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Instagram is one of the largest social media platforms in the world. People from all backgrounds and countries across the world use this amazing site.

Whether you use the site to share pics of your morning brekkie or you’re a budding photographer looking to make a name for yourself, Instagram is a versatile and wildly popular platform.

In fact, according to Backlinko.com, over 500 million users log in to Instagram on a daily basis.

To put that into perspective, that’s MORE PEOPLE THAN THE ENTIRETY OF THE USA. How cool is that?

Even though you may log in to Insta on a daily basis and passively scroll through your timeline, you may be struggling for inspiration.

You see other users effortlessly post the perfect snap onto their feed and you wonder, “How can I do that? I don’t know where to start”.

Well, don’t worry. To help get those creative juices flowing, I’ve compiled a handy list of over 21 photography ideas for Instagram you can use right away to start leaving your friends and family in awe over your profile feed.

Whether you are a freelance photographer desperately trying to drum up business or you’re just looking to keep your mates updated with *another* snap of your brunch, there will be a photo opportunity on this list that’s just right for you.

#1: A Tip

Have you recently made an epic mistake that you don’t want your mates to make either? Take a quick snap of what happened and explain in the caption below what happened. This way, your mates will know exactly what to do in order to avoid making the same mistake.

Whether it’s restaurant recommendations or puppy proofing your home, there are no doubt a plethora of topics you can use for this kind of post.

For added effect, why not create a carousel and add a photo for each part of your story. This will be a great way to connect with your friends and family while keeping them amused with your antics.

If you’re a small business owner, you could use a post like this to promote a product or service you provide. If you’re a freelance photographer, for example, tell a little story about how you messed up a particular shot. Then, link it into a product you are trying to sell and explain how it solves that problem.

Sharing a mistake you made with your followers will keep them updated with your life while also giving them a quick giggle.

#2: Personal Achievement

personal achievement photography ideas for instagram

Have you been working incredibly hard at something recently?

Then why not share your success with friends and family. You definitely deserve congratulations and appreciation. Well done! 

Training for a marathon? Snap a shot of yourself on a morning run. Learnt a new language? Screenshot your Duolingo streak and show off your dedication.

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Who knows, your success might be someone else’s motivation and it might give them that extra kick of inspiration needed to get them started on their own personal challenge.

All-in-all, celebrating your personal successes is a great way to keep your loved ones updated and to motivate your followers into working towards their own challenges.

#3: Shoot From a New Angle

Certainly, one of the greatest ways to grab your followers attention is to snap a shot from a new angle.

Most of the time, people shoot photographs from chest height, usually leading to boring and generic photos.

By shooting from a new angle you will be developing your creative skills and it will most certainly jazz up your feed.

One example of this is to crouch down on the floor and take a picture of a tall building. This would be better than snapping from chest height because you will be able to fit the entire subject within your shot.

In my view, this is a simple yet powerful way to spruce up your Instagram feed without too much effort.

#4: Your Favourite Place

favourite place los angeles photography ideas for instagram

Everyone has a favourite place. A place where they feel at home.  A place where you feel content and relaxed.

Whether it’s a sandy beach in LA or a woodland walk in your hometown, if it brings you joy, snap it and share it.

If you share a snap of your favourite place on your Instagram feed for all your friends to see, they will be inspired to explore new places and some may even offer to journey with you.

You don’t have to overcomplicate this picture and it is important to make sure the photo is focusing on your favourite place, not just you.

If you run a small business or you’re trying to promote your brand on Instagram, sharing a picture of your favourite place is definitely a wonderful way to help your customers connect with you and relate to you.

#5: Flat-Lay Your Life

Take an artistic approach to your Instagram page.

Using a flat-lay picture allows you to give everyone a birds-eye view of your lifestyle.

Taking this sort of photo is simple yet powerful. You need to lay a variety of objects you use in your life flat on a surface and then grab your camera and snap the scene from overhead.

For maximum effect, try and make the objects in your shot linked to each other (ie. objects you use in your morning routine). This way the whole image will be more cohesive and will tell a better story for your followers.

If your morning routine (or any part of your life for that matter) is spontaneous, grab a cup of freshly-brewed coffee and pop it into your picture. This way you are making your photograph look more current and ‘spur-of-the-moment’.

#6: Your Life Milestones

life milestones photography ideas for instagram

Some of the best times of our lives are at key, major milestones. Graduation, Pregnancy, Getting Married, New Job, you name it.

