Instagram Photo Prop Ideas & Suggested Hashtags – Part 1

Instagram Photo Prop Ideas & Suggested Hashtags – Part 1

I love Instagram, but I would be lying if I said that recent changes hadn’t taken a shine off it a little bit.

At the end of last year, Instagram introduced an algorithm to change the way posts appear in our feeds. Essentially, the algorithm now displays photos according to how they rank against factors such as timing, engagement, and previous interactions; rather than chronologically. The purpose of which is to ensure you see more of what you like and less of what you don’t.

Though I’ve heard many people (including myself) say this is not how the algorithm to works for them, but that’s a whole other blog post.

Post algorithm, the reality for many users is that you need to work a lot harder to enjoy the same or lower rates of engagement and follower growth. Despite this, Instagram remains a hugely relevant and powerful social network for creators.

I’ll be honest and say that, at times, it can feel hard to keep the momentum going. Particularly when photographs no longer perform in the same way they did pre-algorithm. I now devote a lot more time to selecting the right photograph and choosing the right time of day to post. As well as searching for new and relevant hashtags, and engaging. The latter of which is the very best thing about Instagram. Despite the algorithm change and the frustrations that came with this, Instagram continues to provide an active and engaged community.

It’s the community that makes Instagram special and ultimately, I think it’s why we log on time and again (usually several times throughout the day). I’m continually inspired by Instagram, it’s a hugely creative and welcoming platform to engage with and for the most part, it’s my favourite part of blogging.

In the interests of celebrating all I love about Instagram and also to remind myself of why I love it, I thought I would put together two posts (too many for just one!) about my favourite Instagram photo props and the hashtags I like to use alongside them.

I will follow up with part 2 next week.



Instagram photo prop ideas: Girl reading book on bed

I love using books in my photographs. Without wanting to sound too puntastic (who am I kidding, I love a good pun), I think they help tell a story.

When taking photographs for Instagram, you could use books to add context to a photo. For example, an empty coffee cup next to an open book may tell the story of a lazy afternoon. Or you could also use them to add texture and depth to your photographs with their curled pages and darkened edges.

I’ll be honest and say I am a kindle girl at heart. I know books smell and look better, but carrying a kindle around is the same as having a whole library in your handbag. I can’t get over that convenience. Having said that, a photograph of a kindle is never going to be as pretty as a worn old book and I certainly wouldn’t leave a stack of kindles lying around my house for their aesthetic appeal.

Perhaps I have just spotted a space in the market for pretty kindles (makes mental note)?

Suggested hashtags: #booksofinstagram, #bookstagram and #bookishhygge


Rustic Furniture

Instagram photo prop ideas: toddler on old wooden chest with hanging flowers

Instagram photo prop ideas: rustic table top, arms and trailing ivy

If you google tips for taking lovely Instagram photos, one of the pointers you’ll read time and again is ‘look for texture’. I think using old rustic furniture as props ticks this box nicely, especially as older pieces of furniture (like the chest above) add a bit of character, as well as texture.

Suggested hashtags: #postitfortheaesthetic #thatauthenticfeeling #stillswithstories #simplethingsmadebeautiful



Instagram photo prop ideas: girl holding large bunch of flowers (lilac blossoms - faceless portrait)

Instagram photo prop ideas: ripped black denim jeans with fallen cherry blossom petals and a wooden floor

Photographs of flowers are almost always the best performing photographs in my feed. They are also a nice way of making a little nod to the season. For example, you can expect your Instagram feed to be awash with photographs of cherry blossom and wisteria throughout the beginning of spring. As we move into the end of spring, you can expect to see peonies aplenty.

I, for one, am not complaining. Who doesn’t like flowers?

Suggested hashtags: #inspiredbypetals #underthefloralspell #springblooms #bloomandgrow #stylingtheseasons #flowersmakemehappy #petalpower #flowersmakemesmile #foragedbouquet #stopandsmelltheflowers #petalperfection



Instagram photo prop ideas: bed and flowers

Instagram photo prop ideas: bed, flowers, woman, food, laptop and coffee

Photographs of my bed are a regular feature on my Instagram and I think I like them for two reasons. One, it’s a great story telling aid and two, duvets are great for adding a bit of texture.

Suggested hashtags: #simpleandstill #mybeigelife #morningslikethese #inbedallday #quietmoments #habitandhome


Vintage Crockery

Although I wouldn’t want a vintage theme running throughout our entire home, I am partial to the odd piece of old furniture and item of vintage crockery. I think they are a nice way to add a touch of personality to a photograph, but you don’t necessarily need to use vintage crockery to achieve this.

There are some absolutely beautiful Instagram feeds, like @jonosmart, dedicated to modern and minimalist pottery. I think it’s more about finding the style that suits you and incorporating this into your photography.

Suggested hashtags: #justalittlewhimsy #meandmyeverydayvibes #momentslikethese #thatsdarling #foreverfaffing #still_life_gallery #vintagehome #domesticforaging #pocket_creative #thriftedhome



Instagram photo prop ideas: cherry blossom petals, tea and old books

Along with flowers and photos of feet, photographs of hot drinks are especially popular on Instagram. I think it goes back to the point of telling a story through your photography and also because its something we can all relate to. After all, the people who don’t enjoy a hot cup of tea or coffee are probably few and far between.

