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How to Do Aesthetic Photography: Top 21 Tips to Create Your Own Aesthetic

aesthetic photo of woman holding photo

What are aesthetic portraits? Aesthetics is the branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of beauty and an extension of the fine arts. When we talk about aesthetic photos, we refer to photos appealing to the eyes and tasteful. We usually use such terms as "photoshopped" or "monotone" for images that were manipulated in Photoshop - it makes them stronger and more pleasing to the eye. This article will discuss more aesthetic photography.

How to Understand Aesthetics in Photography?

Aesthetics is a big word, and you can't define it. For some people, it's the subject of their photos. For others, it's composition. For still others, it's lighting. But whatever it is, if you're going to put your work online and make money from it, you should have a better understanding why aesthetics matter in your work. In the same way that there are rules of grammar that you should know before you write anything (and then there are exceptions), there are general rules of aesthetics that every professional photographer should know to create his/her own aesthetic.

Aesthetic vs. Style

Aesthetic and Style Photography are two forms of photography that can be easily confused. The difference between aesthetic photography and style photography is that aesthetic photography focuses on the beauty of a subject, while style photography focuses on an individual's sense of self-expression. On the other hand, style photography is primarily based on the photographer's creativity and fine-tuning of various production elements.

  • Aesthetic Photography

woman aesthetic photo

Photo by Ionut Comanici on Unsplash

Aesthetic photography is a subgenre of fine art photography. These aesthetic photos are not staged or posed but instead created by the subject's interaction with his environment and how the camera captures this interaction.

  • Style Photography

Style photography is about creating images that suit the photographer's artistic vision for his work. Style photographers may have an idea for a composition they've personally conceived or have been asked to create for a client. Style photographers will manipulate various production elements to achieve their vision to get exactly what they want out of an image.

20 Tips on How To Take Aesthetic Pictures

You've probably found yourself in a situation where you need a picture of something at the last minute. Maybe your boss needs one right away, and the beautiful sunset is gone. Here are some photography tips on how to take aesthetic pictures under pressure.

1. Use Natural Light

aesthetic photo of nature light in forest

Photo by Pascal van de Vendel on Unsplash

Natural light will always make a portrait photo look better than any artificial light. It's free, and you can use it almost any day as long as it's not too dark outside! Natural light is the best option to take aesthetic pictures, whether by a window or outdoors. I especially like taking photos by a window because you can control how much or how little light you want in your image.

2. Don't Over-editing

Over-editing indeed is the most common mistake beginner photographers make. While photo editing is an essential part of photography, many people tend to edit their photos too much in photoshop or lightroom and finally ruin the original aesthetic images. It looks fake and unprofessional, but it also takes away from what made the photo good in the first place! Keep the post-processing simple and natural when editing - slightly adjust the exposure, contrast, sharpness, etc. You can also make presets in the lightroom for the photography style you like.

3. Be Creative with Angles

aesthetic image of nature scene

Photo by Craig Bradford on Unsplash

The most important tip I have for anyone who wants to take aesthetic pictures is experimenting with different camera angles! For example, try taking photos from above or below your subject instead of straight on - this will instantly make your photos more exciting and unique!

4. Try the Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds is a commonly used technique used by many professional photographers to get appealing and eye-catching photos. The balanced compositions created are naturally pleasing to the viewer’s eye in your own aesthetic.

5. Consider Lighting

Natural light is best. You should avoid using flash as much as possible, especially when capturing people. It creates ugly shadows around the eyes and makes them look tired or angry. It also flattens the face and gives it a plastic look.

6. Capture Emotions

aesthetic photo of woman with Kate Solid Green/ Black Collapsible Backdrop Photography

Kate Solid Green/ Black Collapsible Backdrop Photography

To capture emotions, you need to make your subjects feel relaxed and at ease to be themselves in front of the camera. One way to do this is by taking candid shots instead of posed ones. Candid portrait photo look more natural because you're capturing pure emotions without any interference from the photographer.

7. Focus on Details

aesthetic picture of woman's face details

Photo by Roksolana Zasiadko on Unsplash

The best way to take an aesthetic picture is to focus on details. When it comes to photography, you need to pay attention to even the most minor details of your subject and capture it in the most beautiful way possible.

8. Fill the Frame

aesthetic photo of woman

Photo by mahdi chaghari on Unsplash

Filling the frame is one of the best ways to make your photos look great. Instead of taking a picture of a subject with a lot of space around it, try to fill the frame with just the matter or as much of it as possible.