What better way to share these moments with your friends and family than with a few epic snaps of you on your Instagram feed.

Share your joy and all your hard work and effort with your followers from home and let them share the pride with you.

#7: Connect With Nature Around You

Use a well-composed photo to highlight and show off the natural beauty around you.

Maybe you’ve just moved from a big city to a smaller town with lots of animals or there may be a woodland walk near you that has lots of nature inside.

Whatever the reason or location, snapping a shot of some nature is always bound to impress your followers.

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Connecting with the nature around you is also a great way to keep fit and it will help you to take some time away from your phone (until you snap the photo, that is).

#8: Work in Progress

work in progress photography ideas for instagram

What have you been up to recently? Working towards a new skill? Have you been completing a project that has taken up a lot of your time?

Whatever your project may be, whether a photography portfolio or building a model, you should definitely take a picture of it and add it to your Instagram feed.

This is a creative and motivational way to spruce up your feed and your friends and family on social media will be there to encourage you to progress.

I also believe this is a great way to keep yourself accountable. By updating your followers on your project you will need to be working towards it consistently. 

You cannot just give up otherwise you would let your loved ones down, plus they would be wondering why the latest pic of your project hasn’t been posted yet.

If you’re reading this as a small business owner, I suggest that you use a photo like this to show what your company is up to behind the scenes.

This would be a great way to keep your customers engaged with your brand and you could potentially tie this type of post into a promotion (discounts, maybe?) to encourage your audience to come back to your business.

#9: Inspirational Quotes

Need some inspiration? Want to give your followers a positivity boost?

Find yourself a quote (This link from Goodreads gives you over 63,029 quotes) and incorporate it into one of your posts.

Then add an object that relates to the quote (diary, cup of coffee etc) and voila, some amazing inspo for your followers.

If you know of a famous quote that represents who you are, you could also try this too. This is a great way to help your followers better get to know you.

For freelancers and creatives, using quotes will help potential clients get to know you better and it could help them better understand what kind of person you would be when working with the prospective client.

#10: Your Friends and Family

friends and family photography ideas for instagram

While you are occupied with all of the other photo ideas on this list, it is important not to overlook this photo idea. It is simple yet so powerful.

You no doubt have thousands (maybe even tens of thousands) of selfies and videos placed deep within your camera roll.

Why not put them to good use? By posting some videos or photos from a holiday or night out, you are showing how much you appreciate the company and the fact that they mean so much to you.

Couple this with a humorous or heartfelt caption and you’re onto a winner. 

If your snaps are from a very long time ago, this is even better as it will be a great way to bond with your family & friends over past antics.

#11: The Realities in Life

Contrary to what you see on social media, life is far from picture-perfect.

Many people, your friends and influencers alike, will post photos that are either heavily edited or just a snapshot in time. They do not tell the full story.

This type of post involves sharing a difficult story or a pinch-me moment. 

While it may be more realistic of your life than some of your other posts, it can be a great way to connect with your followers and to gain support from your friends and family when you may need it most.

#12: What’s in My Bag/Backpack

whats in my backpack photography ideas for instagram

Often referred to as the “Bag-Spill”, this photo is a great way to show off your creativity.

You can show off your goodies in a hectic or tidy manner, however, it is vital that you can clearly see each of the items in your final picture.

This photo is a quirky and fun way to tell a little story about your life tempo, habits and favourite products.

If you want to push yourself even further, don’t just limit yourself to your everyday bag.

For example, you could create a carousel post and take a “Spill-Bag” photo of your gym bag, handbag, makeup bag, shopping bag or even travelling bag/suitcase.

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The sky is your limit for your imagination and creativity.

If you’re a business owner/freelancer, this is a handy way to show off your company’s product in use. It shows to the customer how they would ideally use the product and how they could fit it into their lifestyle.

For example, if you have a company that sells sports bottles, you could take a flat-lay shot showing your sports bottle in a gym bag. To boost engagement, you could even ask them on Instagram stories what they would do with the bottle.

Or, you could offer them a discount just for taking their time to check out your story.

Again, this is a creative way to show off to your followers and there are lots of different combinations you could test out for this type of picture.

#13: Cute Photos Of Your Pets

cats pets photography ideas for instagram

People never, ever get bored of seeing cute pets on social media!

Whether it’s a furry feline playing around with a chew toy or your dog dressed up in something cute, photos of your pets are certain to gain attention and comments from your followers.

