How to Make Your Bookstagram Photos Look Great With No Effort

When you're scrolling through countless gorgeous bookstagram feeds, it can be discouraging to see so many photos better than your own. Somehow, they just seem crisper, prettier, and none of your pictures come out like that no matter how hard you try.

Well, good news: you can easily boost your photo quality with just a few simple hacks! Read on to find out more.

Tip 1: Lighting is Your Number One Concern

A photo with good lighting can look awesome with minimal editing, but a photo with bad lighting often can't be saved no matter how much editing you do. Especially if you take your photos with a smartphone, like I do. Phone cameras these days are pretty good, but they're no DSLR.

Natural light is the best and easiest way to make your photos come out looking good. I recommend always taking photos next to a large window, or even outside. This can work especially well later in the afternoon when the sun is about to set, since you get a softer tone that way.

If your house doesn't have good lighting, though, investing in a ring light might be for you. Taking pictures under regular artificial light can make the colors look odd, result in weird shadows, and generally make photos look yucky. A ring light helps cut down on this by making sure the light comes evenly from all around, and most ring lights allow you to adjust how warm or cool the light is depending on what vibe you're going for.

Tip 2: Use Props to Make Your Photos Interesting

Books are awesome, of course, but putting some other interesting things in your photos can help make them more visually pleasing. If you look at your favorite bookstagram feeds, chances are that they contain well-placed props to help round out the photo.

Tip 3: Be Aware of the Rule of Thirds

In photography, the "rule of thirds" involves imagining your photo divided into thirds from the top and bottom to make nine parts. Photos can be made more visually interesting if you put the main subject along one of the dividing lines or at an intersection instead of dead center.

In this photo of mine, I wanted The Unsound Theory to be the main focus, so I positioned it at one of the intersections in this 3x3 grid. Personally, I think this setup is much more interesting than if I had positioned it in the middle of the frame.

It's pretty common to put the book(s) you're trying to feature along one of the dividing lines and fill in the rest of the space with props or other books. Not all nice photos have to do this, but scroll through some of your favorite feeds, and you'd be surprised how often people utilize this technique.

While your photo can still be great without following the Rule of Thirds, it's a nice thing to be aware of to make your photos more visually interesting. If your phone has an option for turning a grid on when you're taking photos, I definitely recommend using that feature to make your framing easier!

Tip 4: Diagonals Also Make Things Interesting

Another way to make your photos more visually interesting is to set up a diagonal within the frame. This helps draw the viewer's eye around the image. Here's a simple example:

Again, I'm not saying you have to create a diagonal with every photo, but it helps to be aware of it.

So ... Editing Doesn't Matter?

Well, editing can certainly make a good photo pop. But by far the most important part is to get the initial photo looking great.

If you want to get some of my tips on photo editing, I wrote a whole post about it!

Final Thoughts

As with anything, taking good photos comes with practice. You might not be able to get the perfect shot on your first try. But by trying out some of these tips, you can avoid some of the mistakes that I made early on and get that little bit closer to finding a bookstagram style that works well for you!

Want more bookstagram-y content like this? Join my newsletter, the Loose Leaf List, to get reviews, opinions, bookstagram tips, and other fun stuff delivered directly to your inbox once a month!

1 comment

  1. Craft magnetic Snapchat visuals: Infuse spontaneity, leverage golden hour lighting, and sprinkle a touch of personal flair for compelling, memorable snaps.