This is my second instalment of Instagram photo prop ideas and suggested hashtags. If you read my last post, you will know my inspiration for this came from a frustration with the algorithm changes. The changes have made it harder to remain visible and producing quality images has never been more important.
One downside to the algorithm is that many of us now get ‘fear of posting’ or FOP, as I like to call it. It can be disheartening when a photograph doesn’t perform, which sadly, removes some of the joy from Instagram. It can also make you cautious about what you post next.
In an ideal world, I wouldn’t allow myself to be concerned with numbers, but they are quite important. I am lucky enough to earn a small income from my blog and one of the things that brands and PRs look at when deciding whether to work with me, is the level of engagement on my social networks.
When I am feeling a bit glum about the changes or I’m just having a bit of a dip in motivation, I try to remember what makes Instagram great. Community and creativity are the two things I love the most about Instagram and this is what keeps me logging on daily. Instagram has also introduced me to photography, which is something I had no idea I would enjoy so much!
If you’re feeling a bit down in the dumps about the changes or just looking for some inspiration, here are a few of the props and subjects I use to fill my Instagram feed.
Chairs are a regular feature in my feed, along with many others on Instagram. If you’re taking a photograph of a person, then the chair gives them something to do, helping them to appear more natural in frame. If you are taking a photograph where no one is present, then the chair can help tell a story. For example, a chair half pushed out, next to a table with a steaming hot cup of coffee on its surface, suggests that someone just left their seat. Add a pair of glasses, next to an open book, and the story becomes even richer.
Suggested hashtags:#chairswithstories #habitandhome #interiorsaddict #abmathome #loveyourhabitat #mydomaine
I love taking photographs of people. In many ways, I think people convey far more personality than any other subject can. I would include more photos of myself in my feed, but I’ll be honest, setting up a tripod is really quite a faff and I hate looking at photographs of myself. My favourite people to photograph are, of course, my children.
A few people have asked me how I encourage my children to pose for photographs and in truth, I think a lot of this is down to my children enjoying it. I give them a little direction on where to position themselves, but let’s be honest they’re kids, they do their own thing. I think the most important thing is to make it fun for them. If they want to me to photograph them making silly faces, I will. Often this results in my most favourite photo. I’d take a silly face over a forced grin any day of the week.
Suggested hashtags: #postthepeople, #fridayfacelessportrait, #humaneffect #humansofjoy #writeyouonmyheart #makeportraits #mytinytribe #wildandfreechildren #illuminatechildhood #letthembelittle
The Great Outdoors
I don’t know what it is about the seaside, but I think it’s almost impossible to make it look ugly. This is why I always take lots of photos whilst we’re there. I do need to make an effort to take more photographs outside of my home, but I still feel like a bit of a wally getting my camera out in public.
If you’re taking photographs on the beach, one great tip to remember is to make sure that the horizon is straight. I try to take the photograph with the horizon as straight as possible, but if it’s a bit wonky, this can easily be rectified in photoshop or on your phone using the VSCO app.
Suggested hashtags: #landscapelover #exploretocreate #letsgetlost #beautifulviews #travelporn #naturephoto #travelfolk #folktravel #exploreeverything #girlswhotravel #wanderlust_earth #traveldiary #traveldeeper #exploremore #seascape #finditliveit
My favourite Instagrammers all know how to make the best use of light and I love how the right lighting can transform an otherwise boring photo into something quite special. Lens flare and shadows can make photographs appear infinitely more interesting and skilful.
I take most of my photographs using my iPhone, which means I am quite limited in how I can control light, but this iPhone tutorial is a great source of inspiration. There are also further tutorials, within this series, that provide tips on iPhone exposure and more. These are a great resources if you use an iPhone for much of your photography. I have found them so helpful.
Suggested hashtags: #flashesofdelight #mystoryoflight #shadowplay #lightandshadow #lightsandshadows #lightplay #chasinglight
There’s quite a trend for photographs of pretty bikes on Instagram right now. To take your bicycle photography to the ultimate in cliché, you will also need a basket filled with flowers. I’m not averse to hopping on the odd bandwagon now and then. Sometimes a certain type of photo is popular just because it’s pretty. I think vintage style bikes fall into this category.
I struggled to find any hashtags that would be suitable for pretty bicycle photos, sorry. If you know if any, let know in the comments!
Candles can be a great way of adding interest to a photograph and I love the way they cast a pretty glow on their surroundings.
Suggested hashtags: #candleseason #candlesaddict
The great thing about windowsills is that they are always in good supply of light, at least during daylight hours. It’s also relatively quick and easy to set up your shot because you’re working with a small about of space. One trick that could come in handy when taking photos of this kind, is to set the timer on your iPhone and pop it in your mouth to take the photograph. This way you can get both hands in frame. Though it’s worth remembering that you’ll be in plain view of your neighbours and there’s every chance they’ll think you’re barking mad if they catch you.
I am a huge fan of Kayte from Simple & Season’s sill photography. Kayte has written a helpful blog post with her tips, if you fancy having a read.
Suggested hashtags: #its_a_sill_life #eleganceintheeveryday #mybeigelife #flatlaystyle #stilllife_perfection #byarrangement #stillswithstories #moodofmywindow #kinfolkhome
Photographs of the mantelpiece in my daughter’s bedroom are my go to when the sun is quickly going down and I have some pretty flowers that I want to photograph. The great thing about photographing a mantlepiece is that they are usually quite pretty, with blank backgrounds. This makes them very easy to photograph, with fairly predictable results.
Suggested hashtags: #momentsofmine #mybeautifulsimplicity #mantledecor #howyouhome #mantlescape #kinfolkhome #mycovetedhome
I hope you found this post useful. If there is anything else that you would like me to write about please give me a shout!