At Feature Shoot, we find a lot of our stories on Instagram. It’s one of the top places we search for new and emerging talent, and we’re not the only ones.
“When I assign, I look at a photographer’s Instagram presence first,” Kerri MacDonald, Social Media Photo Editor at The New York Times, told us. Olivier Laurent, editor TIME’s photo website LightBox, agrees: “I constantly use Instagram to discover new talents. One can learn a lot about a photographer’s vision, identity and commitment through her or his Instagram feed.”
Hashtags are the key to making your work visible to photo editors, curators, and potential clients. Many editors, including the editors of Feature Shoot, search through their favorite hashtags every single day. “Hashtags have helped companies and brands discover my work and then hire me to produce content for them” photographer Joshua K. Jackson says, “I’ve also sold fine art prints to people through my website after they found my profile under specific tags on Instagram.”
It can be hard to know what hashtags to use. Hashtags that are too general aren’t useful. If you tag your photos #photography, for instance, they’ll get lost in a sea of nearly 100 million images, so they key is getting specific.
That’s why we partnered with Photoshelter to create The Photographer’s Guide to Hashtags. The comprehensive guide covers hashtags specific to eleven genres of photography, some of which might overlap: Travel, Portraits, Black and White, Street, Architecture, Minimalism, Documentary, Landscape, Film, Fine Art, and Drones/Aerial.
Readers of the The Photographer’s Guide to Hashtags will find 67 specific hashtags to use for increased exposure and potential opportunities. We cover two different types of hashtags. “Searchable” hashtags are popular hashtags photo editors often use to search for content, whereas “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, nearly half a million images have been submitted to our feed via Instagram, and we spotlight some of our our favorites every day.
Additionally, the guide includes insider tips from curators, influencers, editors, and photographers about how and when to use hashtags to suit your particular set of needs. We also gained insight into what leading photography Instagram accounts look for when searching for content.