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25 Instagram Photo Ideas for When You Have Nothing to Post

25 Instagram Photo Ideas for When You Have Nothing to Post

It ain’t always easy coming up with cool and creative Instagram photo ideas when you’re constantly trying to stay active and constantly post new pictures every single day.

If you’re as obsessed with Instagram as I am, you’ve probably gone through Instagrammer’s block at some point or another.

When I travel, I take hundreds and hundreds of different kinds of photos and I end up with so much content, I can’t even post it all on Instagram or I’ll drive everyone crazy and make them unfollow me.

When I’m not traveling (which is most of the time), I have to plan and shoot my Instagram content ideas ahead of time, because I always struggle with finding photos to post on Instagram in the moment.

I try my hardest to stay active and post everyday (or at least several times a week), but sometimes your photo bank runs dry and you have absolutely no inspiration on what to post on Instagram.

With this list of Instagram photo ideas, you’ll hopefully have almost a month’s worth of content to post, plus more if you shoot each picture idea more than once (which is probably a good idea).

If you’re looking for ideas on what to post on Instagram, you’re in luck.

Here are some fun, creative, and simple Instagram post ideas to shoot if you’ve run out of content!

I’ve also got a separate blog post on Instagram home photoshoot ideas if you’d rather shoot photos at home.


Instagram photo ideas if you have nothing to post


A feminine and pretty flat lay photo

1. Take a classic flat lay photo

Everyone loves a good ol’ flat lay photo on Instagram – it’s aesthetically pleasing on your feed, and super easy to shoot by yourself in the comfort of your own home.

All you have to do is throw in some jewelry, beauty products, maybe a book or a laptop, and you’re good to go.

If you’re looking to bulk shoot your content, flat lay photos pretty much always make for great Instagram photo ideas.

If you’re a small business owner, flat lays are a great way to showcase your products as well!

Bristol boards or contact paper are your best friends when it comes to taking great flat lay photos for Instagram – keep a stockpile of different kinds of backgrounds so you can switch it up.

I use either my AmazonBasics tripod or my Gorillapod to take flat lay photos, and if I’m shooting with iPhone, I use my phone tripod adapter.

If you’re exclusively shooting with iPhone and don’t have a camera, a phone tripod is a more budget-friendly option!

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I also have a full blog post all about flat lay photography tips if you’re looking to brush up on your photo skills.


Working from home on a MacBook Pro

2. Snap a “day in the life” shot

Stop wherever you are and snap some photos of what you’re doing, where you are, or even what you’re working on if you’re working from home.

Show us your daily workspace or even what you’re currently reading in bed!

Sometimes people prefer to see the real life stuff over the more curated and planned stuff.

To make it even more ~realistic~, take a picture with your smartphone.

That way, it looks like you literally just snapped a photo and posted it rather than spent an hour editing a professional DSLR photo.


Reading on the Kindle in the bathtub

3. Shoot in the bathtub

Bubble bath, anyone? (I read that in the hormone monstress’ voice in the Netflix show Big Mouth.)

Throw in a colourful bath bomb, pour yourself a glass of wine, and snap a pic of you chillin’ in the tub.

If you don’t care to be in the photo, just take a cool shot of the colourful bath bomb in the water.

Or, show off those hot dog legs in the tub.


A selfie in Whistler, British Columbia

4. But first, let me take a selfie

Looking for super simple Instagram photo ideas to take at home?

A selfie shot once in a while won’t hurt your feed!

They’re much easier than having someone else take your OOTDs because you can take ’em yourself at home.

Don’t forget to close your bathroom door and maybe hide your laundry basket.

Otherwise, you can always take a selfie in front of a plain white wall!

Try not to post too many of them and never post them back-to-back – that is an Instagram sin.


South Pond Farms in Pontypool, Ontario

5. Take a mirror selfie

Fancy some mirror selfies, anyone?

If you’re just not feelin’ your face today, you can hide it behind your phone in a mirror selfie.

Bonus points if you’re shooting in front of a pretty mirror like the fancy IKEA one everyone has, or the even fancier Anthropologie one.


RIPNDIP cat graphic t-shirt

6. Take a photo of a cool or funny graphic shirt you own

The shirts will speak for themselves on your Instagram feed.

You can’t go wrong with a cool RIPNDIP cat tee, or a t-shirt with a funny saying on it.

Having the bottom half of your face in the photo makes it a little bit more interesting.

Throw on some bright lipstick and maybe even some jewelry.


Kapwani Kiwanga exhibit at The Power Plant Gallery, Toronto

7. Use colourful lighting

Have a Philips Hue lightbulb lying around?

Put it to good use by throwing yourself a dance party.

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Or maybe just a fun and colourful photoshoot.

Simply screw the lightbulb onto any lamp you have, change up the colours, and snap away!

You can control it through the Amazon Alexa too, which is fun.


FIKA Cafe, Toronto

8. Put up a newspaper/magazine wall

Have any newspapers, magazines, or even flyers lying around?

That’s right, you can make use out of those Canadian Tire flyers as a photoshoot prop.

