photography & instagram

A quick guide to Instagram hashtags


It’s been a while. I am not apologising though, more nodding my head in acknowledgement that it’s been such a long time since I shared any Instagram related musings. I have several posts half written and none quite finished so let’s start here with a quick guide to Instagram hashtags.

Hashtags are, in essence, simple things, but don’t underestimate their importance in the machinations of Instagram. It takes a few moments to add them and if – like me – you haven’t the patience or inclination to type them in individually each time then may I suggest a note stored on your phone from which you can simply copy and paste them.  This also solves the problem of too many tags/not enough memory for specific posts as you can use sections at a time.

I think there is a lot to be said for mixing up and changing hashtags regularly. I am guessing – but it seems to me and others I have chatted to about it – that Instagram favours change much more than regular use of the same old tags on each and every photo. It looks as though the algorithm recognises long term hashtag use (that sounds like an addiction doesn’t it?!) and it is more likely your photos will be promoted to the top nine if you mix up the tags on each photo.

I do love a bit of hashtag research, there are some excellent ones out there and discovering them can open up a whole new community. So, knowing that we are all at different stages of Instagramming, I’m going to start at the beginning and end at the end with a list of my current favourites for both niche and general use.

what is a hashtag

A hashtag is a word or phrase which makes your photo visible in a niche category. The hashtag is essentially a way for anyone to add their post to a certain subject.

why hashtag?

If you want your photos to be seen by people other than those who already follow you, you need to hashtag. That’s a fact. For people who don’t follow you yet, a hashtag is the best way to be discovered. And to discover others for yourself. Of course you can network and check who others follow, but you will gain a bigger audience with greater ease by hashtagging.

how-to hashtag?

It’s so easy, literally use the # followed by the word or phrase you want your photo to appear under without using spaces, I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you this but there it is just in case. You can add up to 30 tags per post – read Instagrams guidelines here.

a quick guide to instagram hashtags

OK so lets have a look at some of my current favourites by type and/or category. This is not an exhaustive list and I could include as many again easily, so this is just for starters. I think there are some gems here, some are full of loveliness and others are an excellent stepping stone.

generic hashtags

#ofsimplethings #forahappymoment #momentsofmine #inspiremyinstagram #bevisuallyinspired #littlestoriesofmylife #darlingmovement #theeverydayproject #photosinbetween #thatauthenticfeeling #simplethingsmadebeautiful #agameoftones

tea & coffee hashtags

#coffeeaddict #coffeelover #cupsinframe #butfirstcoffee #coffeelife  #teaandseasons #tealovers #cupoftea #naughtyteas

flatlay & styling hashtags

#onthetable #onmytable #flatlay #stilllifegallery #byarrangement #storyofmytable #tablesituation #stillswithstories

colourful hashtags

#livecolorfully #pastelsquares #ihavethisthingwithpink #abmlifeiscolorful #popyacolour

seasonal hashtags

#embracingtheseasons #makingwinter #springblooms #springhassprung #chasingautumn #upandautumn #lovelydeadcrap

places & travel hashtags

#lifeofadventure #finditliveit #adventurethatislife #optoutside #mytinyatlas #iamatraveler #theprettycities #straightfacades #liveauthentic #stayandwander #doorsofinstagram #doortraits #wellplacedbike #solobikeparking #asundaycarpic

botanical hashtags

#underthefloralspell #floralphotography #flowerstagram #ihavethisthingwithflowers #botanicalpickmeup #thewildflowerseries #thebotanicalseries #inspiredbypetals

Hopefully this is a helpful place to start. Or a handy addition to those you already know. Either way or neither way, hashtags are fundamentally important to growing your Instagram audience so explore them and use them each time you post.

I’d love to know if you have any favourites not mentioned here, I’m always keen to find new hashtags!

This post is an updated, side stepped and current version of last years community hashtag post (I can’t believe it’s take me so long to share some more! You can see my previous post here).

J x


12 comments on “A quick guide to Instagram hashtags”

  1. A great list and a few I didn’t know! I need to whittle my list a little as it often takes me several attempts to post as I have too many on there. I need to choose some that aren’t maybe working for me! X

    1. Thanks Hannah, this is maybe only half – or less – of the ones on my list! I do think that it’s best to mix them up, people who search the tags will also get familiar with your photos soon enough so a change every month or two can’t be a bad idea can it?

  2. Hey Julia, @irinahp here ;) first, loved the post, hashtags are important, yes. You´re saying that if you add more than 30 hashtags the pictures may actually not show up in the tags. I really didn´t know that, how so?

  3. Thanks for this Julia! I’m a bit bored of my current hashtags and need to change them up so I’ll have a good browse through these later. Some faves of mine #happyadventuring (plus feature account of same name) #lovelywanderings #prettiestpastels (not sure if the same as #pastelsquares?) #cherishandrelish_january #slowlivingforlife xxx

    1. Hi Zoë, hope you’re well? Thanks so much for the hashtags, I’ll have a look at them too! I think the pastels one is the same hub but always worth mixing them up isn’t it? Happy browsing xx

    1. Hi Angela, thanks for your message. There’s a couple of ways to easily find new hashtags – especially if you are looking for ones relevant to a specific theme. Firstly larger hashtags have similar tags suggested when you search via the explore page, they appear as a banner at the top of the photo gallery. Secondly open up the comments on photos of those you follow who post to similar themes, most instagrammers use the comments to add hashtags rather than the caption and digging them out can reveal some real gems xx

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