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Bookstagram Tips

This is a popular request, that I’ve gotten so often, it would be a sin if I don’t deliver it! I’m no pro at #bookstagram, but I’ll gladly share with you these few tips ♥️

Camera

First thing first, the camera you’re using to take your pictures determines the quality of your images. That doesn’t mean you’ve to buy a standard camera to take pictures for the ‘gram (all I have ever used for bookstagram over the years are my phones) so just invest in a phone with a good camera because images should always be crisp and clear, instead of blurry and grainy.

Natural Light

The best kind of light to use when you’re taking pictures is sunlight, that’s not shrouded. With no reflection, open your curtains, windows and set up where the sunshine has settled brightly on to take your pictures.

Props

Don’t go out of your way to acquire props just for bookstagram. Yes, it’s nice to have all these items, but you can also make do with items in your household. If I want to be extra, I printout quotes and images, but I always make do with my art & craft tools, things I’ve gotten from book subscription boxes and decorations/items all over my home. For my theme, I simply use sheets nobody in my home wants anymore 😊

Arrangement

I get inspiration for my book shoots from every #bookstagrammer or from the journaling Instagrammers and lastly my head, I love simplicity, so I just tweak things around until it looks good to me and I snap away, but it doesn’t end there, I spend a minute fine-tuning the image I pick, and I don’t do anything fancy, all I use to take my pictures is the iOS camera app, and use “Portrait Mode” to take my pictures and also edit the pictures with the inbuilt editing tools that comes with the iOS photos app (p.s. it’s amazing).

It helps when there’s a clear theme to how you post your image, it helps with people knowing without checking your username that it’s your post, but it’s also not a must, you do you and what’s good for you.

Captioning

It’s awesome taking beautiful pictures but don’t let it end there, I hardly post on my feed all the time because when I post I want to be sharing something meaningful, like how I felt about a book etc. what books I’m reading or I’ve gotten recently even an update. So it’s more than just the picture, your caption should also be engaging and allows others to connect with you, your image and thoughts. Also if you use an image that isn’t yours please mention it and tag the owner always. That’s never up for debate.

Hashtags

Using hashtags allows your content to be seen, especially by your target audience, for example, #bookstagramnigeria allows me to see posts by fellow Nigerian Bookstagrammers, but never overdo it with the hashtags and always check that the hashtag you use isn’t banned, because it could cause problems for you. I love using hashtags because it allows me to find more likeminded people and helps with growth and being in a community of likeminded bookstagrammers. To make my post even tidier I post my group of hashtags as a separate comment.

Community

Don’t do bookstagram alone, communicate with others and interact with their posts. Talk to people, we bookish people always need someone to hear our thoughts and opinions about a book and it’s also refreshing connecting with people all over the world and discovering new books, authors and people you never expected yourself to connect with. As long as you’re not offending in any way and show love, you’ll never be alone on bookstagram

Instagram Story

We can’t always post all the time, for example, I’m currently in a book slump, I’m not enjoying reading and can’t seem to finish a book, but that doesn’t mean I’m not active on the ‘gram, I’m always posting and staying in the loop via my Instagram Story, which creates room for more engagement with people in my bookstagram community. So when you’re not posting on your feed use your Story and interact with others.

This article is by Lara Kareem and is originally posted on Naija Book Bae.

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