Now that we have covered why you want to get your images featured, let’s talk about how you are going to make that happen.
First things first, you must do your hashtag homework if you want to get your images featured. This means researching valid and current tags. The best strategy is to vary the category type of your hashtags. Let’s look at the image below. For this image I have added hashtags specific to my location (Minnesota) , my camera (Sony & Rokinon) , my activity (hiking) , my subject (female) and the type of image (travel/adventure). That is five different type of hashtags. This specific image did go on to get featured by a Sony Instagram account.
I recommend looking for hashtags in the following categories –
- your image location (state, city, country)
- your camera gear (brands used)
- the type of photo (portrait, landscape, travel, adventure, etc)
- the subject of your image (animal, landscape, person, children, etc.)
- camera techniques used (long exposures, black and white, film, etc)
- brands featured in your image (if you are wearing a certain brand, or featuring a brand like a car, gear, etc)
- your activity (hiking, canoeing, camping, skiing, swimming, sports, etc)
If you aren’t sure how to find relative hashtags you can watch this video below.
Here are some rules to remember about hashtags :
- Make sure you are following the accounts you are tagging. Some accounts require it to have your image featured.
- You are only allowed 30 hashtags on your post. If you go over 30 hashtags and try to post, it will post your picture without any text….which makes you look crazy.
Make sure to tag us in your images #womentravelphotographers
Tagging Accounts and Locations
Tagging Accounts– You can also tag other accounts when you post a picture. I don’t recommend tagging the same account over and over, as that gets spammy. However if you have an image you feel is really great and you want that account to notice it, your chances increase by tagging the account. I don’t tag all the accounts I have hash-tagged, I pick a handful that I feel are relative. In the above image I tagged a few Minnesota based accounts, and a few camera related accounts. You tag people by clicking on the tag people text.
Location- Make sure to tag your location when posting your image! I search for locations all the time on Instagram, it is my favorite way to find places I want to photograph. You add your location by clicking on the add location text.
Interaction is key to getting your images featured. People will find your images and interact with them from your hashtags and your location. The more people that interact with your images the higher it will rank in the top of the lists for your hashtags and your locations. The higher it ranks, the more likely the account in charge of that hashtag will see your post and feature it. More features = more exposure which in turn will amass you more Instagram followers.
Using the right hashtags, tagging people, and adding a location will help your posts get interactions, but you are going to need to do a little work yourself.
Right after you post your image, you should look at the people you are following and interact with the most recent posts you see. Chances are if they just posted, they will be checking their phones, and they will see your comments and often reciprocate on your post. You can also click on the hashtags you used and instead of looking at the “top” posts click on over to “recent” and interact with those posts.
These three things will help you get your images featured. It should go without saying that beautiful, well composed and edited images are much more likely to get featured. If you are looking for a way to make your images stand out from the crowd, I highly recommend checking out our editing course.
Beth Mancuso is the founder of Women Travel Photographers. She has been a portrait photographer for over a decade now. Her true passion lies in her landscape and travel photography. She resides in Minnesota with her six kids and one furry friend.