I am not a camera person. It's just never been my thing. Unfortunately, until someone invents the technology to display EXACTLY what you see with your eyes onto a computer screen (no operation of device required), I'm going to be stuck using a camera.
So, I figured I would explain exactly how I take my pictures, and what I do to them after I've gathered them all. I'm still more of a beginner when it comes to bookstagram so this isn't perfect, but it's what I'm using right now!
This is the camera that I'm currently using. I have no clue what type/model it is, and half the time I have no idea how to operate it.
It's also not mine. It's owner is kind enough to share it with me, even when I can't figure out how to use to focus button. It's going well over here.
So I've played around quite a bit with lighting and times of day for picture taking, and I've found that the best place for me to take photos is on my desk, normally around 3-4 pm. After that, the natural light isn't quite strong enough, and so I have to turn the light on in my room and then the photos get all yellow or there are weird light spots, and it's just not fun in general.
This is my desk, post-photo session. My desk is not clean, at all. The mess that you can vaguely see on either side of the photo is everything that is normally in the middle of my desk, shoved over to the sides. I just make this nice, clean alleyway down the center of my desk, take the photos, and then...leave the mess. Hence why you almost never see the lamp in any of my photos, since it marks the edge of The Mess.
I normally take photos in batches of 20-40, which seems like a lot... except I take 3-5 photos (sometimes more) of the same book in different positions, with different angles. I generally do a couple angled, and then a flat lay or two (but I haven't been loving the flat lays recently, so I've been taking a lot of angled ones.
These are three different photos I took, all for "F" is for Fugitive. None of them are edited yet, and the bottom two are cropped while the top one is not.
After I go through all of the photos I took for the book that I want to post about, then I edit. Not dramatically or anything.
These are before and after photos for the same book. The top is untouched, while the bottom has been cropped and darkened. I always darken the photos of my books just because I liked how it looks, and the edges seem sharper.
The only other editing I do is the occasional retouch like photoshopping out my hair (which is everywhere) from a photo or removing the wording on a label (like I did in my desk photo). I try not to edit to the point where the entire photo is changed... just small things!
So, that's how you can take photos for bookstagram without knowing a thing about cameras! (It took me 5+ minutes to find the charging cord for this camera, that's how much I know about it.) I started out just using my iPhone camera, but I definitely prefer the fancier one. Plus it's easier to edit on my laptop than on my phone! If any other bookstagrammers who are more skilled with cameras would like to give me some tips, that would be much appreciated!