Let’s Talk Instagram Aesthetic
Right out of the gates, I’m going to be super honest with y’all— conquering an aesthetic hasn’t been one of my strong-suits when it comes to blogging. And, for the longest time, I beat myself up about not being one of those bloggers with a flawless, planned, perfectly-thought-out instagram feed.
Anyone feel this??
Today, while discussing developing your aesthetic, I want to split “aesthetic” up into two categories: strict aesthetic & loose aesthetic. Also, I’ll be referencing Instagram as the main platform for developing your aesthetic, because that’s the easiest to talk about.
Your personal blogging story could fall into either of these categories ( or maybe you fall a little into both! ), so I think it’s important to acknowledge that ONE isn’t better than the OTHER.
It’s all about what you’re good at, what you enjoy, and avoiding putting yourself in a box or thinking that you should be one or the other. It’s all about what TYPE of blogger you are naturally, and where you’re wanting to take your blog in the future.
Let’s talk about strict & loose aesthetic in a little more detail.
strict instagram aesthetic
A strict Instagram aesthetic is easy to identify, & is usually the ideal type of aesthetic bloggers strive for ( though, I’ve realized it doesn’t work for me AT ALL ). These types of blogs & instagram feeds contain super cohesive content in terms of products, imagery, & editing. These types of people remind me of creative directors; they have a specific vision & let images do all the talking.
They keep it simple & stick to their vision.
Bloggers with a strict Instagram aesthetic are more-often-than-not content creators for brands. This means that many of them shoot content FOR brands to use in the form of lookbooks or social media images.
It’s really artistic, if you ask me.
I’ll use my roommate, Molly (@trendychickadee), as an example of a blogger with a strict aesthetic. Molly sticks to using one photographer ( posting all professionally-shot images ), shooting in similar types of locations, wearing mostly boho-inspired clothing/accessories, editing all of her photos the same way, sticking to a general color scheme, & planning her feed out so it all comes together beautifully to the daily scroller.
It’s pretty amazing; it’s almost down to a science. This approach works for the kind of blogger/content creator that she is, and it plays to her strengths very well.
Also, it’s what she enjoys doing, which is the most important part. Your blogging aesthetic should be fun to develop & share ( putting too much pressure on yourself is no beuno– take it from someone who knows… @me. )
From a brand perspective, when partnering with someone like Molly, a brand knows EXACTLY the quality of the content they will be getting, which leads to lots of brands reaching out for content creation. This type of blogging can be incredibly lucrative, too!
If you’re predominantly interested in creating content for & with brands and using your platform as a way to share your visual dream board of sorts, following a strict, more specific Instagram aesthetic could be for you.
If that’s totally up your alley, following a strict aesthetic is SO the move, and you’ll probably have a lot of fun creating your pretty corner of the internet. Remember, sticking to a plan while creating content doesn’t mean you can’t LIKE other styles, colors, etc., it just means you don’t necessarily share those things on your social platforms/blog.
You keep it simple.
Unfortunately for me, I am way too manic to follow such a plan. I get bored entirely too easily. I like one style one day, and a completely different style the next, and I WANT to share those things. I switch from beachy to club lyyyyfe in .5 seconds, LOL.
I take photos on the fly, and I like to post everything from outfits, to makeup, to locations, to events, to opinions, to food & drinks.
Again, some people find strictly branding themselves to be incredibly inspiring, but it’s not for me.
For the longest time, I tried to fit myself in a box, trying to be something that I was not ( I’ve talked to a lot of bloggers with similar paths, because WHO DOESN’T WANT A PRETTY FEED?? ). I thought that I had to be more strict with my aesthetic, stressing over the fact that I really wanted to share images that didn’t fall within the bounds created.
But then, I was like: fuck it. So let’s talk about loose aesthetics.
loose instagram aesthetic
Because I want to share so many different things, and I’m usually snapping photos on-the-fly, meticulously planning my feed makes me a mad woman. So, I stick to a loose instagram aesthetic. It’s less stressful for me.
I’m a very visual person, BUT I didn’t get into blogging to create a online mood board, to be a creative director, or to create content for brands. I got into blogging to express myself through my opinions, my mood, my ever-changing personal style, and whatever else might inspire, entertain &/or help me.
I rely heavily on my voice & my tone, and I keep my content cohesive using those two things FIRST. It’s less about imagery, more about attitude.
To keep all of my images looking somewhat cohesive, I use the same filter on all of my photos. Recently, I just made the switch to the S2 filter in the VSCO app, because I find that it fades out vibrant colors & brightens the image just enough.
Then, I add a touch of grain & sharpen the image.
I do this to every. single. image. in hopes that it makes my content coordinate. Also, I try to switch up my images so that I have various poses & angles, which looks better on the feed.
But that’s where I stop. I don’t drive myself crazy about it. If I want to post something that might make my feed look a tad imperfect, I post it. If I like an image that isn’t a high-quality, professionally-shot image, I post it ( PS– in my opinion, iPhone photos get better engagement. ) Following a loose instagram aesthetic means sticking to a general look, so your feed isn’t a complete mess, but not stressin’ the small stuff.
Also, keep in mind, when a reader/follower sees your images, it’s usually one-by-one on their instagram timeline. They probably aren’t scrolling through your feed every day, so rellllllax.
It’s all about what you have fun doing AND capturing your strengths well.
Just remember– you don’t HAVE to do it one certain way & don’t feel bad if your instagram feed isn’t the equivalent of an editorial powerhouse. It doesn’t have to be.
On the other hand, don’t feel like you should be sharing more if you want to stick to a strict, branded feed. If that’s what inspires & challenges you in a good way, you’re doing what’s right for you. And, like I said, that’s the entire point of all of this.
I hope this post was helpful for any of you struggling to find your look in terms of instagram aesthetic! I know it has taken me awhile to realize that its not necessary for me to have a perfectly cohesive feed, because it’s just not me.
Ya gotta do you.
Maybe I’ll do a post specifically about the various apps & such I use to do things like detail images, bring out the whites, patch over ugly poles & people walking in the background, etc, etc, etc. Get more specific about those things. Is that something y’all would want to read?
That’s it for today, babes! Talk soon. xx