Instagram is one of those platforms where so many of us have a love hate relationship with it… especially when it comes to the algorithm. While you can’t control the algorithm you can control your grid. Your grid is the culmination of your posts and I’m going to take you through how I curate my grid to be “aesthetic”.
There are 3 main components to an aesthetic instagram feed: 1. cohesiveness, 2. high quality pictures and 3. a unifying mood.
Cohesiveness means that your feed has a unified theme with each picture matching the others.
A theme can mean many different things, you could have a puzzle grid, you could simply use the same filter across all your pictures or you actively shoot in locations and/or outfits that match your chosen colour scheme.
For the sake of this post, we won’t be focusing on a puzzle grid, instead I’ll be talking about how to create cohesiveness with the colours in your photos.
To begin: you will want to choose the colour scheme of your theme. This will be the colours that you choose to keep saturated and at the forefront of your pictures. If you like to use an editing app like VSCO then you’ll want to choose a filter you want to apply to ever single photo (the filter will do the job of pulling out these colours for you). If you use Lightroom then take the time to experiment with editing or see if you can find a premade preset that you like!
Some common colour schemes:
Warm Neutrals – city fashion bloggers use this a lot
Shades of Grey – those feeds you see with lots of white and minimal colour
Cotton Candy – pinks, lavenders and blues
Teal and Orange – the classic travel blogger feed
Through Rose Coloured Glass – the light pink feed that is common with LiketKnow.it bloggers
High Contrast – City scapes
With your colour scheme there can also be a supplemented mood or vibe depending. I can’t exactly describe this but what I think of are those feeds that the main subject is out of focus or in movement that just seem so effortlessly cool, or moody city scapes that make even the dead of winter seem romantic. Cohesiveness will also come from having a unified mood. Let’s say for instance you are wanting to make a film account for your disposables and you take the majority of your pictures at night from parties or drive in movies etc. throwing in one iPhone photo from the middle of the day would not fit that if this makes sense. Obviously, if you aren’t stuck to your theme then post away, but if you are like me then having one photo out of place is not ideal.
The easiest way to keep your photo’s cohesive with minimal adjustments is to choose backgrounds and clothes that work with your theme, it’s of course possible to have a cohesive feed without always shooting in the same type of background, it might just take more work in post to make everything match.
For example, with my feed I usually don’t shoot anywhere green. I like to keep my background predominantly neutral or blue (city, lake, ocean, beach, cafe etc.). I also like to dress to match my grid, keeping my outfits in soft pastels, blues, and warm toned neutrals + black and white. That way, even if my background isn’t 100% perfect (ie. a park or something) at least the main focus of the picture (me) still matches.
When you are looking at editing all your photos together, the biggest thing that will break up a grid is if your sky (yes, such a random but important detail) isn’t the same tone of blue. The second biggest thing that will break up your grid is the lighting. It’s pretty easy, you can either choose daytime or nighttime photos. Obviously, night will be darks, possibly with flash and sunset/sunrise photos and day is lights, maybe a reflector and sunset/sunrise photos.
High Quality Photos
NOTHING breaks up a grid like a low-quality photo, if your photo is unintentionally grainy (like iPhone lowlight quality) or is too sharp etc. it’s just not cute.
If you aren’t that big into filters and editing, but still want a nice looking feed then taking the time to make sure you are shooting high resolution photos in good lighting will go far to helping your grid come together.
A Unifying Mood
I briefly touched on this when I talked about cohesiveness but all of the feeds that I find aesthetic have some sort of mood/vibe that they emote. Some people will tell you it’s the story that they’re trying to tell, but I think it’s a little bit bigger picture than that because really the story is their life, or travels or outfits etc.
The finishing touch of an aesthetic grid is having your photos make you and those following you feel some type of way, whether you are a fashion Instagrammer inspiring people with aspirational luxury or a travel page sparking wanderlust, your page has got to invoke that emotion.