Today we have a really informative post from a guest author all about how to edit bullet journal pictures for Instagram. Bullet Journaling should first and foremost be a productivity tool to help you live your best life. However, it can also be fun to share your spreads with the world on Instagram!
Instagram can be a great community for bullet journal inspiration, and everyone is so supportive. If you’ve been thinking about starting a bullet journal instagram account, here are 5 resources to help you edit bullet journal pictures for Instagram! Resources for every budget are included in this post so you can get started straight away.
Before You Begin
While being able to edit your photos is key, you do have to first and foremost make sure that the photo you’ve taken is clear & as bright as possible.
My number one tip is to find the best natural lighting that you can! If you’re saying “but I don’t have any natural light” I completely get you. I currently live in a basement, so natural light is hard to come by.
There are a few things you can do to maximize your luck with natural light:
- Find the biggest window in your home, or even take your journal outside for photos!
- Take your photos in the early morning (a few hours after sunrise) – this has personally been my best time!
Tools to Help with Natural Light
There are a few things you can do if you are struggling with shadows, or getting the right natural light to take your photos.
As you can see in the photo above, I have a very cheap setup to take my photos. You can definitely invest in a photographers setup (lights, reflectors, etc), however there are ways to do it on a budget.
All I do is take 3 pieces of white foam board (or you can use poster board) so that I can reflect the little natural light I get back onto my journal. For reference, in the photo the window is to my left.
5 Resources to Edit Bullet Journal Photos
Note all these photos are taken with an iPhone XR, and these resources are either on my iPhone or Macbook.
Here’s a look at the bullet journal picture, prior to any editing. The page I’m editing here is from a quote I doodles for International Women’s Day, on March 8th. For each resource I’ll include the cost, a brief description of my favourite features, and the after photo.
Resource #1: Photoshop
Cost: £8.57 per month in the UK.
I don’t think you can write about photo editing without including the holy grail of programs, Adobe Photoshop. I’m including this program solely because I know how powerful it can be to edit awesome photos.
You won’t see a before and after here including photoshop, because I have used up my free trial, and I personally don’t feel the need to invest that much money into a program. If you have the money, I think it’s a great tool. If you’re like me, keep reading for cheaper alternatives to edit your bullet journal photos.
Resource #2: Affinity Photo
Cost: £48.99 one time fee for desktop, or £15 (approx) for iPad.
When I was originally trying to find a program with similar features to Photoshop, but without the hefty (and ongoing) price tag, I stumbled upon Affinity Photo. I was instantly sold.
Although I’ve never used Photoshop for an extended period of time, I really don’t know what else I could need beyond Affinity Photo for a desktop based program.
Here’s a look at the interface in Affinity Photo. As you can see there are a ton of tools available to edit photos. If you purchase Affinity Photo they have great tutorial videos available to you, or you can even buy the “textbook” that they mail to you with breakdowns of every tool.
One of my favourite things about Affinity Photo is the developer persona. I always open that first when editing my bullet journal photos. I typically adjust exposure, brightness, contrast, and the curves.
Affinity photo has ‘auto’ filters that help to quickly edit bullet journal photos. I like to do auto colours, levels, white balance, and contrast. Although it may require so readjustment, I find the auto settings are often good enough for Instagram.
Another feature I want to note is the paintbrush, which comes in handy if you’ve taken your photo on a white background. To make it pure white (and get rid of shadows) I simply make the paintbrush white and paint the background.
Resource #3: Lightroom for Mobile
Cost: Free (with upgrades available)
If you are a fan of the Adobe products, but don’t have the wallet for them, you can get Adobe Lightroom for free on mobile. You do have to pay to unlock all the features, but the features that are available are perfectly fine to create an instagram worthy bullet journal photo!
The features available allow you to adjust colours, lighting, contrast, and more. Here’s what my before and after looks like just using the Lightroom app on my iPhone.
Resource #4: Instaflash Pro
Cost: £4.99, cheaper version available without all features for £1.99.
There are a bunch of features available in this app that I believe make it worth a lot more that $7. Some of my favourite features in Instaflash pro are:
- Light EQ
- Soft Light or Full Light
- Tone EQ
In Instaflash Pro, as you can see in the photo below, all of the tools are along the bottom. I love this app for adjusting specific colours, using the Colour EQ tool.
Using colour EQ I can really make the pink in the photo pop.
Resource #5: Snapseed
Cost: Free! Available in the App Store on iPhone.
Snapseed is one of my favourite apps for quickly editing a bullet journal photo for instagram, and the fact that it was free is mindblowing.
Some of my favourite tools in snapseed are the brush tool, and the selective tool. You can see how I use these tools in the photos below. In short the brush tool is useful for making the background a pure white, and for increasing the saturation of the colours. I like the selective tool to adjust the brightness and contrast in specific parts of the photo.
The above photo shows all the tools available in Snapseed, for a free app there are so many things available to edit your photos!
Snapseed is a great tool for clean, white, and bright bullet journal Instagram photos!
In order to edit bullet journal pictures for Instagram you will often need to use more than one resource. In my personal editing routine, I often use more than one app to reach the desired effect.
You’ll have noticed that in apps like Instaflash Pro, the final result is not as bright as in Snapseed. I like to combine the best features of each app into creating my instagram photos, depending on what type of look I’m going for. My best advice is to play around with the free apps first and see what you come up with!
If you are looking to up you photo editing game, I strongly recommend giving one of these resources a try!
Jessica lives on the west coast of Canada, and loves to spend times outdoors and read. When not working full time, she blogs about bullet journaling and productivity at www.zigzagsandzebras.com. She also runs an Etsy Shop selling planner stickers, and loves to post her bullet journal photos on her Instagram.