Bookstagram Tips – Part 1

I’ve been part of bookstagram for about 18 months now and still enjoy taking beautiful photos and interacting with the bookish community so I thought it might be time to share a few tips I’ve learned along the way.

You can find me at Scorpio Book Dreams.

Bookstagram Tips


Staging Photos

Choose a Theme

I’ve found it helps to choose a theme for your bookstagram and try to take photos inspired by that. My theme is cluttered and colourful flat lays which is a broad enough theme that I’m rarely restricted when staging photos. But don’t feel like you can’t try new layouts or change your theme entirely. The point is to find a style that suits you.

Here are a few of my favourite feeds, each with a different theme:

We Booking Love It / Hygge, Cosy, Autumnul

Stellette Reads / Rustic, Natural, Filtered

Her Paper World / Cluttered, Muted, Natural

The Garden of Readen / Bright, Fresh, Colourful


Choose a Background

As you can see from my photos, I use a white wooden board background which I find plain enough not to distract from the books and other items. To make mine, I bought a cheap roll of patterned wallpaper and covered a foam board. 

If you have the money, you can buy beautiful backdrops online. You can also use things you already have available, like blankets, rugs, and plain walls and tables.

Bookstagram Tips


Choose a Layout Style

Some accounts mix flat lays with other types of layouts but I generally stick just to flat lays. As you can see I’ve experimented with other layouts though. However, I’ve discovered I prefer flat lays, arranging the items on my background to create something that fits well together. Play around until you find the style that suits you best.


Build a Prop Collection

I have accumulated so much stuff since beginning bookstagram that I have to store it all in a huge box. The items I use most often are fake flowers. I bought most of mine on eBay ridiculously cheap. The more you have the easier it is to bunch them around books. I’m a rep for Good Book Hunting candles so I regularly use coloured candles in my photos and match them to book covers.

Other items I’ve collected are pine cones from my auntie’s house, conkers from our wood, and shells from the beach. I’ve also bought two fake daggers on holiday, and cheap items from places such as Poundland and Home Bargains. Ebay is great for items like peacock feathers, strings of pearls, and other craft items.

Don’t feel you have to spend a lot of money though. Most of my items were free or less than a £1. Make sure you look round your house and find items you can use like scarves, trinket boxes, candles etc.


Shoot In Natural Light

Shooting in natural light ensures you take the best photo possible as it prevents shadows from spoiling your picture. You can easily see the difference in the two photos above.


I hope these tips have given you some useful ideas for creating a bookstagram account and staging photos. My next post in the series will be looking at the practical side of bookstagram and some tips I’ve picked up to gain new followers.

8 Comments

    1. scorpiobookdreams

      August 21, 2018 at 12:35 AM

      Thank you so much for saying that!

  1. Aj @ Read All The Things!

    August 21, 2018 at 4:02 PM

    Your photos (and tips) are amazing. I need to put more effort into bookstagram. My photos are random messes.
    Aj @ Read All The Things! recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Slump-Busting ClassicsMy Profile

    1. scorpiobookdreams

      August 21, 2018 at 5:25 PM

      Thank you so much! It’s taken a lot of practice to get my photos looking good enough!!

  2. JJ @ This Dark Material

    August 25, 2018 at 8:52 PM

    Great tips and beautiful pictures (as always), Rachael! Looking forward to the next post in your series 🙂

  3. Sophie

    August 26, 2018 at 3:51 PM

    Great advices even if I am unable to stick to one theme 😉 But I know you are right!

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