One of my blogging goals for 2018 extended to the most popular form of bookish social media, Instagram. Otherwise known as bookstagram, I’ve had Fangirl Fury (@fangirlfury) on Instagram since my blog’s creation back in February 2017. However, in March 2018, I decided to dedicate more time to bookstagram and my blog photos in general.
My goal for both platforms was to improve the quality of my photos. With bookstagram, I wanted to improve my scheduling. My bookstagram schedule is definitely not perfect, but I try to post at least twice a week, ideally aiming for 4-5 posts per week. If I need to take a photo for a blog post, it’ll likely end up on Instagram and vice versa.
I’ll be walking you through what it takes to create my blog photos and bookstagrams. Warnings that I am by no means a professional bookstagrammer, let alone photographer.
Previously: iPhone 6
As of December 2018: Canon EOS Rebel 6
Since my blog and Instagram’s creation, I used my iPhone 6 for photos. The best part of using my phone was the easy accessibility and affordability. The worst part was how much storage photos took up on my phone (my own fault for not deleting photos off after posting them and saving them to my laptop or flash drive) and relying on sunlight (more on lighting below).
While iPhones, especially the latter models, have great camera quality, it’s just not the same as a DSLR. I was very fortunate enough this Christmas to receive a Canon EOS Rebel 6. While I do prefer my camera to using my phone, taking quality bookish photos with your phone is NOT impossible (see all of Fangirl Fury’s photos from February 2017-December 2018 as evidence).
When and Where
Regardless of phone or DSLR, the most important part in taking book photos is lighting. I don’t have any ‘professional-like’ photo lights, so daytime is definitely ideal photo-taking time for me. With a DSLR, I don’t have to rely on natural light as much, since I can play with the aperture.
Where: Near Windows
Since natural light is a big part of my photo-taking, I try to take photos next to big windows. This varies from my bedroom floor to my kitchen table to even the laundry room floor! In the summer, I really like taking photos against the sky—I mainly did this for my Summer 2018 Reads Story.
My go-to backdrop for most of my photos is pretty simple- a plain white sheet! This is something you can easily find in a department or crafts store or in your house (my case). I’ve also used different blankets based on the season (red blankets for Christmas photos, beach towels for summer photos,etc.).
If it’s considered a label, I am also a go-to sky-user, from sunny days to snowfalls (no books are harmed in this process). Not at all necessary, but I also like to paint my nails for these types of photos.
At least half of my props have been purchased at local crafts stores, mostly the leaves, lights, flowers, boards and other crafty type things. However, you don’t necessarily have to spend money on bookish props.
My first recommendation is to search your house for props. This can include blankets, candles, scarves, souvenirs, wall hangings/decoration, dining ware, ornaments, plants, clothes, jewelry etc. If applicable, use items from bookish events and book preorders. This can include buttons/pins, posters, artwork, bookmarks, and more.
For organization purposes, I also recommend putting all or most of your props in once place. I keep mine in a storage container under my bed. This way, when you go to take photos, all of your props are right in front of you and easy to choose from.
Purchased for Photos
-Flowers (from Michaels & Hobby Lobby). Pro tip: Fake flowers, even ones in bouquets, are usually very easy to pop off from their stem.
-String lights (from Michaels & Primark)
-Fake leaves and leaf chain (from Michaels & Hobby)
-Chalk boards (from Hobby Lobby)
-Magnetic letters (letters from Hobby Lobby, I added magnetic strips for the boards)
-Foil leaves and stars
From Home/Book Events includes:
Do you have a bookstagram? What are some of your tips & tricks? Share in the comments!