Good morning, book pups! Today we want to talk about our new(ish) hobby … BOOKSTAGRAM. Bookstagram props, to be precise.
QOTD: Do you use Bookstagram?
Back in May, after two months of crazy-ass distance learning with a kindergartener, I decided (and Crystal wholeheartedly agreed) that the ABC Mom wasn’t the path for us at the moment. Books were our first love and, though our original brand had become too stuffy, we still wanted to share our love of books with others. So, I started playing around with my Nikon D200 and my smartphone, and found out that Bookstagram wasn’t as difficult as I’d always made it out to be. With a few well-placed props, a pretty book cover, and a simple editing app, I was able to create some book photos that weren’t too shabby (we’ll talk more about editing another day).
So, for all the newbie Bookstagrammers or ones looking to spice up their photos a bit, here is our ultimate list of Bookstagram props.
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This is such an inexpensive prop, for those (like me!) who are on a budget. I found these on Amazon for less than $10 for a package of 84 pieces! I love all the colors you get and they’ve really helped to add that extra splash of color to my Bookstagram posts (if you know me, you know I am fairly obsessed with color!)
Oh yes! These are an absolute must-have when it comes to Bookstagram! And they’re another inexpensive prop at under $10 (or free if you already have a Scrabble game!) I’ve used them to write out things like “book review” or “bookstagram”. You could even use them to spell out a favorite character’s name or the genre that your book falls into. The possibilities are pretty limitless with this prop. It’s definitely one I recommend adding to your prop vault 😉
Fake/Real Flowers and Leaves
Since starting Bookstagram, I seem to have an eye for finding fake flowers that I absolutely have to add to my prop vault. My favorites include the sunflowers I’ve used in quite a few photos, as well as my string of ivy leaves and natural autumn-colored leaves that I recently purchased. I’ve snipped flowers off the stems and left them on … I think it’s all a matter of personal preference how you use them. Again, this adds an extra splash of color and helps to fill in the negative space in the photo. I find most of my fake flowers and leaves at Walmart for right around $3-5 each. Inexpensive and versatile.
There are plenty of Bookstagrammers who regularly feature their pets in photos, one of my favorites being @readingwithremy While I’m not a cat person (they’re anti-social demon spawn), I suppose we could add your cat to this list, as well. I am still holding out hope that Miss Lucy will settle down in the very near future and allow herself to be photographed for book pics. If that falls through, I’ve heard of people using plenty of food bribes to get their furbabies to pose.
We started our Bookstagram account in May, so we’ve taken full advantage of the beautiful summer landscape as often as we could! I also use my front porch as the backdrop for many of my photos so we’ll see what happens when winter comes crashing down on us. I suppose snow photos can be just as pretty.
One of my favorite ways to use nature in my photos is with my neighbor’s tree. I’ve held a book up in front of her tree (catching the gorgeous leaves in the background like this photo) and even tucked some books in between the branches. Another great way to use nature is by holding a book up to the sky (so you have clouds in the background), with a river as the backdrop or even in front of a sunset (too many pesky houses in my way to do this one but it’s on my to-do list).
Other books are probably the most accessible Bookstagram props you’ll find to make your photos really stand out. I like to choose books in the same series, same genre, or even an array of different colored ones. It all depends on the photo and what you’re trying to highlight.
These are so much fun to use as Bookstagram props! You can find Funkos for almost any fandom – HP, Doctor Who, and a number of others. They add an extra little personality to your photos and I’ve seen Bookstagrammers who collect them like crazy! We’re talking TONS! I don’t have the shelf space for them but I’d definitely like to purchase a few in the near future (I had Harry and Ron, but the little minions made them disappear … seriously, where did they go??)
Coffee or Tea
One of my new favorite hashtags is #coffeeandcurrently reading. While I am not able to do the pretty coffee/latte designs like this photo, I always enjoy sticking a cup into my own. Plus, once you’re done with the photo, you have a cup of coffee waiting for you! Bookstagram prop? ✔️ Caffeine? ✔️ Win-win.
