Getting Started With Aesthetic Instagram Flat Lay Photos

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Have you always wanted to share off your love for books with a gorgeous flat lay? Not sure where to start or what to use to create the beautiful photos you want so much?

>>> Well I’m here to share with you just how you can do that! <<<

I’ve spent years on Instagram drooling over my favorite aesthetic flat lays that feature books. Admiring all of the beautiful work put into these photos and appreciated that each one is a work of art. This appreciation is what ultimately drove me into Instagram in the first place. It’s my favorite social media outlet and book Reviews were something I had dabbled in a long time ago, but when I had the realization that I could combine two of my favorite things into a single past time, I was HOOKED.

>>> But how do I get started??? <<<

The biggest struggle I had in the very beginning was finding a way to create a flat lay look and feel that spoke to the aesthetics that I appreciate the most. I hope that by sharing this journey with you and providing some recommendations for how to start your own flat lays, will get some new Bookstagrammers on the right track to loving what you are able to create and sharing it with others!

What do I need to get started?

It seems like those gorgeous flat lays require a ton of props that will be just too expensive to get on your own. But don’t worry, there’s a really easy way to get a beautiful layout without the huge cost!

First things first: start with taking half a dozen or so books from your bookshelf and open them up right in the middle. Try to avoid any chapter beginning pages and lay them all out in a grid. Think of it like three books wide by three books down. (If this isn’t making much sense, watch the video at the end of this post to see exactly what I’m talking about!)

Once you have a nice assortment of open books laid out, this serves as your background for all your pictures. It’s really that easy to get started!

Then it’s a matter of selecting what kind of things you want to show in the photo you’re working on. Everyone’s style is going to be a little different so I will list out a few recommendations, but ultimately it’s up to YOU to showcase your photos the way you want to.

Nature & Flowers

I like to use props that create a whimsical look and feel with round wood cuts, cherry blossom flowers and eucalyptus leaves. For me, this combination along with my regular cup of coffee creates the aesthetic look that I love so very much, It took me years to get to the point with my Instagram grid that I knew this was the look for me. I change it up a little every now and again, but this is my go-to happy place for all my photos on Instagram.

If you haven’t already determined a brand for your Bookstagram, that would be the best place to start. I’ll be working on another post here soon to help provide some pointers on how to think about your Bookstagram brand and get yourself on the right track if you’re looking for some guidance on how to do that.

You can find these and MORE aesthetic prop ideas in my Lifestyle Photo Props list.

Using Books

There are plenty of accounts on Instagram that I follow who do a really great job of using their own book collection as the sole props for their photos. By grouping them in ways that create a design, lining them up along the edges of the photo, etc. There are lots of ways to use books to create an aesthetic feel to a photo and it doesn’t cost you anything more than what you already own in books.

Lifestyle Photos

If you have even a semi-photogenic home, I highly recommend branding your Instagram by taking photos of what you’re reading around the house. Whether it’s a warmly lit coffee table showcasing your current read, a sunny window sill or even an excursion to your backyard. These are all great ways to create an aesthetic brand for your Bookstagram photos!

Find What Works and Go With It!

No matter what, you want to find a look and feel that speaks to you. When you feel like you’ve found this right fit, you’re more likely to be excited to work on your photos and love what you’re doing. For me, that’s the whole point of it – you should be enjoying what you’re doing and adding to your excitement about the books you love so much!

Behind the Scenes

I had mentioned earlier that if the layout I was talking about for your photo background didn’t make sense, this video should help visualize how to setup a basic flat lay photo without a whole lot of work to it. This is exactly what I do for all of my photos!

I hope this was helpful to getting you started on your aesthetic Instagram journey, or even helping you spruce up what you’re already doing. Let me know in the comments what your favorite kind of Bookstagram photos are to scroll through!

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