People use Instagram for a number of things, but we all use it for a main purpose: posting (and hearting) pictures. Food, cats, family, concerts, sunsets--the possibilities are endless. But a lot of the accounts I follow on Instagram, and what I like to post most, have something to do with books.
|For the Throne of Glass photo I had some fun with glass and a hammer.|
In elementary school, I wanted to be an artist. Fridays were art days, and I loved messing with paints and creating whatever we created. I took an art class in middle school and one in high school, but that was it. I'm a writing major in college, so art classes aren't something I'm really taking. And then I started to really get into taking pictures on Instagram, and I was reminded of my love of art again.
|Like the Vengeance Road photo above, All We Have is Now utilizes a new favorite medium: chalk.|
Planning the PictureFirst and foremost, I come up with an idea. (I even have plans for books I don't even have yet or will be reading in the near future.) I think of what I could do with the picture, and I try to match the book somehow. Once I have an idea (usually beginning with a book), I plan the schematics: where I'll take the picture and what "equipment" I'll need.
Sometimes putting together a photo doesn't require much preparation. But sometimes I do something a little crazy and preparation is necessary.
|For this photo I put gold glitter paint on my hands--I didn't have gold paint--but it didn't show well, and I used |
my forearm as a test area to see how glitter on the black and white paint would work (I didn't use it).
|I painted my hand white as a base, then used black metal paint (out of regular black paint) |
to blend with the white and try to make my hand look somewhat ghostly.
|The paints I used for preparations, and the stool--and risers/things to lean on--|
I put my iPhone on for some pictures, aka my camera stand.
I take a lot of pictures. I might like the first shot, but I want to make sure I get enough angles to work with in edits and that this is what I want the photo to be. I usually have to take photos myself, so I'll set up my phone on something and set it to a forward-facing camera with a square photo and a ten second timer. Sometimes I'll move around if the lighting is bad (I tend to get the best lighting and photo quality outside, but I live in Washington, so we'll see how long these outdoor photos last), or I'll move the camera closer or farther away or to the right if that works better. Once I have a few pictures that I like and feel like I've taken enough photos, I move on to the next step.
Editing, Editing, Editing
I might take more time editing pictures than I do actually taking them. I can take FOREVER just choosing between how highlighted or contrasted I want the photo to be. Sometimes I go back and forth with what photo I want, or what filters I like on Instagram (I only use what edits Instagram has), and I'll take screenshots so I can compare photos better outside the app.
|These are just filters--I go back and forth on lux and brightness and shadows and everything--|
except for the right photo--that's almost my final product, but with no blur.
The Final Product
All this was taken in one shot. With my iPhone 5c propped on the stool with all the settings set and the timer ticking down, I held the book with my right, gold-glittered hand, then tried to make my left and ghostly hand have a reaching-in effect. All edits were done on Instagram, and I ended up blurring the ghost hand to give it a more ghostly look.
I've seen people post such gorgeous photos of books on Instagram with nothing but a white background, and I wonder how they do that because there is not one spot in my house that is white enough to do that. (I've tried to use my mother's sheet, which just thrills her, especially when I bring it outside.) Really, I just like to have fun, and it's my chance to be artsy, which I love. Plus, it's BOOKS. Does it get much better than this? (If I could draw, then yes, possibly.)
If you post pretty pictures of books on your Instagram, leave your username in the comments! And if you'd like to follow me and see more of my bookish photos, I'm @beautyandthebookshelf.
Do you go through a process when posting photos to Instagram?