Aesthetic Photography: How To Take Aesthetic Pictures? 20 Practical Tips

Capturing a moment is the soul of an image. Aesthetic pictures are the epitome of quality to measure and say if the image is profoundly great. When you’re talking about Aesthetic photography, it’s almost like an art that stands out from regular photography.

Whether you’re an experienced shutterbug or a budding enthusiast, this art demands a fusion of technique and vision. It transcends mere visuals with a perspective more than a skill. In this guide, we’ll share what you can expect in aesthetic photography and practical tips to take such images.

With these creative tips and insights, you can finally elevate your shots. Join in and transform simple snapshots into lasting stories.

Aesthetic Photography: What To Expect

In short, aesthetic photography is an art with your camera and lens. You want to tell stories or capture the beauty of your subject. Aesthetic photography is more than capturing images but telling stories. It’s refining your vision and personal aesthetic to resonate in your work. 

Source: Unsplash 

It’s more challenging than conventional perspectives. You’ll explore beyond basic principles to capture images with emotion and narrative. You need to experiment with composition to master the ability to see and capture beauty in the everyday. 

Once you grab it, you can elevate your craft to reflect a unique, personal style that speaks volumes. 

Aesthetic Photography: How To Take Aesthetic Pictures

Blending creativity and technical prowess is the thumb rule for transforming a scene into an aesthetic masterpiece. 

We’ll share all the photography rules, tactics, and hacks one by one to make the message clear to you. Let’s start…

Technical Fundamentals for Aesthetic Photography

The term “technical” sounds a bit hard for someone not tech-savvy. So, first, we want to talk about it. 

  1. Mastering Natural Light 

Using natural light is like painting with the sun’s palette. Natural light helps you to understand the character of your photo. Early morning light breathes freshness into your photos. It offers a palette of soft, pastel tones. 

Mastering Natural Light 

Alt text: Photo by Pascal van de Vendel on Unsplash

Look at the image, how appealing it looks! And it’s because of using the morning natural light in contrast to forest green.  However, as the day progresses, the light changes and each hour offers a new mood. 

The late afternoon sun, with its golden hues, infuses your images with warmth. That’ll create that sought-after golden hour magic as in the below image. 

Mastering Natural Light 1

Source: Unsplash

  1. Rule of Thirds

Your viewfinder is like a tic-tac-toe board. The rule of thirds is like placing your main subject where the lines intersect, instead of a dead center. 

Rule of Thirds

Alt text: Photo from Unsplash

When you use the rule of thirds in your subject, you can see the image like the above one in your lens. No, it won’t make your subject off-centering. Yet, it creates a dynamic space in your subject that guides the viewer’s eye through the entire frame.

Tips: The rule of thirds is widely used in landscape photography to align horizons and trees. As it transforms a simple scene into a compelling story.

  1. Symmetry

Symmetry is the art of balance. It’s finding those moments where each half of your image mirrors the other. So that it can  create a visually soothing and often mesmerizing scene. 


Source: Unsplash

This technique shines in architectural photography because its buildings offer natural lines and patterns. See the above image. But remember, perfect symmetry isn’t always the goal. Adding a slight imbalance, like a person standing can add an otherwise symmetrical frame. 

In short, symmetry is about striking a balance between order and creative disruption. See the image to get an idea. 


Photo by Sweet Ice Cream Photography

Utilizing Equipment and Camera Features

Before getting into gear specifics, remember it’s not always about having the fanciest camera. It’s all about having the right one for your vision.

  1. Choosing the Right Gear for Aesthetic Shots
  • The Camera: When it comes to gear, think of it as your artistic toolbox. You can use a range of lenses with a DSLR for depth and perspective play. It’s perfect for detailed work. A lighter mirrorless camera could be your go-to if you have spontaneous street scenes. 
  • The lens: Your lens choice shapes the story. A wide-angle is good for expansive scenes, while a telephoto is ok for intimate details. 
  • Accessories: Don’t overlook the power of a good tripod or a filter. They are your unsung heroes in controlling shots and light. 

