Last week we wrote about visuals in blog posts. Today we’ve got a treat for you. We contacted Alina, a blogger whose beautiful pictures draw attention of a few thousand of Instagram users worldwide. She’s going to share some of her secrets about creating really jaw-dropping visuals.
I’ve been running my Instagram account (@tea.books.lover) for more than 3 years now. I’m certainly not a professional, but I’ve definitely made a progress during my whole Instagram journey – mostly learning from my own mistakes. Today – using my own bad pictures as examples – I want to show you how to take better pictures of your books or stationery, or any other item, following a couple of simple tips.
1. Go toward the light!
This is a very basic advice, but good lighting really is important when you’re taking your pictures. Look at the photo below:
It’s dark, colours are faded, and – let’s be honest – it doesn’t look good. I don’t remember where I took it, but it must have been pretty far from the source of natural light. Now, see the second example:
It looks much better, doesn’t it? If it’s possible, arrange your photo-spot near a window or a balcony door – that’s where you can get good lighting.
Another thing – if you can choose between artificial and natural light, always go with natural. I used to take pictures in a spot where I had to use a lamp, but later on I found a better place, vis-a-vis my balcony door. See for yourself which one looks better.
2. Stay focused!
Okay, not you. Well, being focused on what you’re doing is important, but when it comes to photography, make sure your camera is focused on the object you’re trying to capture. It’s okay if the background is blurry – it makes a picture look even better, but the main object shouldn’t be. Compare the examples below.
When taking a picture of a book, make sure the cover is sharp and the title is readable – it will look more aesthetically pleasing and you might get more likes for your picture!
3. Props are your friends!
Before I begin, let the picture below speak for itself:
It looks… sad, doesn’t it? Just a book on a bland background, with nothing by its side to make the picture look more cheerful. (And yet I thought it was worth posting… What was I thinking?)
This one has much more life in it, right? And there’s so many things you can use as props! Stationery, mugs and teacups, bookmarks, flowers, butterflies, figurines, and much, much more – whatever fits your arrangement. See some more examples below:
4. Composition is our mission!
Sure, you can just take pictures of your books in random spots, but nicely arranged pictures look so much better! We’ve talked about props already, but it also matters how you use them – something I needed to learn from my own mistakes!
See? I have no clue why I thought it’s a good idea to put those flowers like this. At the time I was probably proud of that picture, but I’m not anymore. I’m much happier with the one below:
It’s clear what’s the main object in this photograph, and strategically placed props are complimenting it, not stealing the viewer’s attention.
5. Grab an app!
Let’s face it – not anyone can afford a professional camera, which takes perfect pictures with just one click. Many of us use our phones and the results don’t always look the way we’d like them to. But what’s technology for, right?
I took all of my heart pictures with a phone camera. It doesn’t look that impressive, does it? But with a bit of editing…
…we can get a picture that’s really worth sharing. I’m always editing my pics on a laptop, mostly using AfterFocus and ipiccy.com, but there are many other apps and editors which allow you to bring out the true beauty of your photos, using just your phone (try VSCO or Lightroom, for example).
I know all those tips sound pretty basic, but I wish I knew these things when I was starting out a few years ago, so maybe some of you will find them useful, too. So turn your creativity mode on and go take those breathtaking photos I know you’re able to take!
If you want to see more of Alina’s stunnig photos, you can visit her on Instagram
If you’re Polish and passionate about books, check also her blog.