Since the start of my blog, I’ve been taking my own photos. I could easily use covers from publishers or Goodreads, but it’s just not me. I like how photos make things personal and original and it’s like ‘two birds with one stone’ thing because I can use them for my Bookstagram as well! Taking photos isn’t difficult, but it takes a bit of time. Today, I’m showing you how I edit my photos and I’m giving you tips on how to take pretty blog or Bookstagram photos!
I’ll only be discussing editing, not the actual setup and camera settings. If you’d like me to write a post about that, let me know! The stuff I use for photo editing: Photos on Mac(Book) and the VSCO Cam app on my iPhone. I take my photos using my Canon 1100D.
Before I even head over to the computer (in my case: my MacBook) I take a whole lot of photos. Some are 99% the same, but you never know what you’ll need! Photos usually looks something like this when I start out. Sometimes, my photos are accidentally taken vertical, so I rotate them so they’re all horizontal. Then I look at each photo individually. This doesn’t as long as it sounds, it only takes me a few seconds to see if a photo is usable or not, but it takes some practice.
The Original Photo
At first, this photo doesn’t look too good, but with some editing, it’s actually very usable! All it needs is a little cropping! Cause I mean, my hand doesn’t look all that charming. But my books kept falling over!
Photos on Mac(Book)
I realise this is a different photo from the one shown above, but it’s the same principle! Whenever I crop a photo for my blog, I make sure it’s cropped with the original proportions. This way I’m sure all the photos on my blog look the same. This is super easy to do in Photos! Sometimes you have to rotate your picture a little bit, and you can do this while cropping. That’s what the circle-like thingy is for!
Tada! That’s a completely different photo, isn’t it? Next step: Enhancing! Photos has an auto-enhance button, but I always tweak it a bit manually. Step 1: Hit that auto-enhance button! Yes, I just told you I do it manually. Patience, my friend! Next step: manual enhancing! Go to the Adjustment panel/tab. Photos automatically shows Light, Color and Black & White. I use Light and Color to edit my photos. Light obviously makes your picture darker or lighter. With Color, you can decide how much color your photo will have. You can either make the colours really bright, or very faded. I do both these things by just looking at it. If I don’t like what I’ve done, or I like to auto-enhancements better I just click on Auto and it’ll fix it back to before I messed it up!
You can manually add White Balance to the enhancement panel/tab, but sometimes it randomly shows up when the white balance was auto-enhanced. My photos are sometimes enhanced with “Skintone” as White Balance option, and it makes my photos red-ish, which is not what you want. At all, it’s awful! I usually chose Neutral Gray, but Temperature/Tint isn’t that much different I think!
VSCO Cam App
When I’m happy with how my original edit Does this even make sense? Hahah! I send my photo to my iPhone or iPad. I like to AirDrop it, but it’s very glitchy for me, so usually I just put them in my Dropbox folder and download it to my device. I mostly use my iPhone, since VSCO doesn’t always work on my iPad, but or the sake of this post I used my iPad!
I already did the editing on my MacBook, but I like to edit the exposure once more using VSCO Cam, It makes my photo just a bit lighter, and prettier! I usually stick to +1, +2 or +3 when making my photos brighter, but it depends on what you like. I barely ever make my photos darker, but it’s possible. Again, you just have to eyeball it. Of course, you can use the other editing options in VSCO as well, but I don’t really understand how they work. Plus, I don’t really need them!
VSCO’s T1 filter is my favourite, and I use it for quite literally everything! All my featured photos and Bookstagram photos have this filter. The app automatically sets the filter at 12, which makes it super visible. I don’t really like that, so I change it to 8 or 9, depending on the photo. Sometimes I need to up it to 9 or 10, other times it needs only 5 or 6.
The Final Photo
Sometimes photos just don’t work out for the blog, or I can only make it look good as a square for Instagram. In this case, it turned into an Instagram photo! Sometimes I use two different photos for the blog and Bookstagram. It doesn’t really matter whether you use Photos or VSCO (or anything else, completely up to you) to crop the photo!
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Do you take your own photos? What software and/or apps do you use? Would you like to see more photography posts like these? If yes, what should I talk about?