Mastering the Art of Your Instagram Brand and Aesthetics
In the world of Instagram, it’s hard to differentiate yourself out of millions of users. Whether it’s your personal account, your blog, or your business, mastering the art of Instagram aesthetics is a useful skill to possess. Many factors contribute to a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing account, but they can be boiled down to some core basics.
Establish Your Personal Brand
The root of a cohesive Instagram account comes down to establishing your personal brand. A personal brand is about establishing an image or impression through what you’re posting. Ask yourself how you want to be perceived in the eyes of others. Some important things to look at are your theme and how you want to tell your story.
What theme are you trying to convey?
Let’s say we have a travel account. With a travel account, there are many directions we could take. Are you a luxurious traveler that likes to stay in resorts or are you an economical traveler that’s backpacking across each country? Having the same theme allows you to focus on achieving one perceived image and contributes to your personal branding. It sets the tone for your feed and for your captions as well.
What story are you trying to tell?
Storytelling sets you apart from many other brands because it’s all about your personality and selling your image. Whether you want to convey a free-spirited personality through your account or something more informative is really up to you! Keep in mind the personality you want to play off in your feed and capture just that. The way you post, angle yourself in a photo, or how you write your captions make all the difference.
Finding inspiration allows you to visualize what you would want your feed to look like and embody a similar vibe and tone to accounts you admire. If you see a travel influencer that edits her photos with bright and saturated photos, you might want to edit your photos similarly. By doing a quick search on top influencers, you can easily find inspiration for your feed.
Follow Your Favorite Influencers
Influencers might seem like they live in a different world, but they’re people just like you with a knack for creativity and a good eye for photography. In this case, you might like to follow a few accounts to keep your motivation and creative juices flowing.
Once you’ve established your personal brand, now it’s time to take a look at the most important part of Instagram: the actual photo. Here are some general tips for the perfect photo.
Taking Your Photos
- The theme and the story: Always keep in mind the theme and the story you’re trying to tell. Before taking any photos on impulse, have a general idea of what shot you want to take. If you’re traveling to Cancun and are conveying a luxurious travel account, shoot a couple of different styled shots. Take a picture of your breakfast spread on your bed, or a picture with you by the beach or poolside. Always keep in mind your core brand, and what you’re trying to convey.
- Use your camera: Try shooting outside your Instagram application. Whether it’s a professional camera or your phone camera, the quality will be much better and more pleasing to the eyes. Sharper and clearer images make for a better feed.
- Take a lot of photos: The more the merrier! Shoot a lot of photos from different angles. Try shooting macro shots of your martini or full landscape shots of the city; it’ll give you a lot more to work with and more content for later down the road.
- Take your photos horizontally: Remember, you’re working in a square space. Take your photos horizontally first, and you can decide whether or not you’d like to crop them.
Editing Your Photos
- Make them similar: Whether you’re shooting for a monochromatic look or a bright and colorful look, always keep the tones similar. You can choose to use the same filter, or manually editing your photos to have similar cohesive colors. For example, a monochromatic look might emphasize more neutral colors with white backgrounds or pops of black and white. A more saturated and bright account might emphasize pops of color with greens and blues. Whatever you pick, choose one look and stick with it.
Some Brands We Love
Here are some of our favorite influencers. Whether it’s the story they’re telling, or the photo edits, we love everything about their aesthetics. These influencers have established a clear brand identity.
Kiersten @ theblondeabroad
One of our favorite brands includes Kiersten from The Blonde Abroad. Considered a more luxurious travel blog, you can find Kiersten going from the streets of Greece to jet setting to the Maldives. Her free-spirited personality is evident in her shots while still portraying a luxurious yet fun lifestyle. With her editing, we love the bright and saturated photos that add on to her clear photos. Her colorful and bright brand is easily portrayed through all of her images and keeps us on our toes on where she’s going to go next and wishing we were right next to her.
Tiffany @ tiffpenguin
When we think of the daring and the adventurous traveler, we think of Tiffany from Los Angeles. Tiffany portrays the traveler who is always on the lookout for the next hike and the off-beaten road. As a photographer, her photos are clear and concise in addition to her sharp and colorful images.
Mariana @ Mariana_Ito
Color and architecture are what Mariana captures best. With pops of color featuring models in faraway poses, Mariana’s feed is perfect when it comes to capturing the perfect composition in Brazil. Her minimal aesthetic comes to life and makes us want to visit her in her hometown where she captures a majority of her shots. We love that she captures the essence of Brazilian architecture using her storytelling skills.
Stephanie @ sunkissedstephblog
With hundreds of thousands of fashion Instagrammers, it’s hard to differentiate yourself and find your own style. We love Stephanie’s minimalistic style because she incorporates her unique style and personality, using mostly a white background and nude and monochromatic colors in her feed. We love her lifestyle photos that aren’t too over the top, realistic, yet still have a dreamy feel to it which makes us wish we had her wardrobe.
Flowers for Dreams @ flowersfordreams
Flowers for Dreams is the definition of storytelling. As a local business, their biography emphasizes locally crafted flowers which are then donated to local charities and can be seen throughout their feed. With photos emphasizing how much money they’ve donated to charities and keeping a vintage theme throughout; Flowers for Dreams has aesthetics on point.
Applications We Love
Having the right tools is essential to a cohesive account. You don’t need many tools and these applications will make your life so much easier in planning your feed.
We personally love to use VSCO cam, a photo editing program. It’s easy to download and has an easy user interface. It comes with a wide range of pre-set filters or for manual editing. Another great app is Afterlight, an app that has some great filters available for use that are more subtle and softer than the preset Instagram filters.
Planning out our Instagram is important in seeing how our feed will look like. We can have photos lined up for two weeks and not know how it’ll look as a whole. UNUM is a favorite tool amongst bloggers. It allows you to rearrange your feed to see how the colors and photos will work or clash together. It allows you to temporarily delete photos or add in tentative photos to see how your feed would piece together. A cohesive brand and feed are all about planning your content carefully and attentively paying attention to it as a story.