Simply tape them up along a wall and perhaps even along the floor, and you’ve got yourself a DIY photoshoot space!


Levi's balloon pants

9. Create a bed sheet wall

Another DIY photoshoot space you can create is using a bed sheet to mimic a studio look.

White, pink, beige, blue – whatever colour you have works!

You can hang it over a backdrop stand if you have one, or just over some furniture.


Greenhouse Juice Matcha Milk with succulent cactus plant flat lay

10. Use all the plants in your home

Got an abundance of plant babies in your home?

Round up all your plants and create a jungle-esque scene for a fun Instagram photo idea you can do at home.

The more, the merrier!

You can even play with depth of field by having some plants in the foreground and some in the background.

Gotta be #creative, y’all.


An outfit of the day in front of a graffiti wall in Toronto

11. Take an outfit of the day

All you need is a cute outfit and a nice wall or backdrop, and you’re set for taking an OOTD.

If you’re stuck on where to shoot your outfit photos, I’ve got a post all about the most Instagram-worthy walls in Toronto.

If you don’t have an Instagram husband to take your OOTDs, I’ve also got a post on how to take your own Instagram photos!


A #fromwhereistand Instagram photo gives your audience a peek of your outfit without anyone having to take the photo for you.

12. Take a #fromwhereistand shot

If you don’t have someone to take your outfit of the day, #FWIS shots are always great Instagram photo ideas.

A “from where I stand” shot is basically a flat lay, but of what you’re wearing.

All you gotta do is find a cool floor to stand on and give us a sneak peek of your outfit.

Bonus points if you’ve got a hip coffee cup or smoothie in your other hand.

Insider tip – make sure to stick your butt out a little to get a better front view angle of your whole outfit!


A coffee shop flat lay photo

13. Visit a cute coffee shop

Coffee shots will never be overrated, especially if you’ve got some cool latte art in there.

You can even stick props like your phone or wallet in the shot to make it more interesting.

If the photo’s looking a little bland on its own, adding in a bouquet of flowers for the shot will make it look a lot cuter.

If you’re looking for some cute cafés to visit, I’ve got a post all about the most Instagram-worthy Toronto coffee shops!

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A brunch flat lay

14. Have a photogenic brunch somewhere

Brunch is always a good idea, y’all.

Posting a brunch photo around lunchtime is guaranteed to get people super hungry so they’ll press that like button.

The more colourful and full the brunch spread is, the more eye-catching and Instagrammable it’ll be.

I’ve got a blog post all about the most Instagram-worthy Toronto brunch places!


Cauldron Ice Cream in Toronto, Canada

15. Eat some sweet treats

Everyone loves looking at dessert photos on Instagram, especially during the warmer months.

Make everyone jealous by paying a visit to a cute little ice cream shop for your Instagram.

The more extravagant and crazy the dessert is, the better it’ll do on your feed.

Perhaps stop by one of Toronto’s best ice cream shops!


A local flower shop in Toronto

16. Visit a pretty flower shop

Stand above the bouquets of flowers outside a flower shop and take a quick snap.

Or, take a photo of your hand holding a colourful bouquet in front of a pretty wall.

Don’t forget to be courteous and actually buy the flowers if you’re going to grab any bouquets though!

Flower shops are businesses, not free photoshoot locations.


Montreal skyline from Mont Royal Park

17. Go outside and take a cool building shot

No, you do not need to be an urban explorer to take cityscape shots.

Actually, anyone can be called an urban explorer if you’re exploring an urban neighbourhood 😉

Take a walk around your city or just snap some shots wherever you are. Don’t forget to look up!

Building shots are especially interesting when the sun is setting or when it’s cloudy outside.

Urban exploring in the Toronto Entertainment District and Financial District neighbourhoods is always fun!


CN Tower skyline in Toronto

18. Post a photo of a cool landmark in your city

Okay, okay, landmark photos are basic. It’s a thing tourists take photos of.

But there’s a reason why everyone takes Instagram photos of them!

A shot of the CN Tower or Casa Loma never fails – they’re both photogenic locations.

If you’re looking for easy Instagram photo ideas, landmark shots are the way to go.


A sunset in Iceland

19. Snap a photo of the sunset

Cotton candy skies make for great Instagram photo ideas. Basic but irresistible, my friends.

The more colourful the sunset is, the better the photo!

Just take a look at #toronto and see all the sunset photos anytime it’s any colour besides blue or navy.


Flowers at Richmond Green in Richmond Hill

20. Dig through old photos

Sometimes if my photo bank runs dry, I dig through old photos on my phone or Flickr account (does anyone use that anymore?)

I’ve posted photos on my feed that were even years old!

Even if you’ve posted a photo before, if it’s been a long time, you probably will have gained new followers by then who haven’t seen it.

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Hong Kong Disneyland

21. Post a #TBT

A throwback Instagram photo every once in awhile can be fun, especially when it’s a nostalgic #takemeback travel photo.

That’s why it’s a good idea to save up some travel photos for later rather than posting them all at once.

Just don’t post throwbacks too often, because people tend to like more current, in-the-moment content nowadays.


