So, the other day I happened to ask some blogging buddies of mine: “how do you get those really cool aerial shots of your latest read on Instagram?”
The answers ranged from “I have no idea – it’s luck” (count me in with that one) to “I don’t really know how to use Instagram”.
Now, I’m no expert, but I figured if we pooled our resources, we’d be able to put something together to help each other. This blog post is the result.
Take great photos
I spent some time seeking out photos on Instagram that caught my eye, and then tried to emulate them. Here are some of the techniques I discovered.
As with any photography, the key here is the placement of items within the frame. Remember, photography is based on a rule of thirds, so divide up your frame into a grid and practice your composition this way. Try moving the objects around until you find the perfect balance.
Essentially, "flat lay" means holding your camera above the subject matter so that the overall effect appears flat.
I’m getting quite good at these when taking photos of inanimate objects, but I got stuck when trying to get a photograph of me reading a book, for instance.
Blogger Llainy Swanson of Always Reading came to the rescue with these helpful tips:
Props are great way to add context to your photographs, as well as add some colour and contrast to your posts. Some ideas for props include:
Next time you’re out shopping, keep an eye out for bargains in second-hand shops or, if you're out on a walk look for interesting pebbles or shells to collect – you never know what cheap props you might find that’ll come in handy!
You want to get your audience into the habit of seeing something from you on a regular basis. For me, given I’m currently living in Brisbane, I find posting at 5pm means I catch anyone on my home turf heading home on the evening commute, or if they’re in the UK, they’re checking their Instagram feed first thing in the morning before work.
Hashtags are how I connect with people during and outside of those time zones…
The single biggest way to reach people and connect. As blogger Chelsea Humphrey of The Suspense is Killing Me says: "Hashtags will cause others who are searching for those terms to find your pictures".
Don’t put the hashtags in your original post though, as it can appear cluttered. Instead, post your photo and then add a comment that includes your hashtags.
On book reviews and blogging:
#bookstagram #bookstagramfeature #book #bibliophile #booklover #bookaddict #bookworm #booknerd #alwaysreading #bookish #bookobsessed #fortheloveofbooks #bookaholic #bookgeek #bookblogger #readersofinstagram #booksofinstagram #amreading #currentlyreading #booktag #justread #bookstack
For my writing buddies and bloggers - our favourite genre, crime fiction!
#fiction #books #bookstagram #bookshelf #booksofinstagram
#writer #writing #author #amwriting #newrelease #ebooks
#GreatReads #WhatToRead #EpicReads #kindle #bestseller
#crimefiction #thriller #suspense #crime #readcrimefiction #suspense #mystery
I hope the above goes some way to demystifying Instagram for you. Feel free share your own tips and tricks in the comments below!
Thanks to the following bloggers for sharing their tips and encouraging me to write this blog post:
Always Reading (Instagram: @always_reading)
Bloomin' Brilliant Books (Instagram: @ab_reads)
Chapter In My Life (Instagram: @sharonbairden)
Crime Book Junkie (Instagram: @crimebookjunkie)
My Reading Corner (Instagram: @karendenise023)
Reading for Pleasure (Instagram: @beve01)
The Suspense Is Thrilling Me (Instagram: @suspensethrill)
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