Why Instagram Captions Matter

By Emily VanderBeek, of Isn't That Charming

Who needs written words? A picture speaks a thousand of them. Colors collide, events are shown and emotions are displayed all without speaking. Especially on networks like Instagram, the picture speaks for itself…right? Wrong.

In a digital world where images of high heels, coffee mugs and sunsets are prevalent, a caption can be the difference between an Instagram post that’s overlooked and one that’s “liked.” I call it “breaking through the clutter.” Not every photo is going to be awe striking. Sometimes even the perfect filter can’t give a ho-hum photo added life. It’s up to you to give it a unique spin.

Here are a few ways to use captions to your advantage. After all, your sunset photo really is better than Susie’s. Help people notice it.

Give New Meaning


instagram captions give new meaning

The cool thing about imagery is that it leaves a lot open for interpretation. What may seem black and white to one person can be looked upon as arbitrary to another. Use this to your advantage. Put a unique spin on your photos by using a caption that makes a viewer look at your photo with a different lens than they would have before.

Jazz Up Dullness

instagram captions jazz up dullness
While we all like to believe that every photo we snap is frame-worthy, the reality is that it’s often been done before. Mug on a comfy Sunday morning? Been there. Top-down view of your outfit? Done that. Give frequently-captured moments your own flare with a caption that plays up a fun side of the photo.

Show Wit

instagram caption show wit
Who doesn’t like a little mental sharpness & inventiveness? Look for connections between your photo & a potential caption. Write toward that connection. Make it somewhat discrete so that when the viewer catches on it’s like they’ve solved a little puzzle between the two of you. It’s that “ah-ha” moment that often brings a smile or deeper thought for others – and for you.

Emphasize A Point

instagram captions emphacize point
Sometimes a picture really can do all the talking on its own. However, a little explanation can still provide that extra “oomph”. Captions that emphasize a point in your photo help to provide clarity while also giving context to an already fabulous snapshot.

 Do you put effort into your Instagram captions? Share your thoughts in the comments.


About The Author: Emily VanderBeek is a digital advertising professional living & playing in Chicago. She is the blogger behind Isn't That Charming, a lifestyle blog focused on the fashions, DIY projects & inspirations that charm her socks off.

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About The Author

Ana is a Travel Blogger and Blogging Coach at The City Sidewalks. With her expertise in online marketing, she's able to help other bloggers, creatives, and entrepreneurs grow their businesses so that they can achieve financial freedom to travel the world on their own terms.

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31 Responses

  1. MonicaP

    I think I should probably get an instagram account !!


  2. Sarah's Real Life

    Great, I’m totally going to overthink all my Instagram captions now…thanks a lot! 🙂
    But this reminds me…I know I used to be able to put links in my Insta captions, and now it’s not working anymore. Anyone know what the deal is? Am I just an idiot? If I’m posting a pic of that day’s blog outfit, I like to put a short link to the post after my witty, deep, well thought out caption.

    Sarah’s Real Life

  3. .

    I think people should be more focused on producing interesting shots rather then on how to get likes with witty captions. If people like the photo, they’ll heart it no matter the caption! Also, try and shoot stuff from different angles or do a detailed shot!

  4. Nasreen

    These are really great examples! I think its fun to jazz up boring captions like “Here I am in ___ ” or boring captions that have all hashtags.


  5. Jasmine polhill

    I think This is a good point because a lot of people like to explain in different words why they are showing not just something like “I love my leggings” but more like describing the leggings!!!

  6. Anita

    It was very informative to read this, even though I don’t own a smartphone.
    Not sure if this is funny or sad 😀

  7. Raquel

    Witty captions definitely help but don’t forget about hash tags too! I try to speak in hash tags so I can get my point across & be searched for easily. I also use a variety of hashtags so more people will find me.

  8. Sarah

    I never have put much effort into my Instagram captions before but this has certainly inspired me to do so in the future.

    Sarah x

  9. Hannah Nelson

    I totally agree! I usually write a little something, typically with a little wit. It all depends on what I want the photo to really say.
    Follow me on instagram: @misshannahrenee


  10. Geri

    I’m actually trying to put more thought into my captions for all the reasons you mentioned. I am always more interested in viewing photos that have captions. I know a picture is worth 1000 words, but captions do influence me.

    @gericentonze on IG ♥

  11. Lauren Hochman

    This is such good advice! I had no idea! I’m now trying this.



  12. Swati Ailawadi

    I have never put any effort into captions. I don’t use captions… only hashtags.

    This is an eye opener !

    The Creative Bent

  13. IG xxelsinaxx

    Sooo true! Love this post 🙂

    IG: @xxelsinaxx twitter: @fashionbloglove

  14. Jin Stella Kwon

    Before this article, I always posted my pictures without a caption. Oops!

  15. Lauren

    Great post, I never normally think too much into my captions but now I will 🙂

  16. Ashlie Elizabeth Moore

    I often think that I’m witty, but I’m mostly just punny 🙂

  17. petite

    Great tips!! There really is an art to instagramming. Use of emojis also works like a charm 🙂

  18. PreteMoiParis

    I never thought much about putting much effort in before reading this post over breakfast, and all day I made a conscious attempt to make my captions more fun or interesting…I’m no pro at it yet but it certaily makes posting instagrams more playful!

    Great article!!!!!

  19. sheila

    Hey Babes!.(:

    ~ I’m new here and I would appreciate if you helped me get to fifty followers at least today? Follow for follow? Shoutout for shoutout? Spam for spam?(:

    ~ QOTD: Flower crown or bows?

    • I think flower crowns!(:

  20. Amanda S.

    loved this post! i don’t post nearly as many day to day outfit posts as i could and i definitely never thought too hard on captions.

  21. Layla

    Oooh! I love this post and love how simple captions are yet leave lots to imagination…I think I’ll start doing this and see how it goes on Instagram as I’d like to boost it a little!


  22. Jessie

    Honestly, I think all of those captions were a bit lame, but yeah captions are so important!!

  23. Adanna

    Follow me on instagram: instagram.com/adannakpaduwa and my blog: http://maioku.blogspot.com/

  24. Alexia Rebing

    I hadn’t really thought much about how captions are important too!
    Great tips!

  25. Winnie Odande

    I love this. I try put more thought on my captions but this has just taken it to another level. Definitely helpful.