The key is to match your equipment to your creative needs. You should make it a seamless extension of your artistic vision.

  1. Exploring Camera Settings and Features

Tweaking your camera’s settings can be like adding your own secret sauce to a dish. Because it’s where the magic really happens with your unique style. 

Here are some exclusive tips that should become your go-to for capturing those stunning aesthetic shots.

Exploring Camera Settings and Features

DSLR Camera Settings for Aesthetic Photography

  • Master the Manual Mode: This is where you call the shots. You can play with aperture to switch between dreamy backgrounds and crisp, detailed landscapes.
  • ISO: Start low and gradually increase. Because high ISO can save a low-light scene. But with too much ISO, your photo gets grainy.
  • Sharp Focus, Sharp Story: Selecting your focus point is like choosing where you want your viewers to look first. It’s about drawing the eye to the heart of your story.
  • Shutter Speed: It’s amazing how a fast shutter can freeze the fastest motion, and a slow one can turn a waterfall into a silky curtain.

Smartphone Camera Settings for Aesthetic Photography

  • Pro Mode: Whenever you want, you can switch to pro mode on your phone. 
  • Exposure: It’s the alternative name of brightness balance: Just a slide can add drama to a sunset or soften a harsh midday scene.
  • Focus with a Tap: A simple tap on your subject can make it pop against a softly blurred background. So, focus on it. 
  • Filter Fun: Sometimes, you find a filter that just clicks with the mood you’re trying to capture. Use the right filter for the right moment to capture the right aesthetic picture. 
  • HDR: HDR has been a game-changer for those tricky light contrasts. Ensure both the shadows and highlights get their moment to shine.
  1. Tips for Smartphone Photography

Smartphone photography is like having a powerful studio right in your pocket. But if you have to know how to use it to its full potential. 

Here are 10 tips to make the most out of your smartphone camera:

  • A simple wipe can make a world of difference. So first clean Your Lens.
  • Utilize daylight for the best color and clarity.
  • Keep your phone stable for sharp, clear images. Use a tripod if necessary. 
  • Apply rule of thirds for classic composition technique for balanced shots. (We talked about it above.)
  • Explore angles to get the best view. Don’t just shoot from eye level. High and low angles add drama. (We’ll talk it later)
  • Sometimes less is more. Look for simplicity for a minimalist approach.
  • Focus on details zooming with your feet, not your fingers. It helps you get crisp close-ups.
  • Use HDR mode wisely to enhance detail in high contrast scenes.
  • Experiment with editing apps to refine and style your photos.
  • The more you shoot, the better you get. So, practice like a practitioner. 

Crafting the Perfect Theme

In aesthetic photography, your theme is the soul of your portfolio. Here are 3 rules of getting your perfect theme. 

  1. The Power of Consistent Themes

Embracing a consistent theme sets the mood, evokes emotions, and ties your collection together. 

A consistent theme isn’t just about repeating patterns or colors. It’s all about expressing a feeling or an idea that resonates throughout your work.

The Power of Consistent Themes

via Instagram @wesandersonplanet

Look at the above image, doesn’t it align with a specific theme? It’s a collection of 12 images with a theme texture, grid, and minimalist approach. 

Looking at the photos, you get a point of the photographer’s journey, passions, and unique view. That’s the power of the consistent theme. Your theme is your story told in visual chapters. 

  1. Finding Inspiration for Unique Themes

Finding your unique theme is crucial as your signature in aesthetic photography. But, inspiration is subjective and can be elusive too. The good news is, you can get inspiration observing the world. Often it can be in your everyday life. The way light falls in a room, or a conversation overheard in the cafeteria while sipping a cup of black coffee. 

There is no secret of getting inspiration. It’s seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary. Then translate these inspirations into a visual format that’s distinctly yours theme. 

  1. Creating a Color Story

Color is powerful. It sets the mood in the picture and tells a thousand word story without a single word. You’ve to learn color creation, paying attention to natural and artificial colors and how they interact. 