Suggested hashtags: #coffeeculture #coffeeislife #cupoftheday #coffeegram #coffeelife #cupsinframes #coffeeandhands #tablesituation #coffeecup #onthetable #lovetea #teaaddict



Instagram photo prop ideas: Rustic wooden plank table top, flowers and a snail

Who doesn’t love a cute photo of a bunny rabbit or cat?

When I’m flicking through my Instagram feed on a dismal Monday morning, I know a picture of a fluffy animal doing something adorable will always brighten my day. However, if you’re my son, a snail will win out over a bunny any day of the week.

Suggested hashtags: #simplepleasures #petscorner #petoftheday #petstagram


I hope this post has given you a few ideas for props that you might like to use in your Instagram photos. I will be back next week to follow up with a few more!



  1. May 15, 2017 / 5:32 pm

    I love this post instagram has lost a bit of heart I think with everyone working so much harder and so many enjoying it less but it is still my go to I adore it. And I love your instagram!

    • May 15, 2017 / 5:35 pm

      Thank you and I totally agree. Lots of people I have spoken to feel the same. I’m trying to remember all the things I love about it and worry about the numbers a little less. It’s hard when so much of blogging is centred around follower numbers and things like that, but it’s good to remember that it’s not the be all and end all xx

  2. May 16, 2017 / 9:53 am

    LOVING this post Kerry! It’s so helpful, not only for prop ideas but with hashtags. I’m always on the look out for good hashtags to use so I’ll be bookmarking this post! xx

  3. May 16, 2017 / 10:09 am

    I love your Instagram photos Kerry – always so inspiring! My favourite props are definitely books, flowers and coffee. I have a white board I use for lots of my photos, but I’d like to get something a bit more rustic too! I mostly love flat-lays as my house is rarely tidy enough to be IG worthy. I agree that it’s hard work, but maybe this is partly because the changes have coincided with me taking it more seriously?

    • May 16, 2017 / 10:13 am

      I think you’re right on both counts. Recently, I’ve been taking it more seriously too, so that undoubtedly impacts on how we view it. Thank you so much for your kind words and I know what you mean about mess! I’ll be honest, a lot of ours gets flung in a corner before I take any photos. Have you seen Capture by Lucy’s backdrops? They’re lovely! Otherwise, I love eBay for old bits of furniture and they’re usually such a bargain xx p.s. thanks for sharing this on twitter ☺️

  4. May 16, 2017 / 10:34 am

    O M G Kerry! How is it possible I’ve only came across your blog and Instagram feed today? Beautiful photography and you also have some very cute models in them 😉 Quick question for you, do you take your Insta photos with your mobile phone or DSLR? The second option I guess? 🙂 #writereadchat

    • May 16, 2017 / 10:37 am

      Ah thank you so much! That’s really kind of you to say. Mostly my iPhone, but I did use a Sony RX100 for my White Company photos. I really want to get into using a DSLR, but I need to get to grips with the settings. I don’t know what I’m doing! xx

  5. May 16, 2017 / 11:28 am

    Really enjoyed this post Kerry, and I love your Instagram feed completely!. My home isn’t particularly ‘instagrammable’ but where I live is very scenic, so I take a mixture of scenery shots and then try to be a bit more creative at home by using garden furniture or a plain white backdrop for flatlays. I’m going to pin this post for future reference. I love to find new hashtags to try xx

  6. May 16, 2017 / 12:45 pm

    This is a fab post! I’m sure I will definitely be referring back to it for the hashtags too. I love your instagram feed! xo

  7. Mummy Matters
    May 16, 2017 / 1:12 pm

    I love this post, thank you so much for sharing. I agree, Instagram is hard work nowadays but it’s still my favourite x

  8. May 16, 2017 / 2:44 pm

    Oh one of my favorite posts babes this is absolutely brilliant. Cant wait for part 2… and making notes I have a whole cupboard of things I used to use on my feed but my flat lays never ever got liked and engaged etc lol I need to remember why I love ig and go back to what I love sharing and not what works for the stupid new rules and logarithms I am with you on that one.

    • May 16, 2017 / 2:49 pm

      Thanks Jenny! That’s really nice of you to say. Totally with you on posting more of what you enjoy too. My feed is as much for me as my blog, I want to look through the photos and enjoy what I see there. I do have to keep reminding myself of that, particularly at times when engagement is slower xx

  9. May 16, 2017 / 3:35 pm

    Love this chick – you know what I think of al the ridiculous IG algorithm changes!! I started writing a blog post the other day myself after my public rant but shelved it as it ended up sounding so negative!! Yours, in comparison, is a lovely positive post!! Fab pics too – I love your IG feed 🙂 xx

  10. May 17, 2017 / 11:16 am

    This is such a great post Kerry, your feed is gorgeous and how do you get your kids to be so cooperative? Haha, can’t even bribe mine to stay still! IG is such a tough one at the moment, I know I like a lot of your photos as I hunt them down but then they very rarely show in my feed, I can’t figure out why. Also, I have started buying proper books over the last twelve months purely for the reason of photographing them, don’t look quite the same on my kindle! xx

  11. May 18, 2017 / 9:02 pm

    Brilliant post Kerry!! Your Instagram feed has to be one of my favourites and I love all your ideas here. I might be borrowing a few of them ; ) xxx

  12. May 22, 2017 / 6:29 am

    Great post Kerry – your IG is blooming wonderful. I love the colours and framing x #WRC

  13. May 22, 2017 / 2:53 pm

    Love this post (just read part two as well). I definitely struggle with creativity on my Instagram. This is very inspiring!! Xx

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