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How to Start a Bookstagram Pt.1

Today I thought I’d walk you through the entire process of my book photo sessions. I always wondered how people took their photos and their secrets. I am by NO MEANS an expert. But I have figured out a few tips that make my life a ton easier. (here’s my instagram if you’re like, WHO IS THIS PERSON)


Let’s begin with props. I am not an elaborate instagrammer. I don’t have tons of colorful props or stars or mandalas or flowers or anything. And this brings me to my first soul searching question: what is your style. For me, my style consists of close up shots with a unique angle. I do have a few props I use a lot: flowers, blankets, and pinecones.

Dried rose petals at its finest


I love using fresh flowers, but the challenge with them is always picking a flower that will go with your books. So what I do is just pick a flower I love and come home to pair it with books, not the other way around. I don’t have enough of a flower selection I can have a specific one, or color, in mind. Now when I am done with them, I dry the flower petals out and keep them in bins for future photos. I have three bins so far: red rose petals, yellow rose petals, and small petals. I don’t seem to be able to find reasonably priced fake flowers here in Germany. So this is the way I make my flowers count for the most.

Here I am using these slightly older flowers and you can see my super comfy blanket in the back!


Now I used to use a spare white bed sheet with a pattern on it, but now I’m in favor of this super comfy and soft white blanket I got on Amazon. For me, I wanted there to be a texture to the fabric. I also prefer warm layouts, so this cream colored blanket is perfect. I also sleep with it because its amazingly soft and fun. So it’s also functional – take that!

Insert fake pinecones and Christmas decor


Sometimes I use other props like fake pinecones, mugs of tea, bookmarks, etc. It’s all about steadily collecting things that don’t take up too much space, but are functional. Space is a huge limiting factor for me. I can’t have a separate space or even bins to hold things. I have one small bookshelf I can use for backgrounds, but anything I ‘set up’ needs to be taken down the same day. I am lazy and don’t have the time to just set up and break down. I break out the pinecones when it is winter and the bookmarks especially with open book layouts.

Here is what I was referring to as bookmarks + open book layout. This a personal favorite of mine


I LOVE taking photos outside. For this you need to plan out a huge chunk of time for inspiration. I usually go to our local garden, or backyard, depending on where I am. In Munich there’s this great botanical garden with a variety of layouts and flowers. So this is perfect in Spring and Summer when the flowers are blooming. I also loved taking photos of it in fall and winter when there was snow and less people. You can definitely make this work. Also when I’ve gone on trips I usually take a book or two in my backpack where I can whip it out if I am particularly inspired.

I also take photos when I am at home because we have a) lots of fake flowers left over from my wedding and b) a larger backyard. I have none – it’s a balcony that will not host any living plants. I have tried. So when I am home I usually take books out from the library or use the books in my room for photo shoots.

Sneaky Pic of more of me than my head

Photo Shoots & Camera

What I take with me: lots of books, a helpful hand, and my camera. I find I have a bunch of books I choose based on what I want to take photos of and look for shots that way. That way I can think of contrasting colors or similar colors as I walk around. I love taking someone along to help brainstorm shots, chat, and take fun behind the scene photos. I also take my Camera – which isn’t mine, don’t tell! It’s my partners. The camera is a Cannon 650D.

I also recently got a new phone that has been taking some fabulous photos. But when I was buying a new one, it was important for me to pick one that could replace, in theory, the quality of my photos for when I go home alone without this larger camera. I have only done one photo shoot with it so far, but am so happy.

In Conclusion,

I decided to break this up into two posts so it wouldn’t be so long! Make sure to come back next week for the next one and I’ll discuss editing, your library of photos, style, and posting schedule. So some more fun things and useful tips I knew when I was starting out. Come follow so you can see the rest of the photos and ask questions!


Leave a comment with any questions you want me to answer next time!

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15 thoughts on “How to Start a Bookstagram Pt.1

  1. Awesome post! These are such useful tips, and your photos look great! πŸ™‚
    I haven’t posted anything on my bookstagram account in months, because I kind of ran out of ideas, and I just felt like it wasn’t working. You’ve definitely inspired me to give it another go though! I love the idea of matching the colour of the flower to the book instead of the other way round, because part of the problem I always had was trying to find props to match a certain book. Doing it the other way round sounds like a much better idea πŸ™‚

  2. I also love using my stuffed animals, music, flute, and blankets. i don’t take much time usually right now anyway, but I always admire the gorgeous photos others take.

  3. These are such useful suggestions, Lili! I find I love using real flowers, too. But, I do see the convenience in having everlasting faux flowers.

  4. oh how funny I just finished drafting my own post about bookstagram which I scheduled for next week! LOTSA great information here! I’m still learning. My post is actually about how I didn’t know what I was doing. I’ll try some of your ideas πŸ™‚

  5. Props are the key! Even something simple like flowers or a pretty blanket can make such a big difference in a photo! Taking photos outside is also very smart because of lighting and I love nature photos!

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