My Bookstagram Process

March 14, 2017 Discussion 28

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.

Bookstagram

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.

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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).

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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:

  1. Increase the sharpening
  2. Add the filter (I use the same filter for all my photos to get them all looking similar overall)
  3. Tune the individual image until I think it looks the best. Usually I only change the contrast, saturation, shadows, and ambiance
  4. Depending on the photo, I slightly increase the saturation of the book cover
  5. Crop the photo so it looks more professional (this step sometimes occurs earlier)
  6. Save the photo!

I’m not kidding when I say editing is 99% of the reason my photos look decent.

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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.

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Step 10: Sit back and watch the notifications roll in

Bookstagramming is complete until the next post or photo session!

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Are you a bookstagrammer?

How do you edit your photos?

28 Responses to “My Bookstagram Process”

  1. Puput @ Sparkling Letters

    Great post! I go through pretty much the same process, the difference is the tools, I think. Like you I take a lot of photos in one go. Sometimes I make a list of pictures I need to take and this usually matches my blog post plan because I mainly take pictures for the blog hehe I use my brother’s DSLR camera, which prior to bookstagramming I know nothing about haha but because of bookstagram I learned to operate on manual and it’s actually really fun. Since I use camera and need to transfer the pictures to my laptop anyway, I edit with photoshop, but it’s basically the same as you. Brightness, contrast, saturation, sharpness <3
    Puput @ Sparkling Letters recently posted…Let’s Conquer My TBR : One Book at A Time

    • Bec

      Thanks! The tools vary the most between people. I’ve recently started planning my photos based on blog posts and taking more for them, which has led to an actual boosktagram schedule haha.

      I have yet to venture in the scary world of DSLRs haha. They have so many options it’s a bit scary!

  2. Kyra Morris

    AHHH your photos are stunning! *_* I used to have Snapseed and I’m thinking of downloading it again after seeing your post – it’s a great app! I just use the Instagram filters but I’d like to have more filter options. I want to get more props for my photos as I feel that’s something that’s really lacking in my pictures – MUST WORK ON THAT.

    Great post! <3
    Kyra Morris recently posted…My Spring TBR Pile!

    • Bec

      Thank you :) It’s such a fantastic app! Heaps of customisable options, but not so many that it’s overwhelming. Props are addictive hahaha

    • Bec

      Bookstagram is a bit like blogging in that there are tonnes of different ways to do it. You’ll figure out a method that suits you :)

    • Bec

      It is super addictive!! Most of my Sunday mornings is now full of taking book photos hahaha

      That would be super frustrating!! I find instagram in particular reduces the quality even more.

    • Bec

      Thanks :) The more you use bookstagram, the more addicted you get haha. You’ll definitely improve as you figure out how you like to use it :D

  3. ShootingStarsMag

    I initially started trying to do bookstagram when I was fairly new to Instagram, but I just don’t have a ton of time or props to make cool photos. It’s something I do want to try and get more into so I’ll have to see what I can come up with in the future! I always like reading tips and advice, so thanks for this! I really need to start reading more physical books – I feel like they’ve all been on my Kindle lately!
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Show Us Your Books: A Nice Mix of Genres

    • Bec

      Time does make it really hard. I’m restricted to Sunday morning for book photos, and until recently it was hard to take a lot at once.

      I read more physical books than ebook! Which is leading to me getting behind on my review books hahaha

    • Bec

      It’s as much effort as you want it to be haha. Once you figure it out, it does become a bit easier… sort of haha. Consistency is one of the hardest parts. I really admire the instagrammers that are incredible consistent! Their feeds are the most gorgoeus

  4. Cait @ Paper Fury

    This is the best!! AND YOUR FEED IS SO BEAUTIFUL. <3 This is basically my process too *nods* Although I edit all the photos on my computer and use a DSLR. But I take a week's worth of photos and try to have a sort of consistent theme (which just basically is as much colour and flowers as I can cram into the frame haha) so I totally love your methods too. I think the best part about bookstagram is how creative we all are!! It's so exciting to see magnificent books arranged in incredible ways!!
    Cait @ Paper Fury recently posted…10 Books I Thought I’d Hate And Throw Into The Sun But Instead…I Actually Loved Them

    • Bec

      Thanks :)

      I’m scared of DSLRs haha. I can’t afford my own, but Dad does have a couple of Canon’s. I’m mostly scared about all those settings haha, it’s a bit overwhelming.

      YOUR THEME IS SO GORGEOUSLY COLOURFUL! I can recognise your photos on sight, no matter where they appear now.

  5. Michelle @ FaerieFits

    This is something I’ve thought about getting into / dabbled in VERY slightly. But I just feel so bad at it, lol. A) I don’t really buy a lot of physical books; B) I have little inspiration for arranging props (I’m seriously bad at it); and C) I have an infant who likes to eat everything. (A & B are just excuses, but C is a genuine problem/awesomeness!).

    Thanks so much for sharing your process! You make it sound SUPER simple, so maybe there’s hope for me, lol :)
    Michelle @ FaerieFits recently posted…Glorious Q&A About Taylin from The Demon’s Assassin [Beautiful People]

    • Bec

      Tbh, a lot of my arranging is fluked haha. I just put stuff down and hope for the best haha. Infants to make it a bit more difficult haha, though you could get some potentially adorable photos if you used them as a prop :P

      It can be fairly simple :) The hardest part is time and editing in my opinion haha.

    • Bec

      It’s AMAZING! And so very addictive haha. I tried VSCO once and liked it, but wanted something a bit more customisable which Snapseed allows.

    • Bec

      Aw thanks :)

      It does take a lot of time! I need to set aside some hours again to take a heap of photos. I wish I had more plants and stuff!

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