I love hashtags like #shelfiesunday and #bookshelfie. So many of the photos I find have created my own bookshelf goals. And they’re perfect as props because you already have them! No need to go out and buy a new prop. Because of my previous Kindle obsession (we’re talking 4K+ books), my physical library needs some work but I look forward to the day when I have more than one shelf lined up along a wall and can take my own gorgeous shelfie photos.
I have used shorts (books coming out of pockets are always fun!), sandals, a sweatshirt, a shawl, and even my 6-year-old’s cowboy boots. Again, inexpensive props (you already have the clothes because last I checked, it was frowned upon to go out in public naked). Use what you have 😉
Bookish (or any!) Candles
Candles make amazing Bookstagram props. You can coordinate them by color with your books or purchase bookish-themed ones that are named after your favorite characters. I prefer soy candles, as they are safer to have around my little minions, and you can even find fun soy candles (like these!) that have surprises in them.
Bookmarks are another thing that booklovers enjoy collecting. You can purchase basic ones at places like Walmart or Target, find them on Amazon, or buy personalized ones from any number of Etsy sellers on Bookstagram. I’ve even started printing my own (with the help of Canva, a Freepik graphic subscription, and my handy laminator). If you review ARCs for authors, many times they will stick bookmarks and other fun swag in with the book when it’s mailed to you. I have ones from many of my favorite authors and it’s just another way I can help to promote their books.
I have seen these all over the place on Bookstagram. There are a few options here – either purchase them from places like Amazon (I have my eye on these ones!) or if you’re handy with a chainsaw and have plenty of trees around you, you can cut your own (I had my Dad cut the one in this photo). If you cut your own, I think there’s probably a sealer or something you should put on it or the outer bark tends to separate as the wood dries out.
Bed/Sofa or Other Piece of Furniture
Do you have a pretty comforter and pillow set on your bed? Maybe a cozy reading chair with a knitted afghan on it? Use it as a photo background! I took this photo shortly after purchasing my gorgeous bedding set. For about a week or so, I made my bed up all pretty every day. Then Miss Lucy ripped one button off a pillow. Then another. And one of my little pillows went missing. Suddenly, my bed is back to the crazy mess it always was. Oh well. Still makes a gorgeous photo when it’s all put together 😉
Booksleeves are a gorgeous addition to any photo and are very helpful for those who like to carry a paperback or hardcover with them at all times. I tend to tuck a paperback into a gallon Ziploc baggie and throw it in my lunchbox, but that’s just me. There are plenty of Etsy sellers that you can find on Bookstagram if you’re looking to purchase a book cozy like this one.
Another of my favorite hashtags has always been #socksunday and, though I don’t own any photo-worthy socks yet, I am always on the lookout for ones that would look great with books! There are ones catered specifically to characters and ones that are just plain gorgeous. As we move into cooler weather and I buy socks to go with my boots, I’ll be keeping an eye out for ones that can accompany book photos.
While we use many of the props on this list, they are in no way required to have a gorgeous Bookstagram account. Do you live by the water? Hold your book up in front of the beach on a beautiful day. For that matter, step right outside your door and hold your book up to the sky (I’ve done this plenty of times!) Books and sunsets are particularly gorgeous (though there are too many houses in my way so I can’t step out my door and accomplish this … oh well, give it time!). You can choose to use all of these props or none at all. Each Bookstagrammer is unique, making each account unique.
Bookstagram is what you make it. As many of us know, books can get expensive. You can choose to spend as little or as much on props as you like … just take your time and give your photos the attention they deserve.
Do you have any favorite go-to props for book photos?
Do you use any of these Bookstagram props in your photos? Which ones are your favorites? Or are your favorites not on this list? Let us know in the comments or feel free to DM us on Bookstagram to chat!