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Aesthetic Pictures: 23 Shooting Tips | 5 Editing Apps

Are you looking to capture stunning aesthetic pictures? This guide offers essential shooting tips and introduces five top editing apps to elevate your photography. Explore techniques for captivating visuals and discover powerful tools to enhance your images.

1. What Is Aesthetic Photography

Aesthetic photography is crafting visually captivating and delightful images by applying artistic techniques and design principles. It involves composing pictures that are pleasing to the eye and evoke a sense of beauty and emotion.

2. Aesthetics Vs. Style

Aesthetics pertain to the overall visual appeal and artistic quality of an image. It encompasses editing, creativity, subject placement, composition, and color usage.

Style encompasses the specific choices a photographer makes in capturing an image. It includes the type of camera used, camera settings (like shutter speed, aperture, and ISO), and selection of lenses.

3. 23 Practical Tips of Aesthetic Photos

1) Composition

Embrace the Rule of Thirds

Partition the frame into nine equal sections using two horizontal and vertical lines each. Ensure they are equally spaced. Position key elements at the intersections to create a balanced and visually engaging composition.

Utilize Symmetry


Seek out natural or artificial symmetrical elements in your scene. This could be a reflection in water, a building with perfectly mirrored features, or a perfectly balanced arrangement of objects. Utilizing symmetry can create a sense of harmony and balance in your composition, drawing the viewer’s eye and providing a pleasing visual experience.

Establish Depth

establish depth

Incorporate foreground, middle ground, and background elements to give your photo a sense of depth. This creates a multidimensional visual experience for the viewer.

Incorporate Natural Surroundings as Frames

This includes utilizing elements like doorways, windows, arches, or even foliage to create a visual frame around your subject. This technique draws the viewer’s focus towards the main subject, adding depth and context to your composition.

Use Leading Lines

leading lines

Incorporate natural or artificial lines such as roads, fences, or pathways to guide the viewer toward the image’s focal point. Leading lines provide a visual path that enhances the composition’s flow and directs attention to the main subject.

2) Lighting

Craft With Shadows


Artfully manipulate shadows, experimenting with their positioning on your subject. Whether cast by architecture, objects, or natural elements, strategic shadow play adds intrigue and depth to your composition, creating visually compelling and dynamic photographs.

Embrace the Glow of Golden Hour

golden hour

Capture your subject bathed in the soft, warm light of sunrise or sunset, infusing your photo with a radiant ambiance that enhances depth and dimension.

Maximize Natural Lighting

natural composite

Make the most of available natural light by positioning your subject to capture its full, flattering effect. Choose optimal shooting times, angles, and locations to harness the beauty of natural light, ensuring your photos radiate with a warm and authentic glow.

3) Colors

Contrast Boldly


Merge colors that lie opposite on the color wheel for a striking effect. This interplay of complementary colors intensifies visual impact, creating a vibrant and attention-grabbing composition.

Highlight Dominant Hues

dominant hues

Accentuate the prominence of a single color within your frame. You draw the viewer’s focus to a specific element by emphasizing one dominant hue, injecting a powerful and deliberate visual emphasis into your photograph.

Subdued Palettes


Opt for muted tones to evoke tranquility and subtlety in your composition. Soft and understated color palettes contribute to a serene mood, creating a visually calming experience for the viewer.

Selective Saturation

Enhance the vibrancy of chosen colors to establish focal points and emphasize specific elements within your composition. By selectively intensifying hues, you guide the viewer’s attention, crafting a dynamic and visually engaging focal area that draws them into the heart of your photograph.

4) Gestalt Theory Principles

Establish Visual Harmony Through Similarity


Promote unity by incorporating similar shapes, colors, or patterns. By harmonizing visual elements, similarity fosters a cohesive aesthetic that ties together diverse components within your photograph.

Distinguish Subjects From Background


Incorporate clear contrast between subjects and their surroundings to establish a distinct figure-ground relationship. Ensure subjects stand out against their background. This allows viewers to easily identify and focus on the main elements within your composition.

Create Closure

Engage viewers by encouraging them to mentally complete shapes or forms within your photograph. Intentionally leave certain elements partially obscured, stimulating the viewer’s imagination and prompting them to mentally close the visual gaps, adding an interactive and thought-provoking dimension to your image.

