Bookstagram Tips: Props And Themes

Good evening everyone and happy Wednesday! I hope you’re all having a good day and aren’t plagued by your stupid decision not to wear sunblock while at the pool for hours like me. But hey, if you’re being stupid you can bet on getting some sort of punishment for it. There’s no one but myself to blame after all.

ANYWAYS, what we’re all here for is a new blog post right? So let’s stop rambling and jump into a couple of tips I’ve gathered for you guys all relating to bookstagram and how to make your experience over there easier and more fun!

And if you haven’t seen my previous post, I talked all about how I set up, take and edit my pictures for bookstagram – all in one place with a quick video showing you the settings I use for editing, check it out here.

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Props

Let’s just start this off with one of the most talked about things when it comes to bookstagram: props and the number of them that you ‘need’ for your pictures. Which is actually zero (not counting the book(s) you use, of course). You don’t need to use any props if you don’t want to for whatever reason.

But if you do want to use them and are just starting out and can’t afford to spend a ton of money on bookish merch, you can start by using what you already have at home!

srya lord of shadows

Mugs of coffee/tea always make for a great prop, notebooks (I feel like most of us have at least a few we don’t really use to their full potential), flowers (you can get them pretty cheap at the supermarket if you want to) or blankets, scarfs, big sweaters, etc! You might already have more props than you think you do.

Prop Organisation

Now, if you’ve maybe been doing bookstagram for a while and have collected quite a few props it’ll make your life much easier when you have them all in one place. You can grab them when you set up your pictures and you know exactly where they’re supposed to go once you’re done.

I keep my most used ones in a box that I got with some cookies on my desk near my kitchen (which is where I take my pictures) and I just have to grab that one item when I collect everything to take the pictures.

Books = Props

Us bookworms probably have at least a few more books on our shelves and they make for great props too! You can line them up nicely and have them act as a background, place other books on top or just have them peek up on either side of the picture you’re taking.

syra los lm

They also help grab someone’s eye when they stumbled upon your picture! Cait over at paperfury recently shared how she uses other books to draw in more people to her pictures and Cait is killing the bookstagram game, so I feel like this is something we can all learn from her (among many, many other things).

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Themes/Styles

Personally, I love following accounts that have a coherent theme or style to their pictures because I know what kind of pictures to expect from them. Since we’ve already talked about Cait at this point, her account has a very clear theme going on and I love it. I recognize her pictures on my feed without ever having to look at who actually posted.Β  There are a few accounts like that on my feed and I love them all.

srya current theme

But not only is having a coherent theme going to hopefully make your pictures more recognizable – it’ll also make taking pictures easier for you because you already put down the base work to figure out what kind of pictures you want to take. Now all you have to do is place the items you want to include.

Switching Up Themes

Here’s something I realized rather quickly: having a theme can negatively impact your motivation to take pictures.

For example, for a few weeks, I would alternate between uploading a picture that featured orange flowers and one that had white flowers and while it was fun at first, I quickly fell out of love with this particular theme but also didn’t want to take new photos to fit that ongoing theme.

srya two themes

So I switched up my theme again. My pictures are still bright and colorful, but the background is mainly the same and I just play around with different colors for the books and the way I photograph them.

I actually switch up my theme quite regularly – about once a month, I think. And while it would probably be a lot more helpful towards growing my following on Instagram if I stuck to the same theme/style – I switched over to a bookstagram account because I loved taking pictures of my books and sharing my love of them with everyone else.

Grab Your Coffee And Let's Talk!

This post was originally going to be ten tips, but I quickly realized that I was once again talking too much and this post would’ve ended up being close to 2.000 words and I don’t think we have that much time on our hands to read all of them. Instead, I decided to group my tips by category and share an entire post all about picture taking/editing tips next week!

For my fellow bookstagram lovers (whether you post too or love to follow bookstagram people) what’s your take on props and/or themes? Do you prefer a set theme or do you like whenever someone posts a variety of different images? Let me know in the comments down below!

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25 thoughts on “Bookstagram Tips: Props And Themes

  1. I think the reason why I suck so hard in this Bookstagram game is because I either think that I DON’T own enough props to catch the eye or that my layout simply sucks. Plus it’s harder for me since I mostly read eBooks and therefore don’t have that “aesthetic” like most of the Bookstagrammers and that is demotivating :/ Do you have any tips for eBookstagrammers like me? πŸ˜€
    Anyways, this post has helped me get motivated at least a bit more! Thanks for that πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I, unfortunately, don’t have much experience with ereaders and taking pictures of them, I’m sorry! I’ve seen maybe a handful of pictures featuring either tablets or ereaders and that’s about it. But the ones I’ve seen would usually treat the ereader like a book itself and just use props around it – maybe that’s something you could try? I’ll try keeping an eye out for ereaders more often and hopefully I’ll be able to make a blog post about it at some point then. ❀

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I’ve kind of been trying to compile a few posts that had ereaders/tablets in them so you could maybe get some inspiration for your own pictures! Here are a few I really liked:

