The social media profile display picture, often called the “DP”, is the first thing people notice about your account.

For teenage girls and young women, having an eye-catching yet aesthetic DP that represents their personality is essential. With hundreds of photos already on your Instagram camera roll, how do you pick the perfect one?

This guide covers 15 ideas for creating a stunning Instagram DP that will make your profile pop. From using popular aesthetic elements to trying photo editing trends, these tips will help your DP get more double taps and DM slides than ever before!

Should You Use A Selfie Or An Edited Photo For Your Aesthetic DP?

When deciding on a profile photo, you first need to choose between using a cropped selfie or editing a full-body or scenery shot. Selfies allow your face and facial expressions to be the main focus. They create intimacy and help people instantly recognize you.

However, edited scenic or full-body photos allow you to better showcase a complete aesthetic look or style. They also spark curiosity about the location and your role within the image.

Ultimately, it comes down to the overall vibe you want. If you wish to prioritize recognition, use an unedited selfie. But if showing off a dreamy, artistic aesthetic is more important, edit a full-body or location shot using the tips below.

What Style Of Photo Works Best For An Aesthetic Instagram DP?

Now that camera phones have 48MP and filters for days, the style options are endless. But what specific aesthetic DP trends reign supreme these days?

  • Modern vintage – Light leaks, faded film effects, warm matte tones
  • Dark academia – Moody shadows, dark libraries, refined mysteriousness
  • Soft girl/fairycore – Pastels, flowers, butterflies, soft focus
  • E-girl/indie – Bold graphic eyeliner, blush, beanies, neutral tones
  • Y2K – Butterfly hair clips, baby tees, blue eyeshadow, chrome filter

No matter which aesthetic you lean towards, make sure your DP photo aligns. Use appropriate clothes, makeup, accessories, filters, and backdrops to ensure cohesion. Don’t forget extra sparkle like glitter, jewels, or fairy lights to add that extra dreamy vibe.

What Makes A Good Instagram DP?

Beyond just aesthetics, certain compositional and technical elements take a nice photo to the next level as an Instagram DP.

1. Emphasize The Eyes

Since the DP photo is so small, eyes really make an impact and draw people in. Use shadows, liner, lashes, light reflections, and retouch tools like sharpen and brightness/contrast to make your eyes stand out.

2. Optimize Image Resolution

Instagram’s recommended DP dimensions are 320 x 320 pixels. Anything lower will get blurry and pixelated. Use Canva’s Instagram story template or do a custom crop around your focal point.

3. Get Good Consistent Lighting

Nothing ruins a vibe more than bad lighting with harsh shadows and inconsistent skin tones. Find flattering lighting and use exposure editing tools if needed so details are visible.

4. Brush Up Retouching Skills

Basic retouching like spot removal and skin smoothing helps present your best self while still looking authentic. Watch some Photoshop tutorial videos to learn easy tricks.

5. Mind The Composition

Cropping changes everything. Zooming in on your face versus showing your full body tells a different story. Figure out your focal point and crop accordingly.

Now that you know how to optimize images technically, let’s talk about fun aesthetic elements to include!

What Creative Things Can You Add To An Instagram DP Photo?

A next-level Instagram DP has intriguing yet harmonious extras blended in. Here are some tasteful touches to try:

  • Scattered flower petals
  • Butterflies (real or digital)
  • Glitter particles
  • Sparkling tinsel strands
  • Sequins or crystals around eyes
  • Fairy lights
  • Iridescent makeup
  • Colored contact lenses
  • Temporary tattoos
  • Custom text/lyrics graphics

Photo Editing Apps To Easily Create A Stunning Aesthetic Instagram DP

Manual editing in Photoshop takes a trained eye and practice. Luckily, there are easy pre-set focused apps to create aesthetic DPs. Here are the 15 best:

  1. Bazaart
  2. Canva
  3. Cupslice
  4. Facetune 2
  5. FLTR
  6. Heart Crown
  7. Inshot
  8. Instasize
  9. Litely
  10. Lumii
  11. Moldiv
  12. PicsArt
  13. Pretty Up
  14. Retouch
  15. YouCam Perfect

These provide filters, textures, light leaks, retouch tools, text/embellishment stickers and more all optimized for the square Instagram layout. Find your favorite effects and tools, snap or upload a photo, then export to use across all your profiles.


Should your Instagram DP match your Instagram feed aesthetic?

Matching your profile pic aesthetic and overall Instagram grid vibe creates cohesion and a strong brand identity. However, you can mix things up with different versions of yourself if you have multiple aesthetic interests. Just keep the DP consistent across platforms.

How often should you change your Instagram DP?

There’s no “right” answer. Some influencers change it weekly to keep things fresh while others maintain the same iconic image for years. A good rule of thumb is changing it up monthly or seasonally as you evolve your personal style.

What is an e-girl aesthetic?

The e-girl (“electronic girl”) aesthetic features dark, alternative styles with punk-grunge elements mixed with pinks and soft colors. Common e-girl DP elements are graphic eyeliner, blushed cheeks, beanies, vintage T-shirts, band logos, and space buns.


Finding that winning aesthetic Instagram DP is a mix of both art and science. Be sure to snap a high-quality photo with good composition and lighting. But also take risks and get creative with trendy embellishments. Use dedicated editing apps to transform shots into captivating works of art worthy of display.

Remember – on Instagram, profiles with eye-catching DPs spark the most engagement and clicks. So put thought into what exactly you want potential new friends or future collaborators to perceive just from those tiny 320 x 320 pixels. Then make it happen! Whether moody, soft, sparkly or retro, craft an Instagram DP that stands out while representing the true you.

Similar Posts