Why photo dumps are taking over Instagram

31 Mar 2022

Social media

Hannah Wilde

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What is an Instagram photo dump?

Hold on, what on earth is a photo dump? Well, if you’ve been on Instagram lately, you might have noticed a move away from picture perfect photos. Snaps that are edited beyond belief, and make you downright envious that you’re not on a yacht in the Bahamas are a thing of the past. Instead, Instagram is seeing a take over of long carousel posts of lots of random images and short videos. These carousel posts can be up to 10 images in total and give users the freedom to post whatever they want. Everyone knows a picture paints a thousand words, but what about 10 of them? These non-superficial posts are breaking down the barriers into the real lives of your favourite celebrities, influencers and your friends. This is where the phrase ‘photo dump’ comes in.

Why people are obsessed with Instagram photo dumps

Instagram like count

The Instagram photo dump trend is bringing back the days of posting random photos online without them being rigorously edited by a team first. Not only is this freeing, but it makes Instagram much more enjoyable. Social media is known to damage mental health, and being subjected to streams of unattainable beauty standards definitely doesn’t help anyone’s self esteem. We’ve even seen Instagram try to prevent these harmful effects by bringing in the ability to turn off the ‘like’ count. But this is where the photo dump trend has changed things.

With a scrapbook of images to look back at on your feed, the photo dump trend is giving more of a personal touch to the social media site, and it’s something we can all get behind. With early 2010s Facebook albums being a thing of the past, this trend is the next best thing. And we are here for it.

The carousel-style post can also influence how often a post shows up in your feed, so if you are wanting to really ramp up those likes, photo dumping could be for you.

How to make an Instagram photo dump

photo dump example

The best thing about the photo dump trend is that there are no rules on what to post; it’s all about creative freedom and spontaneity, so don’t hold back. Want to add a picture of a half-eaten apple or a pretty flower? Go for it. The main idea is to keep away from perfectly posed photos, let your hair down and post something that’s non-restrictive. 

For those of you wanting to get the hang of creating an Instagram photo dump, we have some ideas for you to steal.

Ideas for your Instagram photo dump

At this point you may be thinking, how do I even choose 10 pictures out of the thousands on my phone? Well, that’s where you could bring a theme into your carousel post. A photo dump is all about variety, so whichever collection of pics you choose, let your creativity run wild. 

If you post at the end of the month, you could do a highlights reel of all of the best, or worst, pictures you’ve taken in the last few weeks. If a recent holiday was ruined by gloomy weather, then a photo dump is the prime time to make a light-hearted carousel of these slightly damp-looking pics. Do you have a collection of memes that could add some spice to your post, why not try sprinkling them in amongst the mix? And, of course, the classic throwback post – a perfect way to document the past and present in photo dump form. 

Or, throw this suggestion out completely and throw a bunch of random pictures together, in true Instagram photo dump style.

How to caption your Instagram photo dump

Photo dump Instagram captions can be hard to think of, and it’s universally known that everyone hates writing them. But sticking with the theme of photo dumping – spontaneity – we have a few tips on how to create the perfect photo dump Instagram caption:

  • Stay away from the lengthy phrases; keep it short and sweet
  • Show a bit of mystery with a witty joke or even a question, both of which could be completely unrelated to your selection of random pics
  • Throw a one word caption in there…
  • Or if you’re feeling particularly enigmatic, go for a single emoji 

However you caption your photo dump, it doesn’t have to be curated to death – the simpler the better.

How to do a month dump on Instagram 

Alongside the photo dump trend, comes its partner in crime, the month dump. A month photo dump is when you post a collection of pics from the month previously, or the current month so far. This is a little recap of what you’ve been getting up to and in the normal photo dump fashion, it is usually a random selection of snapshots. 


What to caption your month photo dump

Month photo dump captions may be hard to think of, but we have a little trick to make this easier for you. We suggest keeping it simple and captioning it with the month or you might even want to include ‘photo dump’ in there too. For example, ‘October photo dump’. If you want to spice things up for spooky season, throw in some emojis too. 


How to make a photo dump on an Instagram story 

More recently, the photo dump has migrated from our Instagram feeds to our Instagram stories. You’ve probably noticed people centering their story photo dumps around a question or query that has been shared from others. This may be something like ‘October so far’ or ‘September’s best bits’, or it might even have a romantic element like ‘Show your loved one’. These can then be shared from story to story by clicking on the query. 


So, how can you make a photo dump on an Instagram story? Well, it’s pretty easy really. If you’ve found a fun query from someone else’s story, use this to get started. Add photos onto your story that centre around this query, and add as many as you like. You can also do this without a query and just add text over your images to describe the collage. 


This is a fun way for people to create an Instagram story recapping what they’ve been up to, without having to post on their feed.

 Why are people posting photo dumps? 

Instagram on mobile

Photo dumping has become very popular amongst celebs, including the likes of Dua Lipa, Olivia Rodrigo and Emma Chamberlain. So if you’re looking for some inspiration for your next post, there’s no harm in checking out celeb pages. Although, it’s not solely influencers or high-profile figures who have jumped on the photo dump trend bandwagon, it’s all-inclusive. 

Many people have found this trend refreshing and a break away from the toxicity of social media. With a lack of activity during the pandemic, but a lot of time to scroll through your feed, random photos were what kept Instagram alive. 

At the end of the day, it’s a bit of fun for all the family… Well, maybe not for Grandma, but for most of the family anyway.

How to use the Instagram photo dump trend for your business

It’s not just personal pages that can make the most of the photo dump trend; businesses can (and should) be hopping on board too. A business can use carousel posts to advertise products, show clips of their services in action, or even show the human side of their company. Three or more slides to a post will also increase the likelihood of exposure on customer feeds, and who can argue with that? Both paid ads and organic posting can use the carousel format, so it’s a great way to reach new and existing customers. 

The photo dump trend is good at making a business look like they’re keeping up with the times, being relatable, and can help attract a younger audience to their Instagram. So, if your business is wanting to add some creativity to its page, or gain a larger social media presence, then this trend will definitely help with that. Adding high-quality photos with a flare of eccentricity will make your photo dump pop and increase engagement online. The addition of #photodump will also improve the visibility of your business, so it’s a win-win.

Want to see more of what we have to offer your business? Why not check out our paid social media services? Or if you’re looking for something else in particular, take a look at our other services. Get in touch with us today to find out more!

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