      View this post on Instagram

      "Why did everyone have to ruin the quiet by asking questions? The truth was a disastrous thing," – This Savage Song . . . Good morning β›… So my school starts in 2 days, and I'm going to organize my stuff later (of course, I'm going to include my book in it, so yeah). . . . This is day 21 of the Bookstagram Monthly Challenge for July, and apparently, my username matches the prompt I have for today 😁 . . . QOTD: What are your confessions of being a bookworm? πŸ˜‰ . . . Confession #51: I want to be a book hoarder, but for some reason, I think of my book shelf first. Though I'm going to buy a second one soon πŸ“š . . . #BookwormConfession #bgphjulychallenge2018 #bgphfamily #titasofbookstagramersph #TeamLasPinas #TeamWhatDidIMiss #TeamParatingNahuhugot #bookstagramersph

      A post shared by Bea V πŸ’• (@confessionsfromabookaholic) on

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      Happy Thursday y'all! Just got home from work and I wanted to share some amazing Shelflove news with you! 😊 Did you guys know that @shelflovecrate has a limited edition Kingdom of Ash box available on their shop right now? It's going to include twelve items and will be perfect to accompany the epic conclusion to the Throne of Glass series! πŸ’œ And did you guys know that @shelflovecrate now also offers a book only option for those who are not interested in the full box but still want to read the book? You can find both of these options on the pre-orders section of the Shelflove Shop so make sure to check them out! πŸ˜„ Rep codes don't work for these but you can use my code DEMMI10 to subscribe for the full August "Unlikely Heroes" box! It's going to include a special item from @bookmarkd.tattoos and a signed book which sounds absolutely amazing! πŸ˜‰

      A post shared by Demmi, 25 πŸ‡¬πŸ‡· (@demmi_writist) on

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      "And as we swam, or played, or talked, a feeling would come. It was almost like fear, in the way it filled me, rising in my chest. It was almost like tears, in how swiftly it came. But it was neither of those, buoyant where they were heavy, bright where they were dull." . ~Madeline Miller, Song of Achilles . Is there a better description out there for the feeling of falling in love? I don't think there is! 😍😭 GAH this book was gorgeous and SO painful but totally worth it. It has been so long since I've read a Greek classic or a book set in ancient Greece, it made me want to reread all my faves! . πŸ‘‰ What's your favorite tale set in ancient Greece? Give me recs! . Mine is probably the Odyssey, it was so cool to see some overlapping characters in Song of Achilles! . C H A L L E N G E S #ABCsofsummerreads – O is for Ocean The descriptions of the ocean and islands were so lush I totally felt like I was there!😍 . #Beardyscript – Character BFFs Patroclus and Achilles (#BOYFRIENDSFOREVER πŸ˜‚πŸ˜­) . #julybookstagram18 – Love and war I.e. every Greek tragedy? Lol but especially this one! It's the ultimate war! . . . #thesongofachilles #achillesandpatroclus #achilles #greektragedy #bookstagram #booksofinstagram #reading #prettybooks #yareads #igreads #booklove #booknerd #bookhoarder #bookworm #bibliophile

      A post shared by Heather (@hturningpages) on

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  2. OH lovely post, thank you so much for sharing all of these tips! I don’t have a bookstagram and I don’t know if I’ll ever start because, well, time, haha. But I love how simple you make it seem and how some little things can totally be props for pictures, everyday things like mugs. I have tons of mugs hahaha, probably way too much haha πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marie, if you started a bookstagram account my wallet would probably suffer so much more than it already does! We all know your pictures regularly make me super hungry for whatever it is you post or I’ll get bitten by the traveling bug!

      Mugs are so awesome though, so I totally get it! I’m still on a mission to grow my collection but it’s starting to get a bit unreasonable especially since it’s just ME, on my own, using them. Do I really need 10 of them? xD

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Don’t tell me this… it’s making me want to start a bookstagram even more, just to make you get ALL the books hahaha πŸ˜›

        I have been asking myself the same questions – I know I don’t need that many mugs, but… I always want more, somehow πŸ˜›

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I definitely felt like I needed a ton of props when I first started out, which can get a little disheartening. But you’re totally right, it’s the books that matter the most. My biggest issue is the lack of natural lighting in my home – my bedroom has hardly any and almost my whole house is surrounded by trees, which makes it a little difficult. Great tips though!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I know you are right on having a theme but I can’t do it….taking bookstagrams is an outlet to my creativity and I go with the books themes …so changing all the time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, you should always do what works best for YOU. And if having a strict theme doesn’t work for you and your creativity, definitely don’t do it. πŸ™‚ I just noticed that it helped me with taking new pictures and to grow more of a following. But we all prefer different things anyways and there’s an audience out there for all of us. ❀

      Like

    1. Thank you, happy to hear you enjoyed them! ❀

      Hahahaha, same! And sometimes props come in the most unexpected ways too! I was having a bit of a snack a couple of months ago and as I looked at those strawberries covered in white chocolate (I'm totally making myself hungry for them at like 9;40pm right now…) I got this idea for a picture and used those strawberries as props! Whatever works, right?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Your bookstagram looks gorgeous. I love looking at themes of other people’s accounts, cause I don’t own a bookstagram myself… I don’t think I’ll ever be good at taking pictures like yours, it feels much too awkward! :”)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have always wondered on how to best assemble and use some prompts, so this was really helpful! I love it when pictures have a mug of coffee featured, because coffee is life 😍 Also: your theme is so aesthetically pleasing and I love that πŸ’—

    Liked by 1 person

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