First impressions are everything, especially when it comes to your social media persona. When a user visits your Instagram page, they’re not only looking at individual posts but your overall profile aesthetic. An Instagram aesthetic is the cohesive theme and overall mood that your page gives off. It should reflect your personality and sense of style. If you’re an entrepreneur or personal blogger, your Instagram aesthetic should reflect your brand voice and values, and stay consistent throughout your photos to build brand identity among your target audience. It should also be consistent with your website and any other brand design that the public sees. That way, your audience knows how to identify you and can trust the consistent aesthetic throughout your brand.

What Is a Photo Aesthetic? 

A good aesthetic comes down to how you consistently filter each individual photo that makes up your Instagram profile. In other words, good photo aesthetics on a micro level will thus create a beautiful Instagram aesthetic on a macro level. You might be wondering what exactly aesthetic photography is and how to achieve it. 

By definition, aesthetic is the appreciation of beauty, and in photography, that means the image is visually appealing. Of course, everyone has different standards and preferences when it comes to the beauty of art and photography, but there are a couple of universal things to keep in mind in order to maintain photo aesthetics. Ultimately, you want your photos to stand out and look visually pleasing, regardless of the platform used to display them. If you end up with a photo that looks dull or blurry, or you just want to liven it up, you have tons of photo editing tools at your fingertips to help you achieve your desired look. Whether you have an iPhone or an Android, you’ll find an abundance of photo editing apps that will make your photos look those of your favorite influencer. 


Do Photo Aesthetics Matter?

If you’re wondering whether photo aesthetics really make a difference, we’re here to tell you they absolutely do! Putting aside one’s general appreciation for beautiful images, photo aesthetics are essential to attracting people to your social media platforms. If you’re an entrepreneur, that means driving customers to your brand. Think of your Instagram profile as a portfolio that you are constantly building and improving. Creating an aesthetic is not an overnight process. It takes time to build it to perfection and it’s something that you’ll have to consistently maintain far into the future. In the long-haul, you’ll find that it’s worth the effort.

Tips for Best Instagram Aesthetics 

By now you’ve learned how critical photo aesthetics really are. If you’re looking for advice on how to build the best Instagram aesthetic, look no further. Below we’ve put together some tips on how to help you achieve the perfect look that fits your brand and your style.

What Is Your Brand Identity?
Whether you’re a personal blogger, business owner, or someone who just takes pride in how their Instagram profile looks, your identity is a big part of your aesthetic and should reflect exactly who you are. Is your brand personality more playful and fun? Or adventurous and daring? Perhaps you want to reflect a more serious tone. Regardless of what your vibe is, all of your posts should be cohesive and invoke the same mood. 

Who Is Your Audience?
It’s important that your content is visually appealing to your audience, whether they are customers or admirers. Get to know your followers and what they like about your brand. Why did they come to you in the first place and what made them stick around? Once you have a good grasp of this invaluable information, you’ll want to continue to incorporate it into your content to reinforce your aesthetic.

Stick to a Color Palette

A crucial aspect of your Instagram aesthetic is the color palette or photo filter you choose. Whether it’s muted and pastel or bold and saturated, choose a color scheme that is most aligned with your brand’s personality. For example, a baker’s blog might adopt a softer, pastel color palette versus a nature blog that may go with a vivid and colorful palette. Most importantly, once you find the right filter, stay consistent with it throughout your content.


Pick a Theme

In conjunction with a color palette, it can be helpful to establish a theme for your aesthetic. A theme can go beyond just products or a specific subject matter. Your theme should reflect your passions and perspectives in life in connection with your brand. For example, a beauty company that sells cosmetic products may also post content about health and wellness, as the two can be closely related.

Don’t Forget to Edit

In addition to adding a filter to your photos, don’t neglect the editing portion of the process. Just a little less brightness here and a little more contrast there can make a big difference in your photos and your overall aesthetic. In fact, some may opt to only edit photos instead of using any filters at all. We recommend doing both for the most optimal results! You can use the Instagram photo editor, but all-in-one photo editing apps, like PicsArt, have so much more versatility and can easily help you achieve your aesthetic.


It’s All About the Grid
Your aesthetic comes down to individual photos, as well as the composition of how those photos make up the grid. When visiting an Instagram profile, your eyes are instantly drawn to the grid of image thumbnails. Take note of the color scheme, photo sequence, and angles of photography to maintain a cohesive “big picture” aesthetic. 

Best Instagram Filters To Use

When you reach the stage in your editing process where you need to choose an Instagram filter, you might feel overwhelmed seeing so many options to choose from. Don’t worry because we’ve narrowed down our favorite filters and categorized them by aesthetic. Some of the most popular filters used by Instagram models are Clarendon, Juno, Ludwig, Willow, and Sierra. Based on what look you’re going for, explore these Instagram filters and see if they fit your Instagram aesthetic.

