Instagram: Q&A and Tips From Brittany From The Book Addicts Guide

Instagram has quickly become a favorite past time of mine.

Last time around, we spent some time talking about books and photos with Stacee from Adventures of a Book Junkie (if you missed our Instagram chat, you should go check it out) and I can’t tell you how inspired I’ve been since our talk.

Next up is Brittany from The Book Addicts Guide.

Get ready to be inspired.


Original unedited post originally shared over at Paper Bindings on January 22nd, 2016.

You might have seen Brittany, well, around everywhere. She is easily one of the nicest, most informative book bloggers I’ve encountered. As if she wasn’t already a top contributor in the blogosphere, she started her own bookish candle shop, Novelly Yours. (Hello, Levi’s Pumpkin Mocha Breve, my shelves have never tasted smelled better.)

Instagram | Twitter

* How did you get into bookstagram photography? 

I always wanted to get into photography, but never had a nice camera until my husband surprised me with a DSLR for my birthday a few years ago! I’m not a pro by any means, and I’ve never really educated myself on photography, so I just kind of wing it based on what I like to see! I only recently really started getting into the idea of making my book pictures better. I really wanted to practice some photography, and I absolutely adored those beautiful Instagram feeds that show off some amazing photography so I’ve been slowly working on that myself!

* What do you think makes a good photograph? A great one? 

Again, I’m no pro, but for me, lighting can make or break one of my photos. I’ve been having a hard time in the winter because it’s dark when I leave for work and it’s dark when I get home and the lights in my home are terrible. They turn every photo super yellow and that’s really hard for me to edit. I try to take most of my pictures in natural light but I don’t always have that opportunity. I have so many pictures that I end up posting in crappy light and immediately hate them haha.

* Where do your bookstagram ideas come from? (Your Muse, the books themselves, tags, etc.)

Sometimes it’s hard to come up with ideas! I like to post every day or almost every day — mostly just because it’s fun! — and it’s hard to continuously come up with unique photos. If ever I get book mail, that’s always the photo of the day. I used to do a lot of book tags but I haven’t gotten tagged for many lately! I actually started a weekly photo challenge called #weeklybookstagram because I had a really hard time sticking with photo-a-day challenges so that’s at least one of my photos in any given week if not more. Then I choose from current reads or some sort of inspiration that I had that day. Sometimes I have no ideas at all haha!


* Do you have a favorite background set up you love to use in your photos? If not, how do you decide what background each image calls for when you start taking pictures?

I use a plain white background for a lot of my pictures to push focus on the items in the picture and it looks nice and neat (unless I screw up the lighting in which case I struggle to make it look white LOL). There aren’t really any good places in my house to take pictures that have a nice background so I tend to create my own. (My white background is a piece of foam board!)

* Is there such a thing as too much or too little in a good bookstagram photograph? 

Definitely! I mean, I don’t know what the answer is to “how much is the right amount” but I think it depends on what you’re taking a picture of. Sometimes I’ll surround a book by tons of swag and other series-related merch. Other times it’s just a book and one other item or just the book itself.

* Aside from a watermark label, how often do you cheat and use the computer to edit your images? 

I don’t always use the computer but I DO always edit every photo with Instagram’s tools or an outside app like Aviary. If I use my DSLR camera and not my phone, sometimes I’ll edit on the computer before transferring over. I don’t think it’s cheating, though! I think that’s part of photography. You can only do so much to take the perfect picture and you have the editing skills (or practice them) to help perfect that picture even more.

* What is the number one “wrong” technical thing you see people doing when taking photos? How do you think they can fix that to improve the quality of their photographs?

I wouldn’t call it “wrong” but like I said before, lighting is key for me! Natural lighting is always best, especially if you’re a beginner/novice photographer. Natural lighting will set you up for the best possible picture. I would also say if you’re trying to be creative with your photos and your goal really is to set up the perfect picture, never take the photo in the Instagram app! I take TONS of pictures from different angles, flash on/off, different lighting, etc and then pick the best one from the bunch to post.

View this post on Instagram

I'm so far behind on my photo challenges but I'm positively exhausted! This one was from the 9th so enjoy this photo that I took several days late! ⠀⠀⠀ 🍋⠀⠀⠀ Joey Doesn't Share Food | #squeakybookishlibrary Friends challenge⠀⠀⠀ I'll tell ya, these candles give me the hugest craving for lemon tarts/cake/muffins/dessert whenever I smelled them and I surely wouldn't be sharing any if I had it! ⠀⠀⠀ 🍋⠀⠀⠀ I LOVE that @owlcrate is getting exclusive covers to include in their boxes and this Heartless cover was 100% the reason I needed the November box! I'm so excited to hear they have exclusive covers for the next six months! (I'm not a rep. Just excited!)⠀⠀⠀ 🍋⠀⠀⠀ #heartless #marissameyer #aliceinwonderland #themeltinglibrary #meltinglibrary #novellyyours #owlcrate #books #instabooks #bookstagram #bookphoto #bookphotography #booknerd #bookaddict #booklover #booktography #bookphotochallenge #photochallenge #ya #yalit

A post shared by Brittany S. (@bookaddictsguide) on


* What device do you use to take your photographs with? (phone/camera?)

I try to plan time during the weekends (in the winter when it’s dark, anyway) to take some photos and use my DSLR camera. The clarity is just so much better and the pictures turn out much sharper! The problem is that there’s no desktop app for Instagram so I literally have to pop out my memory card, load pictures onto my computer, email them to myself, and then save them on my phone to use on Instagram. It’s worth it if I have the time but when I’m in a hurry or don’t feel like doing that process, I just use my phone. I can still take some nice pictures but they don’t normally turn out AS well.

* Why do you think you will continue bookstagraming in the future? Do you have any goals for yourself? 

I think we all love taking pictures of our books, sharing what we’re reading, and coming up with fun themes. It’s another fun way to share something visual and promote our favorite books/current reads/blogs and not have to write up full blog posts or film full YouTube videos for them!

* Any other tips you’d care to share?

I actually did a whole post on my experiences with Instagram and how I use it in a Social Media Support Sunday post. I also have a link-up open for other people to add their Instagram accounts and find other people they might not know yet 🙂

*Any other bookstagramers we should be following? 


@lisa_lostinlit | @crimebythebook | @ursula_uriarte | @myriadinklings | @abookishloveaffair | @blueeyedbiblio

Oh gosh, just so many more but I don’t really keep track so it’s hard to find them in my list of hundreds that I follow haha!

Don’t miss my last Q&A session with Crini from All About Books, and if you missed Stacee from Adventures of a Book Junkie take a moment to hop back and visit her session.

Feeling inspired? Feeling better about your own work? I hope so, now get out there and take some photos. If you have an artistic Instagram account, leave your link in the comments below, I’d love to take a look.


Now I have a question for you.

Who are your top 3 favorite Instagramers? (Bookstagramer, artist, inspirationalist, etc.)

3 thoughts on “Instagram: Q&A and Tips From Brittany From The Book Addicts Guide

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