Creating a Color Story

Photo by Dmitry Popov

Is it the fiery red of a sunset? Or is it the calming blue of a dawn sky? 

Whatever the color is, the story should evoke the feelings you want to convey. Because your target is to create a cohesive and emotionally resonant narrative through color. 

Exploring Different Perspectives 

Perspective is how you look at things, and it is important in aesthetic photography. Exploring different perspectives, you can shoot the best pictures in your career. 

  1. Changing Your Viewpoint: High, Low, and Unusual Angles 

You know, there’s something special about playing with angles. Take high angles, for instance. At that moment, everything gets a bit more structured, a bit more poetic. (See the below picture)

Changing Your Viewpoint: High, Low, and Unusual Angles 

Photo by Craig Bradford on Unsplash

Then there are the low angles. You often find yourself crouching down, camera in hand, to catch that worm’s-eye view. It makes ordinary things look extraordinary. A flower, a street cat, or even a puddle can suddenly become the star of the show. (Just imagine for inspiration) 

And let’s not forget those quirky, unusual angles. Like peeking around a corner, or shooting through a fence. These shots often surprise you. 


Because they have a story, a little mystery to them. It’s like telling your viewer, “Hey, there’s another way to see this.” That’s the beauty of it. You invite someone into a moment, a new way of seeing, through your lens. (That’s the raw beauty of aesthetic pictures) 

  1. The Impact of Perspective on Aesthetic Appeal

You’ve noticed something magical when you change your angles. Because the whole mood of the photo shifts. 

Looking down from above, there’s a sense of being a silent observer. Then, when you get down low and shoot up. Everything feels grander, more heroic. It’s like turning the everyday into something epic. It’s more than bare composition, it’s the emotion that a simple change in perspective can evoke. 

One word…every angle, every shift, lets you paint a different emotional landscape.

Capturing the Essence: Emotion and Storytelling

You can’t touch a human’s heart better than capturing real emotions through your pictures. Here, the surroundings of your image, and Candid photography play a big role in expressing emotions. 

  1. The Art of Candid Photography

Each candid photo holds a piece of a larger story and an unposed narrative. Both of them together speaks volumes about the human experience.

Because, in candid photography, you catch people in their natural state. It can be with their genuine smile and sparkling eyes. They tell the unspoken narratives. 

Here are a few tips for candid photography

  • Constantly seek those authentic moments. 
  • A laughter moment between friends or a thoughtful gaze.
  • The uninhibited joy of a child. 
  1. Using Surroundings to Enhance Narrative
Using Surroundings to Enhance Narrative

Photo by Annie Spratt

Environment/surroundings aren’t a backdrop. It’s one of your best parts to tell the story. When clicking the shutter, think about how the setting interacts with your subject. Look at the above picture, how the photographer ensured the right balance among the door, window and bench. It turns a simple snapshot into a deeper, more meaningful narrative.

  1. Portraying Emotions Authentically

In aesthetic photography, it’s like capturing true emotions.

Keep in mind, those natural, unguarded moments touch the audience’s heart. Here your approach should be simple…

Observe quietly + click gently = Catch real emotions. 

For example

Portraying Emotions Authentically

Photo by Frank McKenna

In the above image, the little boy is happy with a wide smile, isn’t it?

When you manage to catch that raw, unfiltered human emotion state in your lens, it won’t just remain an image. It becomes a shared feeling, a moment of real connection.

Advanced Techniques for Depth and Interest 

Let’s delve into how leading lines and textures can add layers of depth and intrigue to your photos.

  1. Utilizing Leading Lines 

Leading lines in photography are the visual guides by which you want to direct the viewer’s eye. 

Utilizing Leading Lines 

Source: Unsplash 

Leading lines can be anything → the street’s natural lines, fences, or just shadows. They act as the pathway to lead to your main subject and create a sense of purposeful direction. 

  1. Framing

Keeping your subject in a frame is another way to capture aesthetic pictures. 

In this case, you can use doorways, arches, or even overhanging branches. Because they are helpful to create a natural frame around my subject. 