A flat lay of Polaroid photos

22. Take a photo of physical photos

Instax polaroid shots always make for adorable Instagram picture ideas.

Simply hold them with your hands in front of a colourful wall or scatter them across your bed in a flat lay.

Just have fun with it and be creative!

If you’d rather print out photos, try the HP Sprocket printer instead.

Either way, the prints will look great in any flat lay photos.


23. Shoot a cool Boomerang video

Instagram’s Boomerang app makes everything look cooler tbh.

Get a little action going on your Instagram feed with a fun little Boomerang!

Take a Boomerang of your hand pouring coffee into a cup, you grabbing a slice of pizza, or even you doing cute poses.

A lot of Boomerangs tend to be low quality, but you can do something interesting with it and make it more Instagrammable.

You can also get someone to help you take the Boomerang so it’s less shaky and more professional-looking.

Some easy Boomerang ideas to try out:

GIFs and Cinemagraphs

If you’re good at using Photoshop, you can try creating GIFs or Cinemagraphs instead!

The great thing about GIFs and Cinemagraphs is that they’re more controlled than taking Boomerangs.

They take a lot more planning and editing, but they can look really awesome!


24. Take a quick still video

Video is a lot more engaging than a still photo, and something that’s very popular on Instagram nowadays is a sort of “still” video shot.

It’s best done with scenic shots that could do with a little more action.

Because it’s just a simple video, it doesn’t require any editing.

It’ll look a lot more organic on your feed than a heavily edited vlog!

Some simple still videos to try out:

  • Yourself applying lipstick
  • Posing in front of the mirror with your outfit
  • You running out from behind the camera into the sunset on a beach
  • Walking from one side of the frame to the other in front of a tourist monument
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You can put your camera or phone on a tripod and take the video yourself.

Or, you can have someone else take it for you!


25. Create an IGTV video

Most people don’t spend more than a second looking at and scrolling past your photo.

Pretty crazy to think that when you think about the amount of work most people put into their Instagram content!

Which is why making videos is such a win – it gets people looking at your content for longer.

Play around with different kinds of IGTV content to see what works best for your audience.

On my own IGTV, I’ve done cooking videos, haul videos, travel vlogs, and more.

Another great thing about making IGTV videos is that you can repurpose the vertical video content on TikTok and Pinterest!


It ain't always easy coming up with cool Instagram posts. Here are some creative Instagram photo ideas in case you've got a case of Instagrammer's block!

So there you have it: over two weeks’ worth of creative Instagram post ideas to post in case you’ve got Instagrammer’s block.

If you exhaust this entire list, just go through it again.

And again. And… Again. Infinite Instagram photo ideas!

It can get tiring constantly thinking of new content ideas to constantly post, but it’s a million times easier to shoot if you know what you’re looking for.

Here’s a list of all the creative Instagram photo ideas you can take:

  1. Flat lays
  2. “A day in the life” shot
  3. Bubble bath
  4. Selfies
  5. Mirror selfies
  6. Cool graphic tees
  7. Colourful lighting
  8. Newspaper/magazine wall
  9. Bed sheet wall
  10. Plants
  11. Outfit of the day photos
  12. “From where I stand” shots
  13. Coffee shops
  14. Brunch spots
  15. Dessert places
  16. Flower shops
  17. Buildings or city shots
  18. Unique landmarks in your city or town
  19. Sunset pictures
  20. Old photos from your archives
  21. #Throwback photos
  22. Photos of Polaroid photos
  23. Boomerangs, GIFs, or cinemagraphs
  24. Quick and simple still videos
  25. IGTV videos

Are there any types of Instagram photos you take when you’re out of inspiration? Do you have any other Instagram photo ideas? Let me know on Twitter or Instagram!

If you’re looking for more Instagram tips, here are some other posts you might like:

Be sure to keep up with me on Instagram, TikTokTwitter, Facebook, and Pinterest if you aren’t already!

Feel free to subscribe to my weekly newsletter to get my blog posts delivered straight to your inbox.

Jessica Lam | Toronto lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and travel blogger | Diary of a Toronto Girl, a Canadian lifestyle blog

It ain't always easy coming up with cool Instagram posts. Here are some creative Instagram photo ideas in case you've got a case of Instagrammer's block!

Ameridzuan

Thursday 23rd of November 2017

Nice sharing!

The Sunday Mode

Friday 17th of November 2017

I swear I am the worst when it comes to thinking of Instagram photos so this list was awesome, thanks!

Julia // The Sunday Mode

Becky Whitton

Tuesday 31st of October 2017

Glad to see another post on your blog. Great ideas, great information, especially when you are running out of ideas on what to put up next. I'm proceeding to try those ideas!. Thanks again for sharing.

Melissa Gibbs

Tuesday 3rd of October 2017

These are some really awesome ideas, thanks for sharing!! I live in Montreal but I've always thought the photo-ops/scenery when I visit Toronto were way better! :p

Courtney Connolly

Saturday 23rd of September 2017

Those are all such great ideas! I try to have a stock that I can pull from when i don't have something planned but sometimes you just have no clue what to post