few specific hashtags and leave the rest up to Instagram!

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