How to Edit Your Bookstagram Photos Like a Pro

Photo editing can sound like an advanced computer sorcery skill, but nothing could be further from the truth! I'm a lazy bum who likes to make things as easy as possible when I'm editing my bookstagram photos, so I've learned several tricks to make the process a cinch. Today, I'm going to share:

  • The number one trick that makes photo editing super easy
  • My simple process for editing photos
  • Some easy bookstagram photo editing tricks that seem like magic
Ready to make your photos look awesome? Let's go!


The Number One Thing That Will Make Editing Your Photos a Cinch

Computers can do amazing things these days, but it's difficult to turn a bad photo into a good one after you've taken it. That means you should pay careful attention to your lighting.

Do you need a fancy lighting setup? Heck no! I use natural light for my photos, and it makes my job so much easier when it comes to editing. I just set my props up next to a big window and snap away!

Depending on your setup position, it's sometimes best to wait until later in the day to take your photos. I find that if I take my pictures next to a window in the morning or early afternoon, the glare is too harsh and makes everything look washed out. 5 p.m. is my sweet spot for taking photos next to a window -- at least, in Texas where I live (your sweet spot time might be different depending on your time zone and latitude).

However, I also sometimes take photos on a table that isn't right next to a window, so the sunlight isn't as harsh and I can get away with taking pictures earlier in the day. Experiment with what works for you, but my point is that natural light is king -- especially if you're taking photos with a phone, which can have trouble focusing in artificial light.

Okay, I've Taken My Photo. What Now?

Here's a secret about photo editing: most of the time, you don't need fancy filters or effects to make your photos look good.

I know people who use really cool color-correcting filters to make their feeds super consistent in terms of color, but you don't need to do that if you want something simpler. All I use are the editing tools that come with my iPhone. Here's what I do:

  • Turn the shadow setting up a little to make the shadowy areas in my photo less dark.
  • Turn the highlight setting down a little to reduce glare.
  • Turn up the contrast to give the picture some depth that may have gotten lost in the previous two steps (but now it's more uniform depth)
  • If it's a light photo (like the one below), I turn up the brightness for that ethereal vibe.
  • Turn up the saturation just a tad.

And that's all I need! Obviously, you might use different settings depending on your aesthetic, but my point is that you don't have to invest in anything fancy to get good photos.




Advanced Photo Editing Tricks (That Are Actually Really Easy)

Aside from adjusting the tones of an image, you can also Photoshop things into your images to make it look like you have more books than you actually do. I wrote a blog post with a tutorial for a couple different (free!) methods of doing this, which you can read here.

If you want to add cool animations to your images, I would also recommend trying out the Pixaloop app. It's intuitive and easy to use, and it can make cool moving images like this:


Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, editing can't save a bad photo, but it can make a good photo look awesome! Play around with the natural light in your space, and find out what kind of setup makes for the least amount of glare or excessive shadows. Once you've done that, the editing is just the icing on the cake.

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