I’m definitely not the best when it comes to Instagram. My photos are average at best and the lighting is hardly ever good. But this year I decided to make more of an effort with the standard of my photos, so I thought I would post about what I use to take my Christmas Bookstagram photos.

To take these, you don’t need to have a proper camera. Some of these were taken on my phone, others on my camera. All you really need are props and good lighting to get your photos to come out well.


Use Wrapping Paper as a Backdrop

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To do this, I used a bit of cardboard and taped wrapping paper to it. It’s easier to use a lighter colour, especially if you struggle when it comes to lighting as it does make a big difference in how bright your photo comes out. This is more of a subtle addition to your pictures, but it works even better when you combine it with the other ideas in this post.

This is a brilliant way to use odd ends of wrapping paper, and you can also use them year after year if you store them in a safe place.


Use Christmas Lights to Decorate

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I love using Christmas lights in my photos. They are a really simple addition but they add a lot of colour to my photos.

This is my favourite photo from all of my Bookstagram shots this year. And all it took were some £7.50 lights from B&Q and my wrapping paper backdrop. It helps to just scatter the lights randomly to get the best look, so I tend to try to get the lights a bit tangled up and then just drop them where I want them. It looks a lot better than carefully placing each individual bulb, especially with lights as bold as these.


Mix Up Your Backdrops

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I like having a range of different photos on my Instagram – not loads with exactly the same backdrop. So it’s a good idea to use trial and error to find different backdrops that you feel work. This one wasn’t excellent, but I blame the lighting for that. For this, I just used a Christmas jumper underneath my book, and again used those bold lights to add more colour. These lights have worked a miracle for me, especially to break up the image when the colour of the book is quite light and so is the backdrop. As I said before, I can’t really use dark backdrops, which is why these lights are so useful!

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Save any gift boxes at Christmas! I’ve got a gold one that I got a No7 set in last year and it is perfect as it is slightly shiny so it helps reflect light. It also has a really nice pattern, so it just works perfectly behind books. For this image, I also added tinsel, which again is another thing that most people will have in with their decorations but it’s an easy way to spruce up those Bookstagram shots!


Work With Different Angles

I’ve never been very adventurous when it comes to angles for my Bookstagram photos. I tend to just take a photo facing straight towards the book and that’s it. But after experimenting lately, I’ve discovered that you can get two almost completely different images just by switching the angle. This seems so simple but I’ve never done it before just because I’ve always liked the look of photos taken from straight above.

I’m really happy with how both of these photos came out, and I feel that they are definitely my best photos this year.


Edit, Edit, Edit

You don’t need to be able to use Photoshop to be good at editing photos. Editing is so important, especially to brighten up the dullest photos and make the colours pop. I actually do the majority of my editing in the Instagram app before I post, just because it is the easiest and it is all in one place.


Let me know if you try any of these! (And send me photos!)

What do you use as props for your Instagram photos?

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