Instagram Photos and How I Take Them: Bookstagram

I get requests all the time on how I do my flatlays for instagram and I always end up babbling out tips with no concrete answer of GO HERE TO SEE HOW. So, I thought I would draft this up and see if maybe it is helpful to a few people trying to learn instagram. This is totally a learning curve. I am not an expert by any means and am definitely a small fish in the big sea of bookstagram. What I am however, is someone who loves to take pretty photos of books. If I can help someone be more confident in doing that by this post, then that is a win in my book. So much of the book world has become everyone for themselves. When people ask for advice or help it isn't the norm to receive answers. People hold their secrets and tricks close to their chests. For me, someone else's win isn't my loss, it just their win. Make sense? Maybe? Either way, for me that means we lift each other up. So this is me, lifting. First things first. If you don't have props and backdrops like me, don't fret. I started out taking my photos on my dining room floor. Grab a scarf out of your closet, or hit up the Dollar Tree, you will be surprised what you can use at a prop. I've been doing this a while and try to spend $10 per paycheck on props even if it is just the flowers. They are SO versatile. This is a bit of my collection.

Most of these are actual scarves I wear.

Here is a big chunk of my flowers and misc items.

I like to match colors and feels of the covers. For example this series from Kristin Mayer, which you should TOTALLY READ, is blacks, whites and yellows. So I went with a subtle background to make the covers pop. Then I dive into my items to find flowers and colors that match. I sometimes like the contrast of items like this, so I threw a mix of white/yellow/blue. I also take my photos right by a window. Natural light is the BEST light. I mean it. Especially when you are photographing an Ebook as opposed to a paperback. You get less yellow when you use natural light. If you can't, then work with what you have. The app I am going to talk about lets you edit the temperature and tint of the photo so if it is yellow, you can edit that. All of my photos are taken with my iPhone 7. Nothing particularly special. I also try to stand directly above the photo but still leave enough space to crop it later. (Yes, I know I need a pedicure, #Momlife guys) From here I jump over to the VSCO app. This app is GOLDEN for me. Easy editing that doesn't involve me jumping onto photoshop. Simple and FREE. Here are my steps once I open the app: First I straighten the image if I need to. I usually do because I always stand crooked. Then I crop to what I want. From this point you can do whatever you want. Some people like super bright photos, others, like me, love the contrast and clarity of the shots. For me personally I mess with the Contrast, Sharpness, Saturation, and Temperature of the shot. Each shot is different. So is each instagram. This is my end result: The biggest thing is to enjoy doing it. Find your "feel" and go with it. Some themes, you will see the accounts use the same prop for each photo and that works great for them. Some accounts like the super bright flowers. Some accounts, like me, like the contrast, but not so much the super bright colors. It takes a bit, but have a feel to your account and stick with it. Learn as you go. Search Hashtags and comment and like other accounts. Be interactive. The bookstagram world is big and happy and there is room for everyone. If you wanna check me out, you can follow me here:


If you have questions, ask. I totally will help if I can! That is my motto, after all. This is just my mini photo how-to. There is so much you can do, flatly, book stacks (Which I will admit I am TERRIBLE at) and portrait shots. fool around and try things out. It took me a year to get here. So keep at it! If you have other tips, or questions, comment below! I want to hear from you! If this helps you out, let me know that too! Paperbacks from Kristin Mayer Candle from Bookish Aromas Backdrops from Etsy - Shop closed. Here is another shop on Etsy. I typically search Small Wood Backdrop when searching. You can find them on amazon too. I use 2ft x 2ft backdrops but you can get larger. Scarf from Paris.