Countering beauty standards and aesthetics, here's how photo dumps are taking over Instagram

author-image
Karishma Jangid
New Update
photo dumps


Social Ketchup spoke to content creators to learn what's making "photo dumps" a raging trend on Instagram. Read to know more.

Instagram has always been a platform for photos. At first, we used to put those cliché, over-edited photos of ourselves. We have all posted photos that make us cringe every time we look back at them. Then came the era of polished photos, especially in the world of influencers. We are still living in the era. Many have criticized such edited photos for giving unrealistic goals to people. Photoshopped photos especially set a very high standard of ‘perceived’ beauty. Such photos make people want to achieve the perfect figure, the perfect that rarely exists in reality. However, something changed when the trend of “photo dumps” came along. 

What is a photo dump?

A photo dump on Instagram is often an album of pictures that may or may not have a connection to each other. For example, You can put various pictures from the month of March and call it a “March photo dump”.

Or the next time you visit a beautiful destination and click thousands of photos, you can take a few pictures from the gallery and put them up as a vacation dump.

You get the gist now! But apart from fun and happiness, here's what is so special about this trend.

Resetting unrealistic beauty standards:

While the photo dumps surely look cool, there’s more to them that’s making them popular. For one, photo dumps take away the anxiety of looking beautiful on Instagram. They allow you to put your awkward pictures from Snapchat, those weird pictures that your friends took of you or the blurry yet memorable pictures. In other words, they set you free. 

Countering the aesthetic:

You need not make aesthetic albums that demand grace like Pinterest. You can simply make a fun album that makes your heart happy.

More than photos:

Photo dumps give you a chance of compiling photos that have zero connection to each other. These pictures can also be random screenshots from your Phone’s photo gallery or wallpaper that you love. 

Don't take our word for it? No problem at all. We spoke with content creators Skye Griffin (@skyehgrif) and Viraj Desai (@virajdesaii) to learn what photo dumps really are and how to make a cool one!

Here's what they said:

According to you, what exactly is the photo dump trend on Social Media? How would you describe photo dumps? Do you like them?

For Viraj, photo dumps are about posting random shots that we take instead of aesthetically pleasing photos. "I do like them," he says. For Skye, photo dumps are a way of spilling out everything that they want to; no need to have posts all correlate or fit a theme. "Photo dumps are a way to truly showcase big chunks of your life and I absolutely love them," they say.

Have you posted photo dumps? If yes, tell us about the post and how your experience was? Did it garner more engagement?

"I have posted a few. Not all photo dumps garner enough engagement but some do," says Viraj. Skye also confirms getting slightly lesser engagement on photo dumps when compared to their regular posts. "But I’ve noticed that people appreciate them more than a regular post. It’s snippets of your life on display, you know?" they add.

What aspect of photo dumps do you love the most?

Viraj says that he loves that he can post random pictures without having to describe them. Skye loves how free photo dumps are. They say, "You never know what to expect in a photo dump, what’s going to come next. A lot of the time, I’m not sure what I’m going to put, before I open Instagram, click on a new post and scroll through my gallery. They’re a reminder of whatever we want them to be."

Do you intend to share a story through your pictures? What is your approach?

Describing his approach, Viraj says, "Yes, when I’m on a trip or a little vacation, I intend to post a carousel dump which describes what I did during that day or trip!" Skye, on the other hand, says, "My photo dumps usually comprise my happiest moments - with friends, cute plants or flowers I see, animals I meet, things I laugh about, memories I cherish."

What are some things to keep in mind while sharing photo dumps?

Viraj doesn't think that one should keep anything in mind before sharing a dump." Just post whatever you like which is not offensive to anyone!" Skye echoes similar sentiments when they say that we have to be mindful of potentially triggering content and ensure that we use the appropriate content or trigger warnings. "It’s our space to post whatever we want, but it’s also our job to ensure that everyone who follows us and interacts with our content has a safe social media space for themselves."

What do you think is making photo dumps so popular on social media?

Viraj believes that photo dumps are gaining popularity because the audience gets to know more about the creator." Skye says, "The fact that photo dumps are the one space where nobody’s expected to stick to their niche is refreshing to both creators and non-creators alike. It’s also so much fun to participate in!"

Is photo dump a fleeting trend, or it's here to stay? Thoughts?

Viraj believes that the trend is here to stay. However, he adds, "People love to post dumps but not just for the trend's sake!" Skye too believes that the idea of photo dumps is here to stay; at least they hope it does. "Posting photo dumps and seeing other people do the same - having that glimpse into their life - is something I absolutely love. I’m going to continue posting them for a long time for sure," they say.

What do you think about photo dumps? Have you posted one yet?

Also Read: Shalini Kutti taught me how to do a full face with drugstore makeup!

Instagram influencers social media trends instagram trends photo dumps Skye Griffin Viraj Desai