Bookstagramming, or posting photos of books on Instagram for the unfamiliar, has become a phenomenon among book lovers worldwide. Although this trend emerged a couple years ago, I joined at the beginning of this year. I must admit that initially I was incredibly hesitant to join the bookstagram community; I didn't have any photography experience and only viewed sharing pictures as another obligation. However, after a few months of posting (with an unwanted hiatus in between), I have come to thoroughly enjoy the bookstagram experience, and I'd encourage anyone interested to give it a shot. Here's why.
1. Learn a new skill
Bookstagram affords any book lover the opportunity, notwithstanding previous experience, to learn a new skill. When I first began book photography, I used my iPhone 4s camera. I quickly learned that my phone captured pictures in terrible quality. Luckily, my mom owned a camera, and I began experimenting with its functons instead. I was pleasantly surprised to find that, with the magic of digital editing, I could create photos I wanted to share. Reflecting on this experience, I noticed growth. I can say with confidence that my photos today triumph those I took at the beginning of January.
2. Discover your aesthetic
While maintaining a theme can be cumbersome at times, it can also serve as a way to find your personal style. My first pictures are somewhat neutrally colored, but I learned later, through photography, that I prefer bold colors, especially blue, to shine. My already blue bedroom simplified the task of seeking for props or other stand-ins to highlight a color in my theme. From observing my home and community for bookstagram purposes, I learned my thematic preferences.
3. Appreciate surroundings
Many bookstagrammers, including myself, enjoy using props alongside books to enhance photos. Often, these props require a large financial investment. I would encourage those who enjoy purchasing these items to continue doing so; do whatever works best for you. I've found, though, that many common household items or things I found lying around on my bookshelf can also serve as props. Seeking items and backgrounds for photos has taught me to appreciate the beauty in my environment.
For instance, I found highlighters and notebooks around my desk, a mini figurine from a friend on my shelf, and a Harry Potter style wand I made with my friends during my eighth grade school year. Of course, these props will vary from person to person; I don't expect everyone to find small statuettes or wands randomly in their homes. Admittedly, I've spent money to buy fairy lights for decorative assets. Ultimately, though, I do think is is quite possible for anyone to find photography-worthy objects in their homes. [The outdoors can offer some picturesque, original surroundings as well!]
4. Interact with other bookworms in a unique way
Upon first launching my blog, I assumed the only way I would interact with other book lovers was specifically through my blog. I was oblivious to the large online communities that existed through social media, especially Instagram, Twitter, and Goodreads. Joining the bookstagram community enabled me to meet other passionate bookworms and discuss great reads through a different media I wasn't used to. As the saying goes, "a picture is worth a thousand words". Sometimes, communicating with photos can deliver a message more effectively than words.
5. Use images for other projects
Bookstagram photos may seem to satisfy only one purpose, however, they can be of extra use for school, post, and other backdrops. I have somewhat recently begun using my bookstagram pictures as backgrounds for my post titles, and I love the consistency and personal touch they bring to my header images. Previously, I have also used my pictures for PowerPoint slides and Twitter banners. Your photos can fulfill any other task you'd like them to.
6. Explore colorful and creative feeds
One of my favorite pastimes is searching Instagram for other bookstagram accounts. Through exploring other social media and my own 'following' list, I've found incredible creators who continually share beautiful photos that brighten my day and my screen. If not for bookstagram, I may never have discovered these stunning photos and original users.
7. It's fun!
Yep, I said it! As cliche as this may sound, I genuinely have fun while taking bookstagram photos. Even though working towards a certain photo idea can appear time-consuming and labor-intensive, it also presents a new way to share your love of books.