Photo by Alex Iby

However, in the above image the train’s window was taken as a frame. It not only creates attention but also adds depth.

Here, keep in mind framing isn’t just about using the environment as a setting, but as an active element in your composition.

  1. Experiment with Textures and Patterns

Textures and patterns will bring a tactile dimension to your photography. A tiled floor, a brick wall, even ripples in water can be these textures to fascinate backdrops and add complexity to a photo. 

Experiment with Textures and Patterns

Photo by Justin Main

Natural patterns of the above architecture bring a rhythm to the image. You can play with contrasting textures and patterns creating appealing visual interest.

Colors, texture, shapes, and patterns in the intricate details give each photo its unique fingerprint. 

  1. Minimalism and its Impact

The minimalism means you keep enough breathing space for the viewer than your subject. This simple scene has a way of speaking volumes. 


Because it removes the distractions and brings simplicity to make the viewer pause to look at a little closer. 

Minimalism and its Impact

Photo by Ruslan Bardash

If you observe the above image, you can just see the bicycle more than anything else. Here, less is more. 

The Role of Editing in Aesthetic Photography

Editing in photography is like adding the final brushstrokes to a painting.

Yeah, you are done catching your aesthetic pictures. What’s next?

Editing, right?  Let’s discuss it a bit. 

  1. Balancing Editing: Enhancing without Overpowering

Editing, it should be like girls’ makeup. That enhances their beauty, but never dominates. You should create a fine line between a thoughtfully edited photo and one that’s overdone. 

Your approach should be to keep it subtle. Adjust the exposure, tweak the contrast, maybe play a bit with the sharpness. But always remember the essence of the photo. 

While editing, your goal is to bring out its best, not mask it under layers of edits. A well-edited photo should still feel real, still feel like it’s telling the truth.

  1. Developing a Signature Editing Style

Want to find your voice in photography? Develop a signature editing style.

It’s one of the crucial parts of your identity as an aesthetic photographer. And your editing style should reflect your artistic taste.

While developing a unique editing style, you should avoid following trends. As trends can’t be unique. 

Your editing style is…

  • what you feel is right for you 
  • what you think is right for your work. 
  • what is your trademark
  • how people recognize your work, even without seeing your name.

Overcoming Challenges in Aesthetic Photography

In aesthetic photography, every challenge is a new chapter in your creative journey. They can be 

1. Dealing with Difficult Lighting Conditions

Confronting tough lighting? It’s like a game of chess with nature. 

  • On bright days, you hunt for pockets of shade or play with silhouettes. 
  • In dim settings, it’s about embracing the mood, letting shadows weave their own story. 

These moments push you to think outside the box, to find beauty in the imperfections of light.

2. Shooting Under Pressure

When the clock’s ticking and the pressure’s on, you’ll find your zone. At that moment, you have to channel the adrenaline and focus on the essentials. 

Under pressure, your instincts become your best guide. It’s thrilling, really – like a high-speed chase for that perfect shot.

3. Overcoming Creative Blocks

Hitting a creative wall every time you try to capture a good photo? 

It’s a sign to switch lanes. 

When you feel stuck

  • Change your scenery
  • Play with a new lens
  • Or even take a day off 

Why? To clear your head. 

Giving yourself this space helps you to breathe and find new inspiration.

Remember, often the best ideas strike when you least expect them. So, turn that wall into a window to new possibilities.


And that’s a wrap for this journey of taking aesthetic photographs. Here’s a final note to keep in mind: Each click of the shutter is a step in your creative path. Note the practical tips we covered in this guide, and observe the pictures we attached with the tips. 

Get the technical fundamentals and equipment right. Settings, lighting, framing, real emotions to little editing, all are equally important for a perfect aesthetic picture. There is no room to prioritize or ignore any of them. Also, embrace the challenges and get your unique trademark in this photography world. 

Keep experimenting, keep learning, and keep sharing the stories you see through your lens. Go out there, capture its beauty, and make your mark.

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