Guide With Continuance

a sense of continuity

Direct the viewer’s eye along a visual path by arranging elements to create a sense of continuity. Use lines, shapes, or patterns to guide the gaze smoothly through the composition, fostering a seamless flow that maintains viewer engagement and interest.

Establish Proximity

group related matters

Group related elements closely to convey their inter-connectedness. By placing objects or subjects in close proximity, you enhance the sense of relationship and connection, creating a cohesive and unified visual experience within your photograph.

5) Filters or Presets

Preserve Originality

Use filters as tools for enhancement, not transformation. Preserve the authenticity of your photo by ensuring that filters or presets complement the inherent qualities of the image, enhancing its impact without altering its fundamental essence.

Match Filters to the Desired Emotional Tone

Select filters that resonate with the intended mood. Ensure a seamless connection between the chosen filters or presets and the emotional tone you aim to convey, maintaining coherence and reinforcing the overall impact of your photograph.

Use a Cohesive Set of Filters or Presets

Opt for a unified set of filters or presets to create a cohesive visual narrative. Consistency in filter selection across a series of images fosters a harmonious aesthetic, reinforcing the theme and style of your photography.

6) Subject Matter

Visual Storytelling

Infuse narrative elements into your compositions. Craft visual stories by capturing a sequence of images that unfold a storyline. Each photograph contributes to the overarching narrative, engaging viewers and inviting them to explore the depth of your storytelling.

Capture Authentic and Emotive Expressions


Freeze genuine moments that convey real emotions. Whether it’s a subtle smile or an intense gaze, authentic expressions add a human touch to your photographs, connecting the viewer and the subject.

Shoot at Different Angles and Viewpoints

different angles

Capture your subject from unconventional viewpoints to offer fresh and intriguing perspectives, adding depth and uniqueness to your visual storytelling.

4. 5 Aesthetic Editing Apps



Tezza is a popular preset and filter app, co-created by influencer Tezza Barton and Cole Herrmann. Widely used in the Instagram market, it offers a broad selection of templates and filters to enhance your photos instantly.

Tezza provides simple editing tools, photo presets, and story templates, ensuring visually appealing content.


  • Extensive variety of filters and presets
  • User-friendly interface for easy navigation
  • Creative features, including templates and text overlays


  • Limited customer support availability
  • Premium subscription essential for accessing all features



VSCO is a mobile app for photo editing and filter applications, allowing users to share edited images on its platform and other social networks. It features an intuitive interface with robust photo editing and shooting tools.


  • Visually appealing, intuitive design
  • Effective exposure and color editing tools
  • Absence of like counts and comments deters trolling and unhealthy competition


  • Majority of filters are accessible only through paid accounts
  • Lacks dark-mode support

Tone Studio

Tone Studio

Tone Studio, designed by Instagram influencers Lauren Bullen and Jack Morris, is among the latest aesthetic photo editing apps tailored for Instagram content creators. Known for its retro and vintage filters, this app allows users to make nuanced adjustments to their images and videos, offering a unique touch to visual content.


  • Precise RGB curve adjustments
  • Stunning video presets
  • Budget-friendly subscription


  • The app is pretty glitchy
  • Lacks editing library for storage of previous drafts or edits

Adobe Lightroom Photo & Video Editor


Adobe Lightroom is a powerful photo and video editing app offering extensive adjustments and precise control over image enhancement. It stands out for its versatility, allowing users to make specific adjustments to selected photo areas and facilitating object removal.


  • Powerful raw filters and profiles
  • Easy access to your photos from other devices as it syncs to cloud storage


  • Built-in presets are super outdated



Unfold is a user-friendly app designed for creating engaging and aesthetic Instagram Stories. It offers a variety of fonts, templates, and design elements to enhance storytelling and visual appeal.


  • Incorporates a post scheduler and feed planner
  • Offers integrated video editing capabilities


  • Limited selection of photo filters


Mastering aesthetic photography involves combining skillful shooting with effective editing. By implementing the practical tips for capturing aesthetic pictures and utilizing the 5 Aesthetic Editing Apps, you enhance your ability to create visually compelling and captivating images.

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