Since Instagram dumped the chronological feed last year, hashtagging your photos has never been more important. Photos that don't get a lot of engagement within a short period after being posted will drop further and further down on followers' feeds and into obscurity.
If you love capturing epic photos of the great outdoors, you'll want to copy this list of 50 popular hashtags for landscape photography and paste it into your favorite notes app. (Then keep reading below for tips on maximizing the benefits of hashtagging).
#pocket_world #ig_landscape #dream_spots #visual_heaven #landscapephoto #landscape_lover #natgeoadventure #earthexperience #mthrworld #majestic_earth 🏞 #igworldglobal #ilovenature #ig_divineshots #EarthOfficial #earth_shotz #marvelshots #theworldshotz #discoverglobe #landscapelover #landscapehunter 🌅 #igbest_shotz #natgeoyourshot #natgeotravelpic #epic_captures #awesomeglobe #splendid_earth #earth_portraits #natureperfection #beautyofnature #places_wow 🌄 #nakedplanet #theglobewanderer #roamtheplanet #fantastic_earth #awesome_earthpix #earthfocus #colors_of_day #visualambassadors #nature_wizards #ig_countryside 🌉 #fiftyshades_of_nature #stunning_shots #igersmood #adventurethatislife #nature_brilliance #keepitwild #nature_sultans #master_shots #ourplanetdaily #stayandwander
Why You Should Use Hashtags
Hashtags are clickable (or tappable) links to all of the content posted with the tag, in chronological order, with the most recent content at the top. They were made popular by Twitter and were taken to the next level by Instagram. Their purpose is to allow people to search other posts with a common theme and to have their posts seen by others posting with the same hashtag. I realize that most readers of Improve Photography already know that, I just had to explain case my Mom is reading this.
On Instagram, hashtags are the best way to get your photos seen by people who don't already follow you. You are allowed up to 30 hashtags per post. Strategic use of hashtags is one of the fastest ways to increase your engagement and following. It's also a great way to find inspiring photographers to follow and interact with.
How To Use This List
The list includes 50 hashtags, but you can only include 30 per post. I've staggered this list from hashtags with fewer posts (100,000 – 500,000) in the beginning, up to tags with 2 million+ near the end. I've placed a landscape emoji every 10 tags, to help you easily count 30. Paste the list into your notes app, and then just select and copy the hashtags you want to use for each photo. You'll be done in seconds.
My advice is for users with fewer followers to copy and paste from the first 30 tags. Users with larger followings may want to use the middle 30 or last 30 tags. Here's why. The biggest benefit from hashtagging your photos happens if your post ends up in one of the “featured” top nine photos under the tag. These are some of the posts that are getting the most engagement. In turn, they will be the posts visitors to the tag are most likely to see. Engagement can really pick up momentum if your photo is featured in one or two of these popular hashtags.
Play The Numbers
Tags with fewer posts mean fewer visitors, but it also means that even if it's not featured, your photo will stay near the top of the feed for longer and have more chance of being seen. If you don't have enough followers to get significant engagement quickly after you post, then these hashtags may work better for you. When hashtags have many millions of posts, they become useless because the feed is moving so quickly, your photo is very unlikely to be seen. An example of a hashtag that is overused to this degree is #instagood, which has almost 600, 000, 000 posts at the time of writing this. Your photo will be miles down the feed, seconds after you post it – not a good use of one of your 30 hashtags. For that reason, you won't find any of those REALLY popular hashtags on this list. You would be more likely to get lucky buying lottery tickets than to be featured in the top posts on one of those feeds.
Featured Images VS Feature Accounts
As I mentioned above, every hashtag features 9 “Top Posts”, and that is where we all want our photos to be. Some hashtags are also used by feature accounts. These are accounts that feature (repost) photos tagged with their hashtag and (hopefully) give you full credit. This can be even better exposure for you than being featured under the hashtag as some of these accounts have many hundreds of thousands of followers. Your featured photos under the hashtag will only be seen by people who visit the hashtag, but your photos featured by feature accounts will show up in thousands of feeds. Of course, those people still have to click on the link to your account and follow you. Most of them won't, but some of them will. I always see a big spike in followers and engagement after one of my photos is featured by an account with even a moderate following in the tens of thousands. An example of a feature account is @ig_captures, with over 50,000 followers. The #ig_captures hashtag has over 8 million posts. Now, do you suppose the moderators for that account are looking through ALL of those images? Of course not – and that's why being featured in the Top Posts under the hashtag is always your goal.
Use Some More Specific Hashtags, As Well As Those From The List
Ideally, you will want to add in some hashtags that are specific to your photo. If you can find them, use feature hashtags for the location, park, region, state, province, or even country. You are much more likely to be featured on one of those accounts than by one of the more general ones. Also, use tags for some of the content of your photo – but remember not to use ones with billions of posts. If you start typing in #sunset, it will start displaying a list of hashtags containing the word sunset. The #sunset hashtag has well over a hundred million posts, but as you scroll down the list, you'll find tags like #sunset_beach and #sunset_ig with much more reasonable numbers. When I posted the photo below, I used hashtags for the region #bayoffundy, the park #fundynationalpark, the town #Alma, the province #NewBrunswick, as well as some general hashtags for Canada #explorecanada #canadiancreatives.
Tag A Few Feature Accounts
You can try and increase the chance of a relevant feature account noticing your photo by tagging them as well as using their hashtag. In fact, some of them require you to do this. No need to be obnoxious about it, don't go tagging a bunch of strangers, but if you keep it to a few regional feature accounts, it can be helpful. For example, on the photo above I might tag @destinationnb, the official account of Tourism New Brunswick. In fact, I did tag them and they did feature it.
But, Hashtags Look Desperate and Tacky
Post them in the first comment. As soon as someone else comments on your photo, that first comment will be collapsed and nobody will see it in their feeds. If you want your photos to be seen, you simply have to use hashtags. Anyone who judges you for it is not your real friend.
Use A Hashtag Generator
Hash Me is an app that generates a list of hashtags for you. You can type in one relevant hashtag and it will provide you with 30 more that it thinks will go with it. The app gives you a selection that includes currently trending tags, so if you happen to be posting a photo of a location where there is an event going on, it will know and include the popular hashtags. There is even a feature where you can upload your photo and it is supposed to recognize it and give you a list of relevant hashtags. So far, I have never had that feature work for a landscape photo, but it would be cool if it did! Tagomatic and Hashtap are some other apps that you might want to check out.
Visit The Hashtags
Building a following on Instagram takes work. You must post regularly, and post exceptional photos – in the landscape realm, the competition is especially stiff. Engaging in genuine interactions with other users is probably the single best thing you can do to increase your following, and hashtags can help you out in that endeavor, as well. After you post your hashtagged photo, actually visit a few of the hashtags. Tap on a few images that catch your eye, and if you're still impressed with the larger view, like, comment, and follow. It will begin to pay off in no time.