Hey guys! I hope you’re all having/about to have a lovely weekend so far. Today I’m going to tell you all about some of my favourite and most used props for bookstagram. Now, although I am guilty of buying lovely things *just* to use in my photos, a LOT of my props are things I already own and have just laying around the house.
A lot of you are seasoned bookstagrammers so probably already do the same/similar things, but I’m hoping the odd newer bookstagrammer might get some ideas here!
Let’s jump straight in!
- Blankets, scarves and hats.
I love adding a bit of texture to my photos and I do this using a fluffy blanket, lighter material scarves in brighter colours (you’ve probably seen my yellow, white and grey and dark blue with silver stars scarves many many times dotted around my bookstagram!) or a thicker, wooly scarf for a cosier look. (As seen in the above photo.) Hats also work nicely if you’ve got the odd fluffy pom pom hat or beret laying around!
2. Flowers and candles.
As you’ve probably noticed by now if you follow me on bookstagram, I LOVE using flowers in my photos and it’s rare to find one of my photos without any flowers! I have bought fresh flowers a lot to use in my photos, but when I was living in southern Spain, they were much harder to come by, so I used the same fake flowers a lot. Fake flowers can be bought very cheaply and used many times, so they’re a very economical yet effective prop!
The same goes for candles. You can buy gorgeous, book themed candles, which I’m perpetually lusting after, or you can throw in a few tealights, instead. Tealights provide that cosy glow and you probably already have a handful in your house/apartment/dwelling already! It’s also fun to use cute candle holders or a little lantern as well-again, check what you already own and try to incorporate that into your photos.
Food is perfect to use as a prop! It gets everyone’s attention and chances are, you have something photogenic you can rustle up in your kitchen!
I’ve used ice cream in little glass pots here, along with a slice of cheesecake on a spatula. Previously I’ve also used chocolate truffles on a heart shaped plate, scattered jelly beans, punnets of assorted berries, slices of watermelon, home made cookies, a gingerbread house and little chocolate hearts scattered around. Basically, anything that looks good! And it is easy to make food look good. Check out Jennifer Windram on bookstagram for food inspiration!
4. Coffee, tea and amazing mugs.
Got a cool, bookish themed mug? Use that! I like using cosy mugs for autumn/winter, and my Starbucks mug collection a lot. If you don’t have any cute mugs, you can take photos from above in a flat lay (seen above), to show the drink. It takes no time at all to make yourself a mug of coffee/tea/hot chocolate and include that in your photos. Bonus points if you experiment with coffee art and/or decorating your hot cocoa with whipped cream and chocolate dusting.
Many bookstagrammers use this as a prop, it just goes so perfectly with a nice book! Although we do have the big coffee/tea divide. I’m personally a coffee addict, but for inspiring tea photos, check out Christine’s bookstagram, Weereader.
5. Coffee table books, magazines and art.
Sometimes it’s nice to include a cute background in your photos, especially if you’re only photographing one book and it gets a little lonely/looks too plain. When this is the case for me, I open one of my coffee table books to an interesting photo/artistic page to use as a background. I’ve also used recipe books open to photos of cakes and other yummy creations as well, along with open pages of colouring books that I’m particularly happy with.
If you don’t own any coffee table books or yours aren’t suitable, try a magazine! Even some adverts can be quite stylish if you’re clever with the positioning of your photo. The photo above includes an open page from a lifestyle magazine that I picked up because it looks cute!
You could also use an art print or poster to the same effect. I have a couple of those cardboardy storage boxes with adorable patterns on, and I’ve used the lids of those before as well, as you can see here:
6. Fashion-clothes, shoes, bags and accessories.
We all own clothes, bags, shoes and other accessories. Experiment with the more photogenic of yours! I like matching a blue dress with blue books or showing pink books coming out of my pink bag. (as seen above) Headphones, earphones, sunglasses and jewellery can all look great, too. I personally love seeing bracelets, rings and watches on a hand/wrist that’s featured flipping through a book as it looks good and is much easier to style! If you wear nail varnish, you can match or contrast that nicely with the colour of the book, too!
7. Household objects, sparklers and other random things.
Well, I’m running out of cute, cohesive points for my listicle, so I’m just going to add all the random other things I like to use in a clump together here!
I’m always wandering around my apartment thinking “hmm I wonder what I could use for my bookstagram photos…?” and I’ve found some interesting things that have been great for photos over the months!
Like a pie dish!
Yep. Don’t ask me how, but I randomly discovered that a large hardback, like Lady Midnight, can fit inside my fancy pie dish! (As in photo above.) This gave it a nice border that I was happy with. Of course I’m not suggesting that you should all go out and buy pie dishes that you can put your books into! My point is that you never know what cool potential prop you already own that might not occur to you at first.
Other objects make more sense of course. Like cushions. I’m a big fan of adding cushions into my photos!
It can be the entire cushion, or just a corner peeping in like above!
One of my new favourite props is… a sparkler! I love these mini handheld sparklers that I bought at Tescos for £1, which I feel add some extra magic to photos.
Annnnd that’s all I can think of for now! I hope some newer bookstagrammers found this useful. I mainly wanted to illustrate how bookstagrammers can create photos with props that can be found around the house without spending a lot of money on more expensive, themed items or merch!
What do you guys like using for props?
“Do you take anything seriously?”
“Not if I can help it. Makes life so tedious.”
– Leigh Bardugo, Siege and Storm.