Update, 2023: Photography Hashtags Are Still Relevant. Here’s Why.
In April, we teamed up with Photoshelter to create The Photographer’s Guide to Hashtags, a comprehensive how-to for photographers who want to get noticed on Instagram. We interviewed leading photo editors from the New York Times, TIME, and Bloomberg Businessweek magazine, along with photographers with a strong Instagram presence, to put together a collection of 67 useful hashtags.
We chose to break the guide into eleven sections, centered around photographic genres. The hashtags we selected are broad enough to have a wide reach without being too general. We cover two different types of hashtags. “Searchable” hashtags are popular hashtags photo editors often use to search for content.
“Submittable” hashtags can be used to submit work directly to an influential feed, where it can be seen by a wide audience. Our hashtag, #myfeatureshoot, is an example of a submittable hashtag. To date, more than 700,000 images have been submitted to our feed via Instagram using this hashtag, and we feature selected images every single day.
Today and tomorrow, we’ll be releasing excerpts from the guide, which you can download in full (and for free) here. Below, you’ll find the sections to photographers working in the “Fine Art” field, with a few helpful landscape-specific tags added in for good measure.
Fine art photography represents the vision of the photographer as an artist. The results are often less direct representations of a concept than photography genres that aspire to capture the ‘truth’ more literally, such as photojournalism. In fine art photography, the image is at times subject to interpretation due to its ambiguous imagery, or the feeling conveyed through color and form. The following suggestions should enable you to discover new work and increase the likelihood of your best work being seen.
Fine Art: Searchable
#artphotography A hashtag to show that your photography is artistic and creative.
#fineartphotography A clear indicator of the genre you’re shooting in. The biggest distinction between this and the previous is the ambiguous notion of an added intellectual element.
#contemporaryphotography For photographs that are in line with contemporary trends, or are innovative and/or experimental in their own way.
#macro For those extreme close-up images where you can make out the features of a bumblebee, the cross- stitching of a scarf and the detail of the stigma of a flower.
#popsofcolor Colorful images that often belong to the minimal aesthetic are often accompanied by this hashtag.
#ihavethisthingwithshadows The hashtag says it all: if you’re obsessed with working shadows in your work, here’s a hashtag to attract the interest of like minded people.
#longexposure For photos with a long exposure.
#longexpo The same, for those with less time.
#conceptualphotography If your work indirectly points towards an idea but instead sends subtle cues, this hashtag if for you.
#landscape The most simple hashtag to accompany a photograph of a landscape.
#landscapephotography Another straightforward hashtag to indicate the genre you’re shooting in.
#landscapecaptures A popular hashtag in the landscape photography community, use this hashtag to have your work seen by fellow landscape photographers/enthusiasts.
#liveoutdoors Use this hashtag if your photograph was taken in the wilderness, in a national park, mountain range or by the sea. Not to be used with urban landscape captures.
#landscapelovers An extremely popular hashtag used to show enthusiasm towards landscapes and landscape photography.
#landscape_hunter The landscapes under this hashtag tend to be quieter and more elusive, the discoveries photographers make on long walks through the wilderness.
#landscape_specialist Whether your landscape photograph captures the great outdoors, includes traces of man’s presence or focus on an urban area, use this if your image is postcard perfect.
Fine Art: Submittable
Posts with this hashtag: 2,094
“We look for images that are a little weird, off the cuff,” founder Jon Feinstein writes. “Our takeovers range from photographers looking to get eyes on a specific project to those who treat their time with us like a true ‘residency,’ experimenting with a range of approaches. Think of the advice that so many photo magazines tell you re: ‘how to make Instagram photos that pop and shine,’ and do the opposite of that.”
Posts with this hashtag: 121,644
The official feature page of French magazine Fisheye magazine, #fisheyelemag shows an eclectic variety of fine art photographs. They also feature the best submissions on their website.
Posts with this hashtag: 1,144,379
A very popular feature page showing fine art photography that is, as you might have guessed, colorful and reminiscent of the candy minimal aesthetic.
Posts with this hashtag: 350,630
“I am of course attracted to those photos that make you stop scrolling and stare at for a moment because of something almost surreal happening in the com- position” Pat of Rental Mag writes, “I love the use of natural light in photos, either to create an interesting shadow or just to light up the subject beautifully.” Submit using the hashtag or email your work to: rental- [email protected]
Posts with this hashtag: 231,447
“When picking photographs to feature we often keep an eye out for less well-known photographers,” editor @gergof reveals. “The amount of likes and shares are definitely not the deciding factor”. On aesthetic preference, he says: “I love street photography in all of its mutations so it tends to be heavily featured in our feed, and admittedly go for a unique aesthetic. We also draw a group of followers heavily into minimalist compositions.”
Posts with this hashtag: 114,638
There is a distinctive aesthetic here: sharp images with soft filters feature prominently. The photo- graphs selected by the curators are usually creative takes on travel and urban exploration.
Posts with this hashtag: 4,123,561
“A wise friend once told me that everything has already been photography so I look for the one that sets them apart,” moderator Pamela writes, “It has to draw attention not just by the flashy colors of sunsets and sunrises. I also prefer seeing a more natural color rather than a super edited representation of the natural landscape.”
Posts with this hashtag: 663,480
Sharp, professional images that go beyond the usual sunset captures, and instead exploit the light in these twilight hours to create visually interesting, altered landscapes.
Posts with this hashtag: 6,675,324
“We feature different types of photos including landscapes and streetscapes,” curator Eric Do writes. “Photos that do well tend to show a location in a new way. This can be the framing, the lighting, the edit, etc. Dark edits do well for urban shots, and brighter edits do well for nature shots.”
Posts with this hashtag: 2,687,079
This feature page selects a variety of images captured in the setting of modern downtowns and more historical old towns around the world. People, lines, and bold structures appear frequently.
Posts with this hashtag: 2,239,277
Atmospheric filtered images of mountains, pine forests, camping, snow covered peaks, flora and fauna feature prominently, as do views of the world through tent flaps and tiny people in big places. From time to time they hone in on our animal friends
Posts with this hashtag: 516,657
An official feature page from The Guardian featuring the best urban photographs, including street, cityscapes, and architecture. Images may include people, and it’s important to hashtag the location of where your photograph was taken.
People with this hashtag: 5,177,175
A similar feel to the above, this page has around 2 million followers. If your work sticks out among hundreds of other submissions, the interest generated from this page should boost your popularity as a photographer significantly.
The Photographer’s Guide to Hashtags was produced by Feature Shoot in collaboration with Photoshelter. Get you free copy today.