Bookstagraming is quickly becoming a favorite past time among. There is just something about books and photos of books that brings out our best.
Last week we spend some time talking books and photos with Stacee from Adventures of a Book Junkie (if you missed our chat, you should go check it out) and I can't tell you how inspired I've been since our chat.
For the last few Fridays in January, I am letting a few of my favorite bookstagramers run amok on the blog.
Get ready to be inspired.
Next up is Brittany from The Book Addicts Guide.
You might have seen Brittany, well, around everywhere. She is easily one of the nicest, most informative book bloggers I've encountered. If you haven't joined in her #weeklybookstagram tag, you are missing out on some fun. As if she wasn't already a top contributor in the blogosphere, she recently started her own bookish candle shop. (Hello, Cabeswater candle, my shelves have never smelt better.)
Instagram | Twitter
* How did you get into bookstagram photography?
I always wanted to get into photography but never had a nice camera until my husband surprised me with a DSLR for my birthday a few years ago! I’m not a pro by any means and I’ve never really educated myself on photography so I just kind of wing it based on what I like to see! I only recently really started getting into the idea of making my book pictures better. I really wanted to practice some photography and I absolutely adored those beautiful Instagram feeds that show off some amazing photography so I’ve been slowly working on that myself!
* What do you think makes a good photograph? A great one?
Again, I’m no pro, but for me, lighting can make or break one of my photos. I’ve been having a hard time in the winter because it’s dark when I leave for work and it’s dark when I get home and the lights in my home are terrible. They turn every photo super yellow and that’s really hard for me to edit. I try to take most of my pictures in natural light but I don’t always have that opportunity. I have so many pictures that I end up posting in crappy light and immediately hate them haha.
* Where do your bookstagram ideas come from? (Your Muse, the books themselves, tags, etc.)
Sometimes it’s hard to come up with ideas! I like to post everyday or almost every day -- mostly just because it’s fun! -- and it’s hard to continuously come up with unique photos. If ever I get book mail, that’s always the photo of the day. I used to do a lot of book tags but I haven’t gotten tagged for many lately! I actually started a weekly photo challenge called #weeklybookstagram because I had a really hard time sticking with photo-a-day challenges so that’s at least one of my photos in any given week if not more. Then I choose from current reads or some sort of inspiration that I had that day. Sometimes I have no ideas at all haha!
* Do you have a favorite background set up you love to use in your photos? If not, how do you decide what background each image calls for when you start taking pictures?
I use a plain white background for a lot of my pictures to push focus on the items in the picture and it looks nice and neat (unless I screw up the lighting in which case I struggle to make it look white LOL). There aren’t really any good places in my house to take pictures that have a nice background so I tend to create my own. (My white background is a piece of foam board!)
* Is there such a thing as too much or too little in a good bookstagram photograph?
Definitely! I mean, I don’t know what the answer is to “how much is the right amount” but I think it depends on what you’re taking a picture of. Sometimes I’ll surround a book by tons of swag and other series-related merch. Other times it’s just a book and one other item or just the book itself.
* Aside from a watermark label, how often do you cheat and use the computer to edit your images?
I don’t always use the computer but I DO always edit every photo with Instagram’s tools or an outside app like Aviary. If I use my DSLR camera and not my phone, sometimes I’ll edit on the computer before transferring over. I don’t think it’s cheating, though! I think that’s part of photography. You can only do so much to take the perfect picture and you have the editing skills (or practice them) to help perfect that picture even more.
* What is the number one “wrong” technical thing you see people doing when taking photos? How do you think they can fix that to improve the quality of their photographs?
I wouldn’t call it “wrong” but like I said before, lighting is key for me! Natural lighting is always best, especially if you’re a beginner/novice photographer. Natural lighting will set you up for the best possible picture. I would also say if you’re trying to be creative with your photos and your goal really is to set up the perfect picture, never take the photo in the Instagram app! I take TONS of pictures from different angles, flash on/off, different lighting , etc and then pick the best one from the bunch to post.
* What device do you use to take your photographs with? (phone/camera?)
I try to plan time during the weekends (in the winter when it’s dark, anyway) to take some photos and use my DSLR camera. The clarity is just so much better and the pictures turn out much sharper! The problem is that there’s no desktop app for Instagram so I literally have to pop out my memory card, load pictures onto my computer, email them to myself, and then save them on my phone to use on Instagram. It’s worth it if I have the time but when I’m in a hurry or don’t feel like doing that process, I just use my phone. I can still take some nice pictures but they don’t normally turn out AS well.
* Why do you think you will continue bookstagraming in the future? Do you have any goals for yourself?
I think we all love taking pictures of our books, sharing what we’re reading, and coming up with fun themes. It’s another fun way to share something visual and promote our favorite books/current reads/blogs and not have to write up full blog posts or film full YouTube videos for them!
* Any other tips you’d care to share?
I actually did a whole post on my experiences with Instagram and how I use it in a Social Media Support Sunday post. I also have a link-up open for other people to add their Instagram accounts and find other people they might not know yet :)
*Any other bookstagramers we should be following?
@lisa_lostinlit | @crimebythebook | @ursula_uriarte | @myriadinklings | @abookishloveaffair | @blueeyedbiblio
Oh gosh, just so many more but I don’t really keep track so it’s hard to find them in my list of hundreds that I follow haha!
Don't miss my last Q&A session with Crini from All About Books (Friday, January 29th, 2016.)
Feeling inspired? Feeling better about your own work? I hope so, now get out there and take some bookish photos. If you have an bookish Instagram account, leave your link in the comments below, we'd love to take a look.
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