Today I want to talk about something funny in the Bookstagram community. I think it’s something most people who are not very invested in Bookstagram or not at all don’t know about: Bookstagrammers and their fake coffee.
First of all, there are many Bookstagrammers who use real coffee in their pictures and *GASP* they also drink it. But I know there are quite some people who use fake coffee, including me. Let’s get to it!
There are different ways to make fake coffee. A few of them are editing water, water + soy sauce, cola, editing tea, mixing leftover coffee with water or editing in whipped cream. None of the cups in the picture above contain 100% coffee and 2 of them were empty cups. Don’t believe me? Here’s the original picture:
Using tea is great if you just don’t drink coffee, but you do like the look of coffee in pictures. Coffee is darker than tea, and sometimes that just looks better. Cola is great because you can still drink it after you’ve been taking pictures for over thirty minutes. Sometimes I mix leftover coffee from that morning with some water to be able to fill the entire cup. And sometimes when I have ordered sushi and they gave me way too many soy sauce packages, I mix soy sauce with water.
Let’s talk about editing. The easiest to edit are water + soy sauce, cola, tea and leftover coffee + water, because they are already somewhat dark and don’t need a lot of changes. I recommend using those, because they look the best.
If I want to edit fake coffee, I use Snapseed. It’s really not that difficult. (Obviously it doesn’t look the same way as how professional photoshoppers would do it.)
This is how I edit a cup of water to look like coffee. My app is in Dutch for some reason, so I’ll try to translate it properly. I open the picture in Snapseed and add my usual filter and get rid of some imperfections. Then I use the brush option to lower exposure a few times (-1 and save in between). Then I use the selective tool to darken it a bit more, but not all the way to pitch black. Then I go back to the brush option and make the coffee a bit browner.
Why I use water and not just an empty cup, is because the water shows how the coffee should sit in the cup and it reflects the light a little bit.
I am not very happy with the edges of the coffee in this one, but oh well.
If you want to edit in whipped cream or latte art, you need a picture of that in the same angle as the picture of the empty cup you took. You can find royalty free pictures of coffee easily or you could use old pictures you have taken at a cafe. I recommend using Picsart for doing this.
The reason I sometimes edit in coffee is that my coffee gets cold while taking pictures and I hate cold coffee. I usually take multiple pictures at once and editing the coffee in is better than throwing cold coffee away. And I rarely drink coffee at home anyway. By the way, I do not recommend drinking the soy sauce + water because you’re curious. I can tell you it’s disgusting.
Did you know about the fake coffee? And for fun: let me know how you drink your coffee.