All About The ‘Gram

After talking with some of my friends, I realized a bookstagram blog post all about my adventures with it might be useful – and I’ll start from the very beginning. My journey started last July, when I suddenly got an urge for a new creative outlet, and to start collecting books again.

My very first few posts looked like this:

Grave Mercy was the first photo I ever took, and it was taken on my desk at work. I was excited, there was a thrill to posting it, and the rush of it was intense. I LOVED the idea of talking about books I’d been reading. The second photo was on my bed, for a book I was excited to read.

They’re not great. But I was just starting out. I was figuring out what worked for me, and what didn’t in terms of hashtags and captions as well. All of it takes time to learn. I had no idea what to do. I was flinging things around and hoping something would stick. I hadn’t quite gotten to the bookstagram aesthetic desire yet.

Once I was comfortable with how to post things, I started expanding a bit more. A lot of what I did was experimental. This is where I about clued into aesthetic accounts but was still doing my own thing. Sometimes I miss these days, just where I took things depending on my mood.

It’s older, but the picture with my kindle remains one of my favorite pictures. It’s so simple, but I love the colors and composition of it. (also, that succulent? is dead. very dead. I have issues keeping plants alive.)

I also featured a series I really loved — again, I was trying out a different background. There was no cohesiveness to it. And yet, I was doing what I loved.

My next step was a bit more experimentation with props. We had a lot of fake flowers, so I started with those. My mother willingly gave me all her old craft supplies for my new adventure. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate her support and delight over each new milestone or new thing I try.

Totally different, but both used flowers. I tried one on a wood background (which I still love!) and one on my desk. (Yes, my desk is purple) Nice, but nothing special honestly. Framing was another issue. Both are centered (like a lot of my photos are) but you can see stems everywhere on them.

My next move was to use more props. As much as possible! At this point I had a great desire to just throw everything I could find into the photo.

Thus, you got things like the above. I don’t mind it, but I feel like there are a lot of items without being cohesive. There are some amazing aesthetic accounts with tons of props that look amazing.

I then went simpler for some photos…

I used an old item, which was my red cloak. And just had three things in the photo total: the cloak, the book and the black velvet background.

From there I got a little better at figuring out things. I wanted to try some different things. I decided I did want to try aesthetic.

I went with hand on book, then all out with flower petals, and learned how to put book covers onto kindles (I mean, I know how to graphic edit, but didn’t think about doing it to kindle books until about then). The second photo was the end of October, so I was still figuring out myself. This was also when I clued into the fact that I maybe needed to think about book budgeting at some point…

I then switched back to the hardwood floor look along with some others.

Right around December I started catching onto theming my bookstagram fully. It resulted in December + January and a more cohesive theme. It was simple, but it helped me figure out what I wanted to do.

This is also where I started to use pinecones more. As we edged into February I went with a consistent look for all my photos using similar items in them all. These were busier, but I felt more cohesive than my earlier busy ones.

I will admit I got bored of it pretty quick. I went through this phase of using lots of pinecones, petals and flowers for a few months. It was nice, but I didn’t love it. For me, they were too similar. I love change and different views, so this wasn’t working for me personally. I like it when other people do it, just not me!

Then, once more…you get a bit of a filter on the first, and the second actually has one too, but it didn’t show up as much. Very different styles, but all sticking with pinecones.

From there I made my way into a new filter.

It’s brighter and has more natural tones to it so I don’t deplete the gorgeous covers. Finally, my most recent iteration is the same filter as above, but instead of using just white backing, I changed it to wood again. (Although I do have shelves and other things mixed in as well)

So, here are my newest additions:

I’m loving the new wood and the filter. I also have pictures of my shelves, so all in all it fits what I want.

The biggest thing I miss about my earliest days is all the fun I had trying new things, and just enjoying taking photos. I got to the point where I was so obsessed with it, that I started to hate it. Now that I’ve backed off and am taking photos I like, or photos that are spontaneous, I’ve started to enjoy myself again.

There is no shame in not having a cohesive theme or whatever seems important. The biggest thing is having fun and sharing your love of books with others. I lost sight of that, but now that is is back, I really, truly, love what I’m doing.

Do you have questions? Suggestions? Comments? Want to talk IG?

17 thoughts on “All About The ‘Gram

  1. This was a really useful post! I feel like I’m still finding my feet on Instagram. I’m happy with my feed in terms of cohesiveness (I always have the same colour background and same filter) but I don’t have many props, so I worry my posts are a bit plain! Will definitely be using some of your posts as inspo

    1. I have many mixed feelings about props, but I don’t think it needs to be anything fancy! I cut back on some props in my most recent photos.

      Thank you so much! I feel like I’m still finding my feet too. It’s always a learning experience.

  2. Love this post! I’ve changed mine so much over the years but feel being minimalist has become more my style. Mostly because when my likes started decreasing I’d change my style but now if I like it then I’m happy. The algorithm has made it almost impossible for me to get the likes I had at the beginning so I’m all about it being about interacting with fellow booklovers.

  3. I always love the use of wood in pictures! And I love that in one of them you can see your bookshelves in the background.

  4. swoons you know I adore your bookstagram feed like…it’s so pretty and all the purple makes me so happy. Also YOU HAVE A PURPLE DESK THEY MAKE PURPLE DESKS?! I WANT A PURPLE DESK NOW. My earlier attempts at bookstagram are…quite something, though I am definitely loving my nature theme I’m not sure how I’ll get it to work during autumn and winter…hopefully I’ll figure out something xD

    I totally get what you mean with changing things up, it’s why I try and take photos using different flowers and plants, to give some variation.Also where do you get the wood backgrounds? Are they off amazon?

    1. I ? you! We made my desk to specific specifications, so yes, I painted it PURPLE.

      Yes! The one I got is contact paper off amazon!

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