Top Tips for Taking Photos of your Book
As authors know, it’s important when promoting a book to have a social media presence and to showcase your work for potential readers to see. One way of doing this is to have quality images of your book to use for social media promotion. But what should you take into account when taking your photos? And are there small adjustments you can make to improve your images? We have rounded up our top tips for taking photos of your book.
Making sure your book is in focus
This might seem obvious but sometimes, when scrolling social media, you come across images that are out of focus and blurry, which can be hard to read or enjoy. Ensuring the images you take of your book are in focus means that anyone that comes across your photo will be more likely to stop scrolling and take a look.
It’s a common saying to say not to judge a book by it’s cover, but we all do! Make sure your audience not only have a good view of your book cover, but also that the cover is in focus, sharp and legible.
Think in colours
When setting up for your photos, be sure to take the colours of the image into account. Depending on the colour of your book, there may be some colours that might not help it stand out in an image, this can be when the background is too similar to a colour to the cover. You want to have a clear contrast in colours to make your book pop in the photo.
If you have a light coloured cover, a darker coloured background might work for you, with a dark cover, a light coloured background would help your cover pop. But should you want to have a dark cover with a dark background, there’s a big element you should take into consideration, and that is…
Lighting is a key component in photography and should always be considered when you’re taking photos. If you want to try having a dark cover on a dark background, you’re going to need to come up with a lighting solution that will help luminate your book but keep the background dark enough that you’re able to still achieve the ambience you’re going for. Luckily, there are more lighting purchasing options than ever and with a simple Amazon search, you can have all kinds of lighting equipment available.
It's also important to consider the shadows in your image, and this will involve considering where you set up your lights. Fortunately for all of us, there’re numerous ‘cheat sheet’s’ available which can act as a guid to your lighting set up. Below is an example, in this image, a person is a subject, but it still helps us understand the importance of the positioning of our lighting source and the impacts it can have on our image.
Considering your composition
There’s a saying in photography and videography, “Composition is key” and it’s important that we highlight this. You want to have a great photo of your book, and considering your composition helps achieve this. Think about how you’re displaying your book, the background, the surroundings and what’s in the foreground of the image.
Take the tried and tested Rule of Thirds into consideration. The Rule of Thirds is placing the subject in either the left or right third of an image, which then leaves the remaining two thirds more open. Though this is used for a wide range of photography, it can also be incorporated in your book photography. This ‘rule’ is more of a guideline to take into consideration but it can help strengthen your photos. This method works best on images that aren’t square, which brings us onto our next tip…
Try different things
The rule of thirds is great for images of a wider aspect ratio, but Instagram works predominantly in square images, so while we suggest trying out the rule of thirds, it’s also good to get comfortable trying different angles, focuses and positioning your book in different ways. Your photos don’t have to have only your book in them, having a model reading your book in your photos is a great way to showcase your work and can open up doors to experimenting with different photography options.
Think of your setting
It’s important to consider the setting of which you’re using for your book photographs. This goes hand in hand with both thinking in colours and considering your composition. Consider the setting of which people will read your book in, maybe you think it’s a perfect book to read with a coffee, if that’s the case, you could photograph your book on a coffee table and perhaps employ props such as a hot cup of coffee to go nicely with your book.
Edit your book photos
This is very important in photography, to edit your photos and most photographers will edit their photos before the world gets to see them. This is the same for people who use social media, according to TheModems.com 71% of people edit photos of themselves before posting them publicly. Fortunately, editing your book photos is easier than ever with how many programs and tools are available today.
Editing photos on your smartphone –
You can edit photos on your smartphone quickly and easily, so if you’re using your phone for your photography, your process is probably going to be the easiest. You should have the ability to simply select your image and click edit, here you will find different options which will vary depending on your device. If you’re using an Apple product, you will have the auto tool, which is essentially a ‘make my photo better’ button and it’s amazing! This will make adjustments to the colouring, contrast, brightness and other things to make your image the best it can. But, don’t be afraid to play around with the options yourself and experiment with different filters and adjustments.
Another useful editing tool for smartphone editing is the ability to easily crop your images. Sometimes your framing isn’t the way you want it, this gives you a chance to make adjustments to the framing and display your book in the best way you can.
There are numerous applications that can be installed onto your smartphone which are dedicated to editing photos, some of these are more user friendly than others, but it’s worth exploring your options and seeing what works best for you.
Editing photos on your computer -
Editing photos on your computer can be a little more time consuming than on your phone at times, but despite what some might say, you don’t need to use photoshop! There are numerous websites available where you can upload your image and edit away. The best part is that you’re a simple Google search from having hundreds of options. Again, some of these might be more user friendly than others, but we work differently and it’s about finding an editing program that works best for you!
Lastly… Enjoy the process
There’s a reason that photography is such a popular hobby and it’s important to enjoy yourself when you’re taking your photos. The more you enjoy the process, the more likely you are to improve in it and gain the power of taking amazing images of your books!
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