Ultimate Guide: Using Best Photography Hashtags on Instagram

Have you ever wondered what kind of hashtags it’d take to use to help you grow your Instagram followers?

In today’s guide, I’m going to show you exactly how you can find and test the best photography hashtags that are relevant to your photography Instagram account.

Instagram is one of the best ways to help you grow your photography work, whether you’re a freelance photographer, own a photography studio, or just do it as a hobby.

The power of using the best photography hashtags to get more reach which turns into more engagement and more followers for your Instagram account has never been more important.

The aim of this guide is to give you an idea of what it takes to find the best photography hashtags and give you actionable tips to help you grow your Instagram with things you can do starting right now.

Are you ready to dive in?

What is a Hashtag?

Hashtags act as a mini content library when searched.

Instagram has a dedicated page for each specific hashtag and when you click on one (or search one through the search bar), you’ll bring up a range of posts for that specific tag.

Normally, you’ll see the top posts for each specific hashtag (think of them like keywords), and the most recent posts that include that hashtag.

The more people that are using a hashtag, the harder it’s going to be to get into the top posts.

Obviously, the most recent section shows the most recent content, but just imagine how many people post with the hashtag “photography”, and you’ll quickly realize that it’s equally as hard to rank on the first page under the most recent pictures for any broad hashtag.

Following the explosion of hashtags on Twitter, more social media websites like Facebook and Instagram have followed suit.

They made their platforms extremely friendly for hashtags. Instagram even dedicates a full explore page for each specific hashtag which gives you a huge opportunity to reach many more people for your photography business.

How Do Hashtags Work?

In order to grow your photography business by using the best photography hashtags, you have to understand how a hashtag even works.

Think of hashtags like a clickable search term that you can find specific content under.

As I mentioned earlier, once you click on that hashtag you’ll be directed to the specific explore page for that hashtag.

Each hashtag has its own explore page.

The key to using the best photography hashtags to help you get more Instagram followers is to use specific hashtags that allow you to come up in not only the top posts but also the most recent posts.

That being said, it’s crucial that you find hashtags that you stand a chance of getting to the top posts area because that’s how you’re going to get maximum reach and in turn grow your Instagram with real and genuine followers.

There are some tools out there that will help you when it comes to doing hashtag research that we’ll talk about later on in the article.

Just know that these tools cut the research down to find these hashtags to almost nothing.

If you looked for them yourself, it’d take you literally hours of research to get the same data you will get in seconds.

How Do You Know Which Hashtags Will Work For You?

The million-dollar question, right? A lot of times people think they know which hashtags will work for them, but they end of being horribly wrong.

Here’s the deal. When you look for the best photography hashtags, you have to keep a few things in mind.

Like I told you earlier, if you don’t stand a chance on getting to that specific tag’s explore page, then it’s pretty much worthless to you.

So how can you combat that?

Well, firstly you want to use hashtags that aren’t really super competitive.

Take a look at this data I got from HashtagsForLikes.

They’re the best Hashtag Research Tool I ever came across.

Anyways, so as you can see, we have some data on the best photography hashtags.

Things like the hashtag popularity, meaning if people are even searching for it at all.

To the right, you can see the unique posts which mean how many posts there are on Instagram using that hashtag.

For the broad term “photography”, there’s over 570 million photos on Instagram which means it’s not going to be a good hashtag to use if you want to grow your Instagram.

Next to that, you have the hashtag reach which is the average amount of reach that the best photography hashtag and it’s related hashtags get.

And finally, you see the average likes amount which is the average amount of likes each photo gets when using the hashtag #photography.

The most useful function from HashtagsForLikes when looking for the best photography hashtags is the hashtag stats and data.

This area gives you a complete stat breakdown of the most popular hashtags, the trending hashtags, and the relevant hashtags to your search. Because of this, you literally have an endless list of hashtags that you can choose for your photography Instagram.

And trust me, you will absolutely need to have a huge list because I can promise you that there will be testing involved to see which hashtags work the best for your photography account.

As you can see here we have a few hashtags that I wanted to show you. The first one is the one we searched for and the others are related hashtags.

Note how #photography and #photographyy have a difficulty of “high” which means it’s going to be very hard for you to rank on the explore page for those hashtags.

I’m not saying that you can’t reach the explore page for those tags, but you absolutely need to have a bigger account and your content needs to be favoured by the Instagram algorithm.

When you set out to use photography hashtags to get genuine followers, more engagement, and better reach, it’s super important to use the right hashtags.

Now that you know your goal when it comes to hashtags is to reach each respective explore page because that’s how you’re going to get more followers and showcase your photography work to more and more people.

I came across a great article by our friends at Social Media Examiner that recommend using the following breakdown of hashtag types on every post:

Remember: There’s never a one size fits all approach to anything on social media. I know it’s cliche, but if you really want to get more photography Instagram followers then you need to test, test, and test everything.

  • Select 5-7 extremely popular hashtags: According to Social Media Examiner, the extremely popular hashtags are tags that range from about 100,000 to 500,000 posts associated with them. They also confirm that using hashtags with anything over 500,000 posts is not recommended because your content will be buried in the archives faster than it takes to post it.
  • Identify 5-7 moderately popular hashtags: Roughly 10,000 to 100,000 posts associated with moderately popular hashtags.
  • Choose 3-5 niche-specific hashtags: Fewer than 10,000 posts related and are designed to be targeting with your core business. Think things your audience is searching for.
  • Include 1-3 branded hashtags: Hashtags only used by your brand. When you do this you build up a portfolio of your content on Instagram that somebody can search and easily find you. Another great thing is to get people to start posting with these hashtags for added social proof.

