This post is a part of a blog mini series on the topic of bookstagram.
PREVIOUSLY. . .
Today is all about PROPS! I’m pretty sure this is one of the ones people probably care more about. I mean, picking a book and finding a background are easy, right? But what about the props?!
What are Props?
These are any items you include in your image that aren’t the book or the background (at least as far as my definition goes). The list is endless for what you might use but popular props include:
- funko pop figures
- book swag
- art prints
I’ve only mentioned a few that I see often enough but props are whatever you want to add to your picture.
Do I Need Props?
Absolutely not! Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. If you like props, use props! If you don’t like props, don’t use props! It’s that simple.
I think there’s an idea that you need to have certain kinds of props to have a pretty picture which is simply not true. I see gorgeous minimalist photos all the time, pictures with nature backgrounds that let the book speak for itself. You don’t need props. But don’t feel bad about using them either. It’s all up to you.
So by now you’ve figured out the book and the background of your picture. Prop selection is similar in that you might want to consider the book or your theme if you have one. If you’re struggling to think of the kinds of props you want to use, consider:
- Colors. Keep to the basics. What colors are in your book cover art? Or your background? What colors do you want to show off?
- Book-related. Are there items that remind you of the book? Use them! They don’t have to be perfect but don’t ignore that gut feeling that that prop makes you think of [book].
- I like the way it looks. See something that just looks cool? Grab it and put it in your picture!
This is the perfect time to use any of that book swag you might have for a certain title!
In my photos, my props are my theme. I don’t use a consistent background but instead use certain props to convey my woodsy theme. And where did I find those props?
Around the House
Start with what’s nearby. Raid your house for anything you like or think would look good. I recommend looking through storage stuff as well. You never know what you’re going to find. Anything from a cup in the cupboard to a plate or decorative bowl in the kitchen, maybe throw blanket or little decorative figure, what you have on hand is going to be your best bet starting off.
You don’t need to buy bookstagram props.
Bookmarks + Book Swag
Did you ever consider using your bookmark as a prop? No? Perfect time to start! Bookmarks offer a personal touch because it’s what you’re using to mark your place in a story. Whether it’s an actual bookmark, a napkin, a scrap of paper, whatever it may be, talk about it!
Have any bookish swag lying around, maybe from a subscription box or pre-order incentive? Maybe something you’ve made yourself? Show it off!
Who said you only need to use just one book? Other books can be great accents to help make your feature book shine! Build a throne of books, make a stack, you’re only limited by your imagination.
Check your cupboard! I bet you have SOMETHING that you use for drinks. Snap a photo with your morning coffee or tea.
A stapler and paperclips really gives it the whole back-to-school vibe, right? Rock it! Grab a notebook and throw it in. Colored pencils and pens add a nice accent.
Sweaters and fun t-shirts make great props (as well as backdrops). Show off your favorite sweatshirt or even a pair of jeans. And don’t forget socks for #SockSunday!
Have a sibling? Know your old toys are boxed up in a closet somewhere? Time to dig them out! They can add the perfect level of whimsify.
Add a touch of green with a leafy potted plant or find a few flowers for a splash of color! Plants can go with just about any book and will always look great!
Have a few candles lying around? They don’t have to be “bookish” candles, you know. Any candle will do. Light it up or leave it cold!
Add a little bling to your bookish photo! Jewelry adds that extra sparkle to catch the eye.
YOU can be a prop. Hide behind a book, show off your latest pair of fun socks, stir a cup of tea, get creative!
Head on outside and you never know what you’ll find! Take advantage of a park bench or a porch swing. Find a cool rock? Prop a book on it and snap away! Nature can be a great place to find inspiration as well as offers all sorts of interesting pictures for the taking. Use it to your advantage! It’s free, after all!
Okay, But I Want to Buy Props
No worries, if you want to buy specific props for your bookstagram pictures, let’s be smart about it. Hit up your local Dollar Store for little decorations, fake flowers, colored candles, and whatever else you come across. Goodwill and other similar stores are also great for finding all sorts of prop potential. You can even check out garage/yard sales when you hear about them because there’s a treasure trove of stuff out there you could use. Craft stores also are great resources but can be expensive so watch for sales, especially after certain holidays when the decorations are marked down.
Things to consider
Pick props that you can use with multiple books. Don’t buy something to use with just one picture or it’s a waste for you.
Choose props that are functional. Even if that function is as a decoration, I highly recommend buying items that double as something else so your money is put to good use.
DON’T STRESS. Props are not the end-all of bookstagramming and you don’t even need them! So don’t worry about whether you have the “right” prop or not.