At some point during last year, I really started to get into bookstagram. In that course of time I’ve come to refine my process, and I’m actually starting to be really proud of the photos I take.
As the bookstagram community grows, I know a lot of people are starting to wonder HOW you bookstagram. Like blogging, there is no one correct way, but here’s my bookstagram process.
Step 1: Come up with the general idea
This is one of the hardest parts for me! I’m not super creative so finding unique ideas is a struggle sometimes. Thankfully I can use blog post and book tags as inspiration! I keep track of all these things, and the books I plan to feature for the associated photos, in an excel spreadsheet (inspired by Comms and Ampersands)
Step 2: Find the props
When I first started bookstagram I didn’t use props. But as time goes on, the more I’ve come to love them! They add depth and texture to the photo and it’s amazing how adding or taking a way a few props can really change the outcome. (All the props I use are stolen from my sister’s room).
Step 3: Gather the books and arrange the photo
I wing this step a lot. I put things down, move them a bit. Try a few different arrangements and mostly just hope it turns out well.
Step 4: Take the photo
I’m currently using my iPhone 6s to take book photos. I was using a digital camera, but it turns out my phone actually takes the better looking photos, plus it compensates for my super shaky hands. I normally take at least 3 versions of every angle/ photo
Step 5: Repeat this process until you have a collection of about 4-10 photos
Because of uni, I’m really only free to take photos on Sundays. To get a uniform appearance on my feed, I like to try and take photos in the same place with the same props, which are only available at home. I’m also limited to natural lighting. All these reasons mean I always try to take enough photos so I’ll have at least a week’s worth of posts.
Step 6: Go through and delete the dodgy ones
For every one good photo I take, there are at least two ‘meh’ ones. I delete the blurry ones, the ones where I cut off an important part, ones where my fingers snuck in, or the ones that didn’t turn out how I wanted them.
Step 7: Edit and crop the hell out of them
This is where my photos go from average to actually kind of pretty! All my editing is done in an app called Snapseed (available on iTunes and Google Play). It’s free and a bit simpler to use than other apps, but also more customisable than others.
My snapseed process:
- Increase the sharpening
- Add the filter (I use the same filter for all my photos to get them all looking similar overall)
- Tune the individual image until I think it looks the best. Usually I only change the contrast, saturation, shadows, and ambiance
- Depending on the photo, I slightly increase the saturation of the book cover
- Crop the photo so it looks more professional (this step sometimes occurs earlier)
- Save the photo!
I’m not kidding when I say editing is 99% of the reason my photos look decent.
Step 8: Stare at the pretties in your camera roll
Once they’re saved I do spend a lot of time looking at them. They look so beautiful next to each other, waiting to be posted.
Step 9: Share the pretty with the world!
Post the beautiful photos on instagram! It is time for everyone to admire them! Don’t forget to add ALL THE TAGS AND CAPTION THINGS!! I’ve recently started writing my captions on Notes on my mac, because it’s easier to type and iCloud makes it so easy to share it to my phone.
Step 10: Sit back and watch the notifications roll in
Bookstagramming is complete until the next post or photo session!