Soft & Muted

  1. Gingham
  2. Reyes
  3. Slumber
  4. Crema
  5. Aden

Cool Blue

  1. Clarendon
  2. Amaro
  3. Hudson
  4. X-Pro II
  5. Nashville

Black & White

  1. Moon
  2. Willow
  3. Inkwell


  1. Lark
  2. Mayfair
  3. Rise
  4. Valencia
  5. Sierra

Bold Contrast

  1. Juno
  2. Ludwig
  3. Lo-Fi

When and How To Filter Pictures 

If you’re wondering when and how to use photo filters, the answer is about 9/10 times. On the off chance you end up with a perfect photo that has just the right amount of brightness, saturation, and contrast, more power to you! More likely than not, however, your photo could benefit from a little transformation, especially when sharing on social media for the world to see. So why not have an enhanced version of your picture with just a tap of a button? Using a photo filter can add a layer of sophistication to your image and help it look more refined. If you’re not sure whether your photo needs a filter or not, simply test it out! Compare the various filters to the original photo and see what vibe you like best. 

Although Instagram’s iconic in-app filters are classic and beautiful, they don’t really compare to those of aesthetic photo editing apps, where your filter options are almost infinite. If you want a unique look, we highly recommend exploring PicsArt’s out-of-this-world filter options to create the most exclusive Instagram aesthetic out there. If you’re not finding what you like, you can always create your own preset photo filters using PicsArt Replay.

Whether you’re going for a ‘90s vibe or a classic vintage aesthetic, PicsArt is the best filter app out there with options for every look imaginable. Some incredible filters to consider on PicsArt’s mobile app are Noise, GRNG2, Glitch, VNYL, BRL3, Cinemara, and B&W Hicon. Check out this article, How Do You Use Photo Filters?, for an in-depth look at Instagram and PicsArt photo filters, plus a list of the most popular PicsArt filters you should consider using for your aesthetic.


What’s unique about PicsArt’s mobile app that makes it stand out from the rest is its layering feature. Deciding on a photo filter from a sea of filter options can be a time-consuming process and a tough decision. If you’re undecided between one or two or even three filters, why not combine all three? That’s right, PicsArt’s layer feature allows you to combine as many photo filters as you’d like to create the most unique look for your Instagram photos and your overall aesthetic! Here’s how:

  1. Open the PicsArt mobile app and tap on the plus sign at the bottom of your screen.
  2. Upload the image you’d like to edit.
  3. Tap Effects to see an impressive collection of photo filters. Depending on your aesthetics goal, select your desired filter. 
  4. Tap Apply on the top right to save your edit.
  5. Click Effects again to layer on another filter of your choosing. Repeat this step to add as many layers of filters as you’d like. Don’t forget to tap Apply on the top right in between each edit. 
  6. Tap Retouch to make additional edits to your facial features. For a tutorial on how to use each of the Retouch tools, check out this Face Editor for Flawless Photo Retouching article. 
  7. Explore other editing tools like Sticker, Mask, and Frame to add final touches to your photo.
  8. Click Next at the top right of your screen.
  9. Save or Post your beautiful creation!

If you’re looking for a photo filter online, PicsArt’s desktop Image Upscale tool is exactly what you need.

  1. Open the Image Upscale tool.
  2. Click Upload on the upper left-hand corner to upload an image from your computer library. To use an image from the web, you can click on Link (URL) and paste the image address when prompted on the next page.
  3. Select the desired dimension from the drop-down (height or width). Then select one of three resize options (1024 px, 2048 px, or custom). 
  4. Click Edit in the upper right-hand corner.
  5. Once your image is uploaded, select it by clicking once and clicking Edit on the top right. 
  6. Once prompted with the editing page, select Effects from the left hand bar. There are 11 different filter categories to explore, each with tons of unique filters and effects to try out. 
  7. Click the Adjust and Blend options above your image to further enhance the image’s Opacity, Fade, Hue, Brightness, Saturation, and Contrast. 
  8. Done editing your image to perfection? Click on Share or Download on the top right of your screen.

Pull It All Together

Today, you learned about all the different elements that go into creating a good aesthetic. Whether you decide to follow all of these guidelines or not, it comes down to how you want your aesthetic to look and feel. None of these guidelines are written in stone, and in fact, it’s fun to push the limits and break the rules from time to time! That may work for some brands out there who really want to set themselves apart in their industry. Bend the rules or follow them, it’s all good as long as your aesthetic reflects who you are and you feel good about it. Your aesthetic is also something that can gradually change over time as your brand grows. Your audience is there because they have made a connection with you, and a good aesthetic is a big part of that formula. 

Make Awesome

PicsArt all-in-one Photo and Video Editor, Collage, and Sticker Maker is the world’s largest creative platform with over 150 million monthly active creators and influencers. PicsArt has collaborated with major artists and brands like Taylor Swift, The Jonas Brothers, Gwen Stefani, Maroon 5, Lizzo, Meghan Trainor, One Direction, MONSTA X, Warner Bros. Entertainment, iHeartMedia, Condé Nast, and more. Download the app today to level-up your photos and videos with thousands of quick & easy editing tools, trendy filters, fun stickers, and brilliant backgrounds. Unleash your creativity with PicsArt and upgrade to Gold for awesome premium perks!



Katia Nazari