You can never have too many pet pics!

#14: Throwback Thursday

Ok, you don’t NEED to do this post on a Thursday but a throwback photo is a great way to amaze your followers and show them just how much things have changed.

To best recreate this photo, select an old photo of you alone or you with friends or family. Make sure to then select a similar outfit, background and props as the original photo.

Once you have taken your throwback photo, you have 2 options. Either stick both photos next to each other in one larger image or create a carousel post where you swipe over and then see the before and after image.

Just make sure you only upload this type of post once in a while as people tend to prefer recent shots more.

This challenge is not just limited to human beings, either. You could use it to show off how your home has changed, how your business has evolved or even how your hairstyle has been switched up.

#15: Polaroid Shots

polaroid shots photography ideas for instagram

Oftentimes we shoot a plethora of photos on an outing, only for the vast majority of them to be never seen again, only clogging up our camera roll.

By ordering polaroids and shooting with a film camera, you can change that.

If you have a set of Polaroid photos that have special meaning to you, grab them out of your storage and lay them on a clean background. Make sure all of the pictures can be clearly seen.

Then add in your extras such as props (flowers, cup of coffee etc) before you take the shot.

Once you are ready, snap the photo and upload it to Instagram.

Voila! You now have a polaroid set ready to upload to Instagram to amaze and wow your followers.

#16: Book Recommendations

If you’re an avid reader, you should dedicate a spot on your feed to showing off your latest read.

All you need to do for this shot is place your books in such a way so that the author and book title can be clearly seen.

If you have an entire book series you’re reading, try and get all of the books in that series into your picture. This will be more cohesive and you can use this type of shot to recommend more than one book.

Just remember not to spoil the storyline otherwise you may ruin it for others. Give some hints if you wish, but don’t go too far.

#17: Colourful Wall Backdrop

bright wall drop photography ideas for instagram

A coloured wall backdrop is an amazing way to draw attention to your Instagram feed.

Take your time to find a bright and colourful wall, fence or building. Then pose in front of it to get that all-important shot.

If you have an Instagram ‘theme’ or ‘aesthetic’ you are trying to stick to then you should consider adding in a few props.

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These props will allow you to better match the picture with your overall Instagram theme.

#18: Sunrise or Sunset

Rise and shine, fellow Instagrammer!

Yes, while this photography idea is very cliche, it never loses its charm.

Staying up for sunset or waking up early for sunrise will help you to connect with nature more. You will appreciate your surroundings more and it will motivate you to wake up earlier in the morning.

You also don’t have to edit your photos as the natural beauty of the sunlight itself is more than enough for the image.

#19: Your Workspace at Home

home office design photography ideas for instagram

Thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there is no doubt that lots of us will be working remotely at home.

Some of us will find this easy to adjust to while others may find it a tad more difficult. By showing off your working space you will be giving your followers some handy inspiration while giving them a peek into your daily routine.

Just remember not to overly clean the space as people want to see what the desk would look like in use. It will help them relate to your posts more.

#20: Flowers

There are endless ways to capture some cool, artsy pics with a bunch of flowers. 

You can stand with the flowers to create an interesting portrait or you can snap a shot of the flowers themselves in an abstract image.

You could hide behind the flowers yourself. Or, you could use a macro lens and get up close to the centre of the flower for an interesting pattern.

Again, this is a cheaper photo to shoot and a simpler one. But, it will help you to unleash your creativity and you will definitely get a decent amount of likes from your followers.

#21: Have Fun

Yes, Yes, Yes!

While this one may not be a specific tip per-se, it is essential that you don’t burn yourself out.

You do not want to be shooting 15 different types of photos in one day, just so you can batch-plan your feed.

Remember to try out new photos, scenes and cameras.

But most importantly of all, HAVE FUN

What did you Think of These Photography Ideas for Instagram?

I hope you enjoyed reading this article.

Hopefully, you will now have loads of inspiration for your next Instagram post.

By trying out a variety of these photo ideas you will have a varied and attractive feed your followers will want to see and come back to on a regular basis.

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If you think we’ve missed out on a particularly handy photo idea, please leave it in the comments below.

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below also if you’ve tried out these photos. I’d love to hear how you got on.

If you want more photography tips and inspiration, feel free to browse this website and check out another blog post.

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Joel Oughton is the Creator of Photoaspire. He likes to write about anything photography related and is more than happy to help out others with any photography-related issues

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