Wednesday, October 10, 2018

How to Take Great Pictures of Your Bible Journaling Pages

The other day I did an Instagram poll asking if you'd rather learn how to do watercolor flowers or how to take better pictures of your bible journaling pages.

Watercolor flowers won and I did a video for IGTV

But, I also thought I'd go ahead and show you how to take great pictures of your bible journaling pages. And also anything, really. Because the secret to all photography is great lighting.

If you have looked at images of other people’s bible journaling pages on Pinterest or Instagram, you might have found yourself wondering how some people get such professional looking pictures of their pages.

I do happen to be a professional photographer, but I never use my actual camera or any special lights or tools to take my bible page pictures.

I’ll bet that 99% of the images that you see of bible journaling pages are taken the same way.

The secret is easy, simple and most importantly, it’s free.

Natural light. 

That’s it. 

Like I said, the secret to any good photo, really, is natural light…not matter what you’re photographing.

That can be on a table by a window, in the floor by the front door, or even outside.

Look around your house at different times of the day and I bet you’ll notice that at certain times, beautiful light comes in through your windows and doors. Take advantage of them!

If your house is dark and doesn't have any windows with light good enough, my recommendation is to take it outside in open shade to snap a few shots. Nature is a beautiful backdrop, and the open shade provides nice, even natural lighting. I would avoid harsh, direct sunlight if you can. Open shade is your friend (this applies to all photography, too!)

I take mine by the sliding glass door that leads to my backyard. The light is usually the best in the afternoon and evening because the door faces the East. If I were to want to take a picture in the morning, I would use the light from my front door by just opening it up.

Here’s a picture of my set up. I just pull back my blinds, lay down a piece of white poster board (which is optional, but if you’d like a white background, it’s a great cheap way to achieve that look!) next to the door, put my bible on the poster board….

And VIOLA! You have a professional image of your bible page!

Buuuut, you might notice that it doesn’t look as bright or sharp as some of the other images you’ve been seeing. 

This is where some photo editing apps come in handy. 

Some of my favorite apps to edit my images are AfterLight ($2.99), Photoshop Fix (free) and A Color Story (free, but has add ons  you can purchase. I just use the free version!). 

You will have to just play with the images that you take yourself, but some of the things that I almost always end up altering are
  • - Brightness
  • - Contrast
  • - Highlights
  • - Shadow
  • - Temperature
  • - and occasionally saturation
Sometimes I’ll only have to play with a few of these settings, some days I’ll have to play with all of them. It will depend on your image, page and the light you had available when you took the picture. 

Here’s the page after I edited it in the photo apps.

The last thing that I do is add my Instagram name as a watermark. 

This is optional, but I found that a lot of people were stealing my images and passing them off as their own artwork (sad trombone) so I had to start watermarking.

Side note: I know I probably don’t have to tell you this, but please don’t steal other artist’s images. It makes them very sad.

My favorite app to use for watermarking is WordSwag (Free for some options, but recently it's paid subscription for all options. I will probably start looking for a different option soon that's either one pay or free, but it's hard to find these days!).

A few of the apps that I use do cost a few dollars a piece, but I use them SO much for tons of different things that they are well worth the investment for me. And it’s way cheaper than a DSLR camera and Photoshop…believe me!

So there you have it! You will probably have to practice a little to find what works best for you, but you’ll be taking amazing pictures of your beautiful bible pages in no time!

Let me know how all of these tips work for you! Comment below or find me on Instagram -- @neelysphoto

Originally posted on


  1. Hi Neely! I, too, try to use the natural light from my windows. The way my house is set up, I end up taking mine near my west window between 1-3. My east windows are never bright enough. Thanks for the photo editing app recommendations. I’ll check them out!

    1. My house is pretty dark, so if it weren't for my back glass window, I'm not sure what I'd do. Open shade, probably. I might actually add that to the post! Thanks for helping me think of that!

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