I have been part of the bookstagram community since 2016. To clarify, bookstagram it’s a community where the main focus is sharing our love for books, as well as some reading recommendations. If you go and look at this community you will find people with incredible content and a lot of talent. Some people are more creative and make the most of being a bookstagrammer. Other people prefer to stick to the basics, like me. Above all there is always something that connects all these people: the love for books and reading. So today I will share with you some tips on how I edit my bookstagram photos (don’t worry, it’s a simple method).
First I have to say that I only recently returned to bookstagram. After a few months more offline, I decided to give the community a new chance and with different content. A lot has changed since I joined the community. Some people have left, others have joined. New trends have emerged, some have been forgotten. It’s a community that’s always growing, and sometimes it’s not easy to keep up. One of the reasons I felt the need to take a break was because of the platform itself. Instagram when it comes to making life easier for smaller content creators seems not to care much.
What is the best app for editing your photos?
This is one of the questions that everyone will only know how to answer it when they try them all. I even believe that according to our needs for bookstagram, we may even need more than one app. For a long time I only used VSCO to edit all my photos. However, this year I found myself changing my style, so I tried Lightroom to see if I could get along with the app. For example, I spent a few weeks using both VSCO (for the filters) and Lightroom (for some final adjustments).
Honestly, I am very attached to VSCO. No doubt I love the app a lot. It’s one of those apps that I think is great for those who are starting editing photos. Besides offering a good range of ready-made filters, it’s quite simple to learn how to work with the other features. Unfortunately I never got the subscription to fully enjoy the application, but the free features are fantastic for those who want to take the first step. Unlike Lightroom, in my opinion. Lightroom is also free, but it requires a little more learning from us, I had to watch some tutorials until I got used to the app. However, there are some people who provide their presets in case you want to have half of the work already done.
Add an extra to your photos
Sometimes I like to play with the photos. At the moment my feed consists of me posing with a book, photos of a book in front of my bookcase (or other object) and transition photos. Sometimes when I feel that the picture is too boring I like to give it a special touch, this is where one of the apps that without question make my pictures different from the usual ones: PicsArt.
It’s an app where you can also edit your photos, although it has filters and some more editing elements, I don’t use it for that purpose. In general, I use this app to add other elements to the photos: like adding a character shape, a sentence or even the fuming of a cup of tea. They are simple details, but they can turn a banal photo into something more superb.
Although you have the chance to get a paid subscription to the app, I use it for free. Of course, we don’t have access to everything, but for now the stuff I have free access to is fine with me.
Ideal for: adding phrases, drawings, motion effects.
More important than editing is taking photos
For a long time taking pictures was difficult for me, especially for the bookstagram. I never got the right angle, or the photos didn’t get enough light. The trick is to try everything and anything. Unlike many bookstagrammers, I don’t have a professional camera. So I decided to buy a mobile phone with good photo quality and that would help me in more common tasks like editing and without forgetting to promote. At the moment I use my iPhone 11 to take all my photos, it has lots of photo modes that help a bit when taking with the best light and angle. Not to mention the quality of the camera, which is just amazing.
Tip: don’t believe you need an amazing and expensive camera to have good photos. That’s not true, the trick is in the practice.
Pictures taken, edited and now?
Now comes the fun part: see which photos match your style. In a normal photo session for the bookstagram I take about 300 photos. This is no joke. I take loads of photos from different angles and with different poses. You never know when later you’ll want that photo, but with another angle. In the end I edit only the photos I liked the most, the rest I always keep. I never delete them, only if I change the theme.
To help me plan the photos in advance I use an app to help me preview how my feed will look like. I’ve tried several apps, but I always end up back to the same one: Preview. Although there is the option to schedule the photos for later posting, even prepare the captions and hashtags. I prefer to use this app only to see what my feed will look like.
Again this app has a paid subscription, but I use it for free as I don’t feel the need to have more features. It’s simple and practical, no doubt at the end of everything it turns out to be a helpful app to make content on time and keep a feed organized.
Tip: always use the same filter in all photos, if you feel that the photos do not match, try changing a bit of lighting, contrast, tones or saturation.
And what’s left to do now? Subtitles!
In the end I have the most difficult thing left: prepare subtitles and arrange hashtags. As we know Instagram is constantly messing with the algorithm, so we need to adapt. I prefer to prepare the subtitles with some time, even if I don’t feel the need to publish photos every day. Usually I prepare content at least two weeks in advance, already with captions and photos all edited and side by side in Preview.
I don’t always have reviews to share in Instagram, I even end up leaving that job more to the blog. In bookstagram I rather raise discussion topics related to books or reading. Topics that can produce interaction between me and my followers. If I don’t have any topic for discussion, I try to talk about something else. But I never share subtitles without content, I always try to bring subtitles that add something and not subtitles with nothing to add.
Tip: Sometimes a beautiful photo is not enough, subtitles are also important to define quality.
In conclusion the most important thing is to share our love for books. Having a nice feed or beautiful photos is not always a sign of quality. It’s important that our love for books is always the main message as well as the incentive to read. Focus on creating good content, better less and good, than much and no quality.