Stop and scroll through your social media feeds.
Most probably, all you see is aesthetic photography, or a collection of photographs that are visually pleasing to the eye that incorporate a certain theme and attract users to keep scrolling through the images due to the beauty and high quality of the photography.
In 2018, it seems as if everybody has become a photographer. Today, almost everyone with a social media account has become obsessed with artistic photography in order to:
- Share their memories
- Showcase their photography talent
- Attract more followers
- Or market their business
Due to these reasons, having a visually pleasing feed, which incorporates aesthetic photos through one’s personal style, can increase the value of any social media account.
Although not everyone lives in breathtaking otherworldly locations or owns a professional camera, there are other ways to capture appealing photography.
Aesthetic photographs can be taken anywhere just by focusing on two elements of photography: perspective and editing.
It is more significant than the environment or camera type when capturing attractive pictures. When taking a photograph, the angle and position of the photographer can result in different outcomes of the final photograph.
But how do you decide which angle is the best to take an artistic photograph?
Before picking up the camera:
- Look around. Decide what will be the main focus of your photograph (the subject of the photo). This can be a person, food, animal, building, etc.
- Then, observe the subject through different angles by moving around the setting or by moving the subject. While doing so, you will notice that the subject of your scene changes with your angle and position. You may even notice other details in the background that can enhance the image.
The photographer’s perspective is more significant than the subject behind the lens in order to capture a photograph that is pleasing to the eye.
The two photographs below were taken in the same setting with the same subject, the Taj Mahal in India. However, they were both captured with a different angle and position and the perspective results in two different images.
When comparing the two images, it is clear to see the impact of perspective when creating aesthetic content. Capturing photographs through different angles can add more depth to the photo which can bring the photography to life.
The photograph on the bottom has more aesthetic than the photograph on the top because it is a higher quality photo, has symmetry, increased exposure, vibrant colors, and it expresses a theme of beauty that is captured through the photographer’s focus on the architecture and detailing of the Taj Mahal.
Due to these reasons, the photograph is very captivating and can attract a larger audience to appreciate the photography.
This can take any simple photograph and transform it into an “aesthetic” photograph. Not everyone has access to professional photo editing software such as Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom, but you can still edit photographs using free and simple mobile apps to create the aesthetic vibe within your photography. There are many mobile applications to choose from for photo editing. Apps such as SnapSeed and VSCO are very user friendly and have a wide variety of editing tools.
Once you have a collection of photographs:
- Determine how you want to edit the photographs to enhance the overall images before posting on your social media account. What works best is having your own style and sticking to it — you are your own brand and audiences like to know what to expect when visiting your page.
- Look at the photograph and determine which elements within the photograph need to be enhanced. This can be the color balance, tone curves, lighting, sharpness, and details of the subject or background of the image. By editing these elements of the photograph, it can amplify certain features of the photo and enhance the overall image.
For example, the photograph below has been edited using the VSCO mobile application.
The original image is underexposed and does not place enough emphasis on the background scenery. Due to this, the details within the image are unclear. In order to enhance the image, the exposure tool was used to increase the brightness of the image. However, if the brightness is too high then the photo can appear unnatural or over edited.
When adding filters to an image using VSCO, less is more. The VSCO app allows users to control the intensity of the filter applied to a photograph. In the image above, the A6 filter was added to intensify the colors of the photograph. Subtly adding a filter ensures that the photograph does not appear over edited while amplifying the colors, creating a more visually pleasing photograph.
When comparing the original and edited photograph, the edited photograph embodies an aesthetic because the enhancement of the colors creates a more visually attractive and higher quality image which can allure an audience to admire the photography and want to view more of your photography with a similar theme.
Why publish “aesthetic” photographs?
Aside from fitting in with current social media trends, capturing artistic photographs can increase the value of personal and business accounts.
For business accounts, posting aesthetic photographs can draw a larger audience to your accounts, create a brand image, and be used as a business marketing tactic.
For personal use, aesthetic photography can be used as a form of storytelling. Your photography presented on your social media accounts are a representation of your personality and the beautiful moments that you have captured in your life. Using aesthetic photography can be used to tell your story in a way that captivates the audience, or in this case, your followers!
Perspective and editing of photographs are the key aspects of capturing an “aesthetic” photo for social media. Regardless of whether you have a professional DSLR camera or a smartphone camera, or whether your location itself is “aesthetic” or not, you can still achieve this style within your photography.
However, the best way to achieve an aesthetic style is by creating content that you love and is a reflection of you, which will have an aesthetic of its own.