The Importance of an Instagram #Aesthetic

Demetra Laurent
Feb 9, 2018 · 4 min read

Today’s standards for social media profiles are becoming more and more competitive and are largely focused on building and maintaining a certain aesthetic. Today, influencers on social media, specifically Instagram, recognize the unspoken expectation of having a thematic aesthetic throughout one’s posts.

When it comes down to it, Instagram has the highest potential for displaying an aesthetic well. Instagram is really just a blog that is visually compelled with photography. The best part about Instagram? You don’t have to be a photographer to run a successful, popular account. Although Instagram has always appealed to the masses of lay people, it is no longer a place for amateur photos. Instagram has developed in a way that pushes people to brand their accounts into creative platforms with strong aesthetics.

The most popular Instagram influencers know that once they pick their aesthetic, they must stick to it and commit to that “vibe.” The beauty in Instagram is that it really is just a digital gallery of one’s life. Instagram has allowed for people to discover what is visually appealing to them, and turn that into a branding platform that lays within each post.

Maintaining a great aesthetic requires a few things:

One of these things is that once you decide upon a vibe/dynamic/mood, you stick to it. For example, a feminine and colorful vibe shouldn’t be interrupted with a black and white photo. One of my favorite accounts is by Julia Smith (@humpreyandgrace). Her photos of flowery, wanderlust beauty are consistent and incredibly visually appealing.

Photographer Julia Smith’s Instagram profile (@humphreyandgrace)
Julia Smith uses a warm, flowery and soft aesthetic for her photos

Another important part of maintaining an aesthetic is editing all photos in a similar manner. When all photos are edited with the same software, filters and techniques, there will be a fluidity throughout the gallery of photos which enhances the strength of a theme and is easy on the eye. A great example of maintaining an editing technique is T H E M I N I M A L I S T (@minimaliststyle). With clean and crisp photos, the same filters are applied to every photo, typically black and white, with the occasional pop of color.

A section of photos from @minimaliststyle Instagram feed

Finally, as with any content platform, it is super important to post content that is inspiring and compelling. Pointless pictures with no common purpose can be misleading and can break the aesthetic. An aesthetic is established most successfully if there is story behind each post and if that story can resonate with the viewer/follower. Instagram influencer Sam Cahill (@samcahill) powers an account based on travel, adventure, and film. Although his posts vary from nature to city life, each post represents a story or moment that inspired him, and in turn, inspires his followers.

Sam Cahill (@samcahill) Instagram page
@samcahill carries an aesthetic based on experiences

An Instagram aesthetic not only attracts followers to content, but it provides a branding opportunity for a person, company, organization, etc.. A successful aesthetic on Instagram displays gorgeous photos in an organized way that allows for creativity and story-telling. Think of it as a window inside the creative section of your brain: what is beautiful to you? What colors best represent your mood? What photos allow your creative sense to be seen?

Instagram is the most popular platform for self expression using photography as well as providing context for those photos. I love that Instagram allows anybody to showcase what they find great about the world. Whether it be food, hiking, pretty buildings or endless oceans, Instagram is the platform that beautifully organizes it all. Maintaining a personalized aesthetic on Instagram will take your account to the next level and invite followers to take your life journey with you…

Demetra Laurent

Written by

Public Relations Student | Iona College Women’s Swimming | Seattle bred/NYC living