Social Media Examiner then goes into explaining the reasoning behind this “hashtag recipe” and it does make sense.

The more targeted your hashtags are, the longer you’re going to stay on the explore page which means more Instagram followers and engagement for your photography business.

It’s going to get you a flurry of engagement in a hurry but will die down as time drums on.

The niche-specific hashtags, of course, are more drilled down and geared towards what your immediate audience or demographic is searching for.

That means there’s typically a lot less content being pushed with those hashtags. While that will mean fewer searches, you will stick around in the explore page for a lot longer.

And so when you’re thinking about the best photography hashtags to use, this type of hashtag breakdown is a great starting point.

Using HashtagsForLikes to help you find these hashtags quick and painless is highly recommended.

Where’s The Best Place To Put The Hashtags?

While many people think they can only post their hashtags in the caption area, they’re actually wrong.

You can also post your hashtags in the comments section (spoiler alert: this is the best place to post your hashtags)

When choosing the best hashtags that work for photography accounts, you want to always post them in the comment section.

Have you ever seen an image that had a full 30 hashtags underneath the caption?

Those pieces of content just look desperate for attention.

When you use the comments section for your hashtag set, not only do you get the same benefits of using the best photography hashtags, but you also get an added benefit of them disappearing once you receive some comments.

Model The Photography Hashtags Your Competition is Using

I’m a great fan of modelling what’s already working.

That’s why it’s no different when you’re looking for the best photography hashtags, to look out and see what other photographers are using.

When you do that, it gives you an idea of what to search up with your Hashtag Research Tool.

Because you won’t find detailed stats like we talked about earlier (things you need to know to decide if this hashtag is the right one for you), it’s crucial for you to use HashtagsForLikes to do the research once you have a list you want to check out.

Use Local Hashtags

This is an often-overlooked way to get people to book your photography business for their services.

Obviously, when trying to grow your photography Instagram, the hashtags you use will be tags that will be pretty much worldwide.

What that means then for you is that, while you get a lot of engagement, followers, comments, and tags, these are probably not going to be people in your area that could actually use your photography service.

To combat this, I recommend using hashtags like #losangeleswedding or #citywedding so that people searching those hashtags will find your content.

Another quick tip is to use the “location” setting when posting your content.

That will get you on the map inside Instagram and have your content show up when somebody searches for that location, which is again a great way to come up in local searches.

What Happens If My Photography Instagram Doesn’t Grow With The Hashtags I Use?

This is a great question because it does happen.

And the answer I’m going to give you will work for any niche, not just photography.

Here’s the thing. When you’re looking for the best photography hashtags you need to understand that some might work and some might not.

The best way to make sure your account does in fact grow is by keeping an eye on the feedback from your audience.

The feedback you get will (or don’t get) will give you an idea of what is working right now for your photography account and what isn’t.

If you aren’t getting any followers or engagement based on the photography hashtags you’re using you have to go back to the drawing board and test new ones.

The key is not to get discouraged if the hashtags you chose aren’t working. Just remember that in order to get the most Instagram followers it’s important to take your emotions out of it and use the data.

That’s why tools like HashtagsForLikes are so important. They give you huge amounts of data that you’d never in a million years be able to find, let alone within 5 minutes.

<h2> Other Tips and Tricks To Find The Best Photography Hashtags

Aside from using the right tools that give you the data to the best photography hashtags, you can search for them, as I mentioned earlier by looking to see what your competition is using.

As with anything else, a Google search can yield some promising results, especially since photography is such a broad field.

Try to remember to look for blogs, other websites that give hashtag breakdowns, and also talk to your friends and ask them what they think.

But, with all that being said, if you really want the best photography hashtags you have to use the tools and data they provide.

I know I sound like a broken record, but it’s the best way to make sure you get real followers that can transact with you and your photography company.

Can Hashtags Really Help Me Grow My Photography Instagram?

Yes, yes, and YES!.

When used correctly, and correctly is the keyword here, you stand the chance to get on average roughly 300% more reach.

Using the tools and methods I’ve described in this guide will set you on the right path to choose the best photography hashtags for your account with where it stands right now.

Everybody is at a different stage in their Instagram account, but the goals are more or less the same.

We all want to get more real followers, more real engagement, and more real customers.

I’m sure you’re no different.

Now, if you decide to use hashtags without any tools or you don’t take the advice of this article, just know that you’re probably going to see an outcome exactly the opposite as to what I described.

I know it’s time-consuming and there’s a little research involved, but when choosing the best photography hashtags you get out what you put in. There are really no shortcuts to that other than using the tools to cut down your research time and get hashtag data quick, painless, and easy.


With the allotment of 30 hashtags per post, you really have to make them all count or you’re missing a valuable opportunity to hit the specific explore pages for each tag.

While the number of engagements varies for each account, the sweet spot is roughly 9 or so.

To combat this (still getting the same amount of engagement or more while using the full 30 hashtags) you want to post them in your comments section.

This will instantly get rid of the long hashtag list and still get you the best chance of ranking on each specific hashtag’s explore page.

We want to hear from you! Have you used a tool like HashtagsForLikes that’s helped you grow your photography Instagram account?

What have you done that’s helped you find the best photography hashtags for your specific account?

Have we missed anything?

Leave us a comment with your recommendations and feedback.

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