"You have such a good aesthetic" or "you’re so aesthetic" are coveted compliments both typed and spoken about pleasing visuals on an Instagram feed—but what does it mean? To call someone aesthetic is shorthand for "aesthetically pleasing," and the term has its roots in the Greek "aisthetikos," where it referred to something more generally relating to sensory perception. Now, the word relates to beauty and appearance in all its forms, and is often used to denote the nature and idea of a chosen art or style. To have one’s own aesthetic now, then, is to be able to craft a personal style and have an idea of it that remains consistent and arresting to the eye.
Looking to extend your own idea of art to how you run your personal social media pages? It’s not just about taking photos that look good. Those committed to keeping up with their vision online consider cohesive color choices in their photos, how they arrange images in their profile grid, and their own brand of editing. Here are nine aesthetic Instagram feeds we love to look through for inspiration.
Clean, classy whites and prominent browns are the color choices highlighting this Instagram account’s aesthetic choices. Crisp bedsheets and modern-chic clothes are made all the more interesting with a pop of champagne or gold in the occasional picture.
A somber, dreamy tone permeates iamgalla’s photos with the addition of a filter over every image that dials down each color. He also posts quite a few photos of sunsets and overcast weather, with these images complementing the sense of old-school softness in this feed.
WEPA’s photography gets up close and personal on the streets and at concerts, with each subject centered in the frame and caught in the moment. This makes the portraits brim with personality and cool energy, whether they’re singing into a microphone or posing while out and about.
Shapes, shapes, shapes. This account’s appeal can be summarized in the bio: "simplicity, escapism, and geometric pleasures." The minimalist in you will definitely appreciate the clean composition of each shot and the curves and edges of interesting architecture and design.
Olivia Bee plays with a different perspective unique among most Instagram aesthetic feeds. Other than her regular posts, when viewing her profile in grid mode you can find that she spaces out photos by sharing nothing more than a blank image in between some of them. The result brings to mind a carefully-curated gallery wall rather than a social media page.
Alex Gowon's feed is a commitment to color, but rather than the warm-toned browns, greens, and yellows of the plants and scenery in his profile overwhelming the eye, they take on an almost light sepia-like tone through good editing and color balance.
Rustic, creative charm is the name of 1924 House’s game. More than a color palette, the feed instead utilizes a mood—one that allows dark tones to not look somber but instead highlight the handmade, tactile nature of creative work. Check out their typography, graphic design, flatlays, and travel scenes.
Devan loves style and fashion, and it shows, with his aesthetic exuding an effortless cool. To highlight the menswear and sneakers, backgrounds are never flashy and photos are uploaded in sets of three or more to capture different angles and pieces composing an outfit. The custom icons for story collections are a nice touch as well!
Compelling photographs line this feed, and while they don’t necessarily stick to one color scheme or grid setup, each shot is lovingly taken and composed. It’s a wonderful peek into the special parts of daily life in a city, where there’s something interesting to look at around every corner.
Want to build your own aesthetic Instagram feed? Consider yourself and what image you want to present to others, and let your personal tastes shine through when taking photos and editing them. Ask yourself the following:
- Do I want to take that extra step and plan out my feed?
- What parts of myself do I want to share?
- What colors do I like?
- What kind of feelings do I want people to have when they look at my photos?
- What are the most common subjects I take photos of?
Social media can be a great way to showcase self-expression, and a highly visual platform like Instagram can especially present not only what you get up to in daily life but also how you see the world. Other than these accounts, you can always look around for more inspiration, make use of the explore option, and look for editing tools to help on your journey. Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun!