The Evolution of My Book Photography Style

SPARKLING LETTERS BOOK BLOG- THE EVOLUTION OF MY BOOK PHOTOGRAPHY STYLE.jpg

Hello everyone! ♥

If you do book photography—whether it’s for your blog or bookstagram or both, you must have taken some times to experiment with your photography style before eventually finding one that you’re comfortable with. To be honest, this is an ongoing process. You never stop experimenting because even if today you have found your favorite styles, you might find another favorite in the future. Especially if you’re someone who’s always looking for the next best style. Like me 😛

As you’ve seen from the title, today I’m gonna show you the evolution of my photography style 😀

Style #1 : The Simple Flatlay

I started out taking pictures of books long before I created my instagram account. At first I used my phone because it was simple, and I didn’t think I would need more options—the ones that camera provides. My first style was super simple! They’re all flatlays of books with a few of my stuffs. 

That was pretty basic and practically required no effort to set up 🙈 while some bloggers/bookstagrammers could pull off this simple style effortlessly, I failed miserably 😂 I wasn’t satisfied at my pictures. I hated looking at the empty spaces and I always had this urge to fill those empty spaces up, which is weird because if you look at my blog design, it’s all about empty white spaces 😛

Style #2 : The Origami Phase

After realizing the fact that I hated empty spaces, I started to look for props to make my pictures look more cluttered. At first it was difficult because when I looked at those pretty pictures on instagram, everybody seemed to use expensive props like candles, funko, etc. Some bookstagrammers successfully used random items as their props but when I tried using random items on my pictures, they looked like… well, random items 😂 it was very discouraging ahaha that was when I discovered the magic of origami ♣

