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Instagram Hashtags for Documentary Photographers

© Malin Fezehai, IG: @malinfezehai, seen on @everydayusa

For years now, photo editors, curators, and brands have turned to Instagram to search for talented photographers. The key to those searches is often hashtags. Instead of entering “photojournalism” into a search bar, they’ll click on #photojournalism to see what images have been tagged, or they’ll go to a popular feed that regularly features great documentary work, like @everydayeverywhere.

This spring, Feature Shoot and Photoshelter put together a hashtag guide specifically for photographers. We covered eleven genres of photography, and for each, we provided a list of hashtags. The hashtags are broken into two sections: “searchable” and “submittable.” A “searchable” hashtag isn’t affiliated with any brand or Instagram feed. It’s simply a way of letting people know what you’re doing and boosting the chances of showing up on someone’s feed. “Submittable” hashtags, on the other hand, are hashtags photographers can use to send images in for consideration on a popular feed. If your work is selected featured, it’s another way of getting your name out there.

We’ve decided to publish two excerpts from The Photographer’s Guide to Hashtags right here on Feature Shoot. Yesterday, we shared hashtags related to fine art and landscape photography. Today, we’re sharing the section on documentary photography. You can find the full guide here.

© AikBeng Chia, IG: @aikbengchia, seen on @everydayasia

Documentary: Searchable

#photojournalism An umbrella hashtag to cover anything related to reportage.

#photojournalist Use this hashtag if you identify as a photojournalist.

#35mmsyndrome For those partaking in the renaissance of film photography.

#documentaryphotography Whether the work is personal or journalistic, documentary photography is a tag for those interested in storytelling through images.

#documentary A broader hashtag that encompasses any record of life.

#reportage Use if your photograph is journalistic, in its purest form.

#documentyourdays Photographs with this hashtag tend to focus on the everyday and the ordinary, because documentary does not always have to be about “serious” issues.

#environmentalportrait Use this hashtag if you portray your subject in a natural context, i.e. the place they live, work, or where the story they are part of unfolds.

#streetscene Overlap between street and documentary photography is to be expected, for both genres have similar aspirations of capturing raw moments as they hap- pen. Use this hashtag with any unstaged photographs captured in public areas.

#photodocumentary Another way of describing documentary photo is to swap the words around. Use this hashtag to reach another audience.

#onassignment If you’re on assignment and want to share some behind-the-scenes moments or previews or what you’re doing (providing the organization who commissioned you gave you permission to do so), this is a good hashtag to use both to demonstrate to editors that you are a working professional photographer, and thus reliable and in-demand, and appeal to other people’s curiosities.

#photostory If the photo you are sharing is part of a larger photo story, or conveys a message as a single, use this hashtag to communicate it.

© Sammy Jo Hester, IG: @sammyjohester, seen on @everydayeverywhere

Documentary: Submittable

@everydayeverywhere
Submissions: #everydayeverywhere
Followers: 205k
Posts with this hashtag: 993,758
“When looking for images, I prefer to feature the work of photographers who are dedicating themselves to larger projects and themes, rather than focusing strictly on aesthetics” writes Tristan Spinski, a guest curator at #everydayeverywhere, “The themes I’m most interested in highlighting this week are identity, migration, community, human rights and the relationship between people and the landscape.”

@everydayasia
Submissions: #everydayasia
Followers: 200k
Posts with this hashtag: 395,947
Another part of the #everyday family, this feature page concentrates on exactly what it says it does. If you have captured a specific social event or your long-term documentary work was carried out in Asia, here’s your hashtag.

@everydayusa
Submissions: #everydayusa
Followers: 107k
Posts with this hashtag: 36,229
Any photograph captured in the USA which conveys a story, be it political or more introspective, can be submitted to this page.

@everydaylatinamerica
Submissions: #everydaylatinamerica
Followers: 71.2k
Posts with this hashtag: 144,734
Every Friday, they feature images from photographers who use the hashtag #everydaylatinamerica. Co-founder Oscar Durand provides more insight into what they’re looking for in submissions: “More than just beautiful frames that present Latin America as an exotic destination, we are looking for images that highlight our similarities with other parts of the world.”

@everydayclimatechange
Submissions: #everydayclimatechange
Followers: 99.7k
Posts with this hashtag: 15,470
Photos submitted to this page should in some way aim to raise awareness about climate change, exposing the droughts, loss of habits and livelihoods that are putting much of the world, its people, and biodiversity in jeopardy.

The Photographer’s Guide to Hashtags was produced by Feature Shoot in collaboration with Photoshelter. Get you free copy today.

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