Last updated on December 12, 2015.
Right. My bad!
Today I am going to write about hashtags and acronyms on Instagram which I actually found to be useful and inspiring. Too bad if you were looking for an explanation for #f4f #l4l or #a – it’s not going to happen.
I came across the acronyms #jj, #gf, #gotd, #wu, #owu (no longer active), #tv, #rsa, #whp, #ic and #ig while having a closer look at hashtags being used by (amateur and professional) photographers whose photos often get featured on various Instagram accounts. Although I managed to google some of these acronyms (more or less successful; I was quite sure #gf does not only stand for #girlfriend), I had to dig deep to get a few more answers on Instagram.
As soon as I understood the meaning of the acronyms and how their related hashtags worked I gave it a try. My photos have been featured many times over the past months; and it goes without saying that my Instagram follower base grew as fast as never before in 2014.
Curious who hides behind the acronyms and how to get featured and exposed to a wider Instagram audience yourself?
#jj = Josh Johnson. The photographer, who uses the handle @joshjohnson, and his editors, whose handles always start with @jj_editor_name, strive to motivate a huge creative Instagram community to explore photography and experiment with mobile apps. Their website tagitjj.com explains the basic rules (!! 1-2-3 rule: for every image you tag, you need to comment on two and like three images) and tips when using #jj. I mostly made use of the hashtags #jj_newzealand and #jj_mist. An overview over all available #jj hashtags and galleries sorted by interest and photography style can be found under @jj_anarchyfiles. You can easily contact them and create your own #jj_subgroup.
#gf = Global Family (formerly known as Gang Family). Originally founded to meet Instagram friends, the hashtag #gang_family (or also #global_family) used to be strictly reserved for gang family members only. Today, the tag is used to feature supporters (#friendoftheday) of the official g. family instameets, tags and challenges on the @gang_family handle. Heaps of talented togs are recognized on many of their style and country specific accounts. Till now, I only made use of #gf_nz.
#wu = World Union. @world_union is the first community ever on Instagram that has one account for every continent: Europe, Asia, Oceania, America and Africa. Obviously, these accounts focus on travellers and their landscape, nature, animal and weather shots. To get featured on @wuoceania I used the tag #wu_oceania.
#tv = Transfer Visions Community. I first came across the TV Community when I received an invitation from the @tv_travel hub to become a family member, which includes regular features (photo features or member features). I accepted and joined of course, but only afterwards I learned that many more TV hubs exist and most of them are not necessarily related to travel photography. For an overview over all TV family hubs please visit @tv_community on Instagram.
#ig = Instagram (surprise!). During my research I learned that the tag #instagram is blocked because the guys who created Instagram thought there seemed to be little point stressing their servers with “too obvious search queries”. So people just went ahead and used the acronym #ig to create a community of #igers. @ig_captures claims to be the account “where talent is featured”. Have a look at their gallery – you’ll be convinced in no time. Each featured photo has the hashtag on it which has been used by the original poster. My personal favorites are #ig_captures_landscape, #ig_captures_city, #ig_captures_minimalism and #ig_captures_bw.
#rsa = Royal Snapping Artists. @royalsnappingartists has been founded by Pat from @sound_design and has quite a few popular sub-accounts as well. I am a fan of @rsa_nature since it has regular challenges and features great photos or artists – yes, they have a daily artist feature! To become a featured nature shooter you need to be a member of the Royal Snapping Artists, but this only works by invitation from the group itself (you will be introduced on their account as “new family member”).
#ic = Insta Crew. @insta_crew puts the spotlight on you. Every day, talented photographers get exposure on several Insta Crew sub-accounts, all focusing on different photography styles. My favorites are of course @ic_landscapes (#ic_landscapes) and @ic_nature (#ic_nature). For a chance to get featured on their main account simply use the hashtag #insta_crew
#gotd = Gram of the Day. The founders and moderators of this account are photography professionals and volunteers with a great eye for detail. I personally really enjoy the @gramoftheday feed. Their hashtag shortcut #gotd is used for their daily photo challenges, like for example #gotd_478, which was a 24 hour contest to submit your best long exposures. Tip: When using the day’s #gotd hashtag, also add the tag #gramoftheday for more visibility.
#whp = Weekend Hashtag Project. This is your chance to get featured on the official Instagram blog! Each week, the Instagram Community Team announces a new photo project for the coming weekend to motivate the uninspired and reward the most creative Igers. To stay in the loop simply follow the official Instagram account @instagram and watch out for their whp announcements (usually each Friday), like for example the one for #WHPdoortodoor. You have Saturday and Sunday for a chance to get featured on the blog on Mondays. Obviously, they are looking for both photo and video submissions.
Tip 1: Some accounts won’t feature you if you don’t follow them.
Tip 2: Follow them even if you are not looking to get featured; they are all very inspiring.
Tip 3: When you get featured, care to thank the account. You can do so in the comments under the featured shot, or you can repost / screenshot and upload your feature and leave a thank you note on your own profile.
Tip 4: Use hashtags wisely. If you take a photo of the moon in New Zealand, use hashtags that focus on sky photography, not New Zealand photography.
Tip 5: Create your own hashtag, promote it and build a followership around it. You might want to feature some of the best submissions yourself (on your private account; make sure to give credit though!).
No post without photo. These were my featured shots in August 2013. Happy tagging!
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