Instagram's photo dump trend has become a fixture on our feeds – even POTUS has jumped on board!
But what exactly is a photo dump and why is it a user favorite?
We're diving into what qualifies as a "photo dump", why it's an engagement driver, and how you can try it, below.
What is an Instagram Photo Dump?
Technically speaking, a photo dump is an Instagram carousel post. However, it's the type of content in the carousel that qualifies it as a "dump".
Rather than perfectly edited photos and videos, a photo dump is a low-effort, random collection – up to 10 slides – that conveys a story or mood.
Think a blurry selfie followed by an image of a half-eaten sandwich, a video at the beach, and a comical meme or GIF.
It’s the details that paint a fuller picture, revealing so much more than one single shot.
FYI: Later is a social media management platform trusted by over 4M businesses, creators, and marketers. Sign up today so you can schedule Instagram carousel posts in advance – available on all paid plans!
Why Are Photo Dumps Trending on Instagram Right Now
It’s no secret that the pandemic seriously impacted our Instagram feeds.
IRL events, concerts, and social gatherings took a back seat; yet our social media usage continued to soar.
Enter: The photo dump – a relatable way to convey our lockdown days:
And in the years since, Instagram photo dumps have surged in popularity – the hashtag alone has amassed over 1.2M posts and counting.
They’re a great way to connect with your audience through authentic imagery rather than the pressures of “picture perfect” filters and hyper-edited content.
Additionally, photo dumps are also a super-smart visibility and engagement tactic.
Since each slide can be surfaced in home feeds multiple times – it gives your post multiple chances to connect with your community.
Making photo dumps a versatile format to gain traction on the app.
Speaking of carousels, check out this post for inspiration: 8 Creative Ways to Use Instagram Carousel Posts
How to Jump on the Instagram Photo Dump Trend
You don't need to be an influencer or creator to jump on this trend – it works for brands and businesses too.
The number one rule? Is that there are no rules – this is your opportunity to be a little more casual and show a different (or more intimate) side of your brand.
Here's our simple three-step plan to perfect the art of the photo dump:
#1: Set Your Photo Dump Goals
Start by deciding your photo dump direction.
Do you want to convey a feeling, capture a timeframe, or an event? It's time to define your photo dump goal.
Before you start looking at what content to use, think about what you want to achieve with your audience through your photo dump post.
#2: Curate Your Photo Dump Content
While your photo dump images can feel like a random selection, it's worth being strategic with the first image in your carousel post.
Kick-off your photo dump with an image, GIF, or video that will entice your audience to keep swiping for more.
See how Jacquemus immediately grabs attention by showcasing supermodel (and photo dump connoisseur) Bella Hadid:
From there, it’s best to include a variety of content types: photos, videos, GIFs, and memes.
Jewelry brand Wolf Circus jumped on the trend by sharing a mix of photos and videos of staff wearing their favorite accessories:
Use photo dumps to authentically illustrate behind-the-scenes content, share an announcement or offer a sneak peek.
#3. Craft The Perfect Photo Dump Caption
Once you’ve selected your imagery, choose a caption to match.
Remember, your carousel conveys a story so keep your caption short and sweet to deliver a punchier message.
And just like that, you’ve created your first photo dump. Connecting with your audience has never been more relatable!
PSA: With Later’s Instagram scheduler, you can plan and prep your carousel posts in advance via desktop or mobile.
It’s as simple as logging onto Later, heading to your Media Library, and checking off one or more images (or videos) for your carousel post.
You can even write a caption, rearrange media, edit, and crop your content:
Once you’re happy with your post, choose a date and time, and click save. Then when it’s time to post you’ll receive a mobile app notification to publish.
The caption will automatically be added to your clipboard and the images to your gallery.
It’s that easy!
Moving away from a solitary grid post, photo dumps are an excellent way to gain visibility and connect with your community.
Whether you’re launching a new product or showcasing your team, photo dumps are making authenticity cool on Instagram again.
Ready to get started? Plan, preview, and schedule your carousel posts in advance with Later – sign up today.