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FLYTIP: Fave Book Photos + Bookstagram Advice

Today I’ll be sharing 5-10 of my favorite bookstagram photos. This is part of FLYLēF’s FLYTIP feature. (You can view the full FLYTIP schedule). This is the perfect prompt, because it follows up my two week series of How to Start a Bookstagram Part 1 and Part 2. So now you can see some of my favorite photos and the story behind them.


Christmas Tree Cookie PhotoFirst off, you can find me on Instagram @utopia.state.of.mind, which is where I’ve been posting every day for about a couple months now? It seems like longer. I decided to pick a favorite photo from each month. This is first one is from December, when I started posting regularly. I cannot remember if I was already doing one a day, but it must have been close.

I love this post because, even though it has no books, it has Christmas Cookies I made, as well as fresh berry flowers. I also cannot get over how much this looks like a little forest of cookies. Also I’m pretty proud that this is one of my first photos because I do not think of myself as a very artistic person. But I am so pleased with how this photo turned out.


Photo of the Vegetarian by Han Kang Photo of the Diabolic by S J KincaidThese are my photos form January but I picked two for a very specific reason. If you notice carefully, they are from the same photo shoot location. I took the one on the left before it snowed, and days later the one on the right. Isn’t that funny? Anyway, it just goes to show how different the same locations look like depending on the season. Consider this your reminder to always look at the locations via seasons. You’d be surprised how different they look. The photos are also pretty similar, but the fall colors really bring out the first book, the left one, and the snow makes the second cover even more striking!


Book StarFebruary was a strange month, and a lot of the photos from February were in my set up at home. So they look very similar, but this one I took on vacation in Switzerland and I had to break the spine for it. That being said, I am IN LOVE with this photo. Everything just worked. The lighting, the pages. Apparently this is so bad for the camera lens, to see right into the sun. But this is one example of seeing, in my mind, a photo and making it happen. It’s so rare that these just work, but this one did. It made me so happy to have a helper, who would help me imagine this out, but ultimately this is the photo I ended up taking. It’s a lesson to follow your own gut sometimes and believe in yourself.


Books and BookmarksNow this picture from March just sort of happened. I took it totally on a whim, when trying out other things, but ended up loving it. I use it sometimes, when I enter into rep searches. At first, I didn’t like the overwhelming black from the Leigh Bardugo book. I am not entirely sure how I feel about it.  I feel divided on this issue. On the one hand, it would be more cohesive together without it. Yet at the same time I am so dedicated to things that feel off. By that I mean little things about the picture that can clash. Like the angle. I am in love, artistic taste wise, with the things that stand out, that feel a little wrong, that don’t feel perfect. They stick with me. It’s those touches, those careful accidents that stay with me.


April Book PhotoThis is just another example of what I was talking about. I was feeling really bad about my Sock Sunday posts and that they were looking too predictable. So I decided to turn it around. Literally. I sat on a very precarious table and took this shot from above. Here you can see that I am on my tip toes and I’ve used the red of my socks to offset the colors of the book. Here’s another example where I used a red filter on it as well. This made the red brighter, the white warmer, and the socks stand out a little more. So while I needed some help from editing, the picture turned out a lot better than I ever expected. Sometimes it helps to shift perspectives, get on the floor, get above, move everywhere and just take pictures.



May Instagram PostI think my best advice from May is to get some bookmarks or things that say the name of your brand. In this instance I have this one bookmark that has my Instagram handle on it. Not only does this ‘watermark’ your photos in that way, but it also helps publicize your own brand at the same time. This bookmark is a constant companion on mine and it pops up all the time on my feed. There were some other photos where I’ve used it. Because of this I have always now thought of unique ways to incorporate my Instagram/blog handle in photos. It’s a work in progress, but something to definitely think about. It isn’t a huge cost investment, but I think it makes a huge difference. And it feels good. The same goes for my business cards.


Six of Crows Picture The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night TIme Picture It was actually impossible to pick favorite photos from the last months and June is no exception. I find that by now I am learning better how to get the photos I like. Because of that, it’s harder to find photos that are my favorite, because so many of them I love. My biggest advice for June is playing around and trying new things. In the Six of Crows photo I really wanted to play around with shadows and lighting. This has been Mirror Instagram Picturesomething I have done a lot with lately and have always enjoyed what has come up with it. But what made the biggest difference here was the use of the leaves. Normally they were just the plain book and light from the window, but here the leaves just give it something more. With the orange book photo, I saw an opportunity in my yard and just took it. This was one of my backlisted photos from when I was visiting home, and not only was I able to hide the library markings, but I loved the texture. I have been trying to play more with texture because it has such potential for shadows. Additionally, and finally, we have my mirror photos. This is the first one I took and I love it. I didn’t think I could pull it off, but I was able to do it really well here and to show the book spines and also the parts of my shelf. This was a great way that my camera really really pulled through for me in a way I am not sure if my phone would have.


You're Welcome Universe Photo Rooftops of Tehran PhotoMy biggest advice here is to take your time and have a library or repository of photos. These were two I had taken from home, but were finally able to use schedule wise. These just came from taking opportunities with the setting and then storing the photos on my computer. Take your time. Go out with smaller batches and spend a lot of time walking around. Inspiration takes time, so you should carve out the time for it. You won’t regret it and by taking many shots you’ll have such a wealth of photos. If you’re posting frequently you can use them from the same shoot and of the same book because people probably won’t remember. So that’s also what I do when I have a few from one shoot that I am in love with.


Uprooted PhotoLibrary of Fates PhotoAnd finally August. I know I said in my previous posts to keep dried flowers from the fresh ones you bought, but I cannot stress that enough. This has produced some gorgeous photos as a result. I am always in love with how the colors change and how you can use them in such great ways. Seriously. They are my favorite prop and you should definitely get on it if you haven’t already.

Well that wraps up my favorite photos so far of my Instagram career. If you’re not following, make sure to go and do that. Not only because I love my photos, but because I do giveaways there and you can always get an extra entry if you follow there for my blog giveaways. It makes sense in the long term.


What are your fave Instagram tips?

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17 thoughts on “FLYTIP: Fave Book Photos + Bookstagram Advice

  1. I love how unique your pictures are—they don’t follow the typical Bookstagram “formula.” And the idea about bookmarks with your brand is a fantastic one. I should look into something like that. Somehow I wasn’t following you before, but I’ve fixed that now!

  2. You have an amazing IG feed! I love your angles and perspectives. The one with the mirror–oh that one rocks! Thank you for joining me this week. =)

  3. I love every one of your photo in this blog, I can’t really decide on one and I love love just how you also give advice on how to try different angles and what to do with it. I think Instagram is a great tool to really find your artistic self and explore with different angles. Plus who doesn’t love just taking pictures of books all day?

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