A while ago when I first started being really active again on Instagram I stumbled upon the #bookstagram hashtag. I used it occasionally on and off to post pictures of books I'd gotten from the library or books I'd bought, what I was reading, etc. - but I didn't really get the broader scope of the hashtag at the time. #Bookstagram is more than just people sharing pictures of books, #bookstagram is a community full of amazing, creative like-minded bookworms who love to show their love for books and reading through photographs.
I began to post on #bookstagram heavily in November then participated in a couple "challenges" in December and again this month and I've enjoyed finding my niche and trying out different ways to be creative with my photographs with props. And the challenge prompts make it so easy! The more I post and interact with other book lovers the more I come out of my shell. Along with this blog and my books, I feel like I've finally found people who get me. #Bookstagrammers are my kind of people!
So that aside, what goes into creating one of my daily #bookstagram posts?
1. Gathering Materials:
I start off by looking at my prompt for the day from whichever challenges I'm participating in then select the book or books I want to use and the props I may want to accent the pictures with. Lately, I've chosen a theme of setting my books on a red background so I used a blanket I have laying around as a backdrop. Mini fairy lights also look awesome in my pictures, especially wrapped around my books. (They're really cheap, I got them on Amazon for like $7!)
2. Arranging My Books
Once I have everything I want to use, I lay the blanket down on a flat surface (usually my bed) and lay my books out on top of the blanket where I want them. Sometimes I stack them, sometimes I stand them upright, sometimes I show their spines, sometimes I tilt them to the side. It depends on what part of the book I want to showcase.
3. Add the Props
#Bookstagram props can be anything. They can tie to the book like a mask with a copy of A.G. Howard's RoseBlood or a camera with a copy of Meg Cabot's Pants On Fire. They can tie to the prompt your working on or just be something pretty that looks nice with the book. I've used: scrapbooking paper, fake flowers, bookish candles, Funko Pops, Mirrors, Wine Glasses, Wooden Cutting Boards, Hats, Funky Fabrics, even a Butcher Knife once!
4. Take the Photo and Make Any Adjustments
I try to take my pictures in the best lighting possible, but sometimes (especially in winter) it's cloudy and the room is dark, or it's late in the day so I have to make adjustments to the lighting and crop the images once I've taken the picture on my iPhone. I could use my digital camera but I think it would be too much trouble to upload the photos from my camera to my computer then onto my phone to upload on Instagram.
5. Upload to Instagram
Once everything is to my satisfaction I upload my pictures to Instagram with a description of the prompt (if it's a prompt photo) and some hashtags so people can find my picture. Some hashtags I use a lot are:
but there are so many that you could use...
Sound like fun? Here are a couple #Bookstagram challenges coming up for February. I challenge you to try to participate in at least 1 for the month of February...
use hashtag: #loveatfirstpage17
use hashtag: #febbooksarelit
(I'm just finishing up #JanBooksAreLit and it was really fun!)
use hashtag: #GrimDragon
(I'm also doing their January prompts)
For more challenges to participate in check with @bookstagramchallenges
For more bookish photos follow me on Instagram: @TaylorFennerWrites