9. The use of Leading Lines

Using leading lines is a great way to add depth of field to your photos. Consider this composition techniques when choosing your compositional elements, like trees, archways, windows, or just use your horizon line as a leading line to frame your subjects. This will help them stand out and create a more interesting composition.

10. Use Natural Elements as a Background

aesthetic picture of woman with flowers

Photo by Fineas Gavre on Unsplash

The background of your photo can significantly impact how it looks, so take some time to think about what is behind your subject. Look for patterns, complementary or different colors, and textures that compliment the issue, and use them as the backdrop for your photo.

11. Create a Story

woman aesthetic photo with Kate 5x7ft Abstract Texture Cold Black Spray Painted Backdrop

Kate 5x7ft Abstract Texture Cold Black Spray Painted Backdrop

It is easy to get lost in the minutest details when deciding your camera settings - the composition, the lighting, the colors. But remember that you're creating an image with a purpose, so stay focused on that bigger picture. The most important tip is to ask yourself what story you want to tell with your photos.

12. Make It Minimalistic

If you're using stock images, make sure they include enough detail to look realistic (the beach umbrella doesn't just have sand attached; it has sand underneath it). And if you're using your photos, don't use too many elements. Use as few props as possible without sacrificing impact or clarity. Try to make your photos convey one clear idea or mood (for example, if they're portraits of people, try not to use too many different elements).

13. Patterns And Textures

aesthetic woman photo with Kate 5x7ft Hand Painted Abstract Texture Dark Green and Black Backdrops

Kate 5x7ft Hand Painted Abstract Texture Dark Green and Black Backdrops

The photo below is one of my favorite examples of adding a pattern to an image. In this post, I discuss how to take better photos with patterns and textures. I also did a video on how to use marks when taking pictures.

14. Change Your Perspective or Looking Down on the Subject

When you change your perspective, you can get some exciting results. Another excellent example of changing your mindset is looking down on the subject. The photo below is an example of looking down on the subject.

15. Neutral Colors Are Safe and Traditional

If you want to get started with photography, neutral colors are a safe and traditional choice. They work well for most subjects and virtually any photographic style. But that doesn't mean they have to be boring.

16. Look Into A Mirror

The first tip is to look into a mirror. I know that this might sound weird, but you need to do this to figure out your best side. Once you have figured that out, you can use it to reference all your future photos. If you want to take a selfie, you must ensure that the camera faces away from your best side and towards your worst side.

17. Draw Attention to the Subject by Blurring the Background

aesthetic girl photo with Kate Springtime Orchard in Yellow Backdrop for Photography Designed by Lisa Granden

Kate Springtime Orchard in Yellow Backdrop for Photography Designed by Lisa Granden

The photo's subject matters the most when taking pictures, and the background should be blurred. This will help draw attention to the main topic of the image and make the picture look more professional.

18. Get as Close as Possible to Your Subject

If you are taking a picture of something, get as close as possible to it without getting too close and making yourself look like a creep. This will ensure that your photos have good composition and look more professional.

19. Find a Color Story

I've mentioned this in other articles, but it's worth repeating: find a color story. That is to say, when you're looking at the theme of your feed, decide on a color pallet that you're going to stick with. The best way to make your feed look cohesive is by sticking to a color scheme.

20. Decide on Your "Edit Style"

When you look at aesthetics and how they can help you take better Instagram photos, the other thing that can help you develop a unique aesthetic is the unique style you use when editing your own works. So if you like bright colors, then brightening up your beautiful images may be part of your personal style.

21. Shoot Into the Sun

aesthetic image of sun

Photo by Raimond Klavins on Unsplash

Shooting into the sun may be one of the best things to create beautiful Instagram photos with an aesthetic quality, especially if you want to develop dreamy-looking images with soft lines and no harsh shadows.


Aesthetic photography focus on beauty and aesthetics rather than traditional photography techniques. These  aesthetic pictures often capture a particular mood or idea that some viewers can relate to and appreciate. Sometimes believers of aestheticism are labeled as "hipsters" (although this is not necessarily true).

Many people enjoy a more subtle approach to photography that is interesting even if the subject itself isn't the most exciting in the world. These photos always deliver more depth and feeling than other types of photography that pursue a more traditional goal, such as documentary photography which always seeks to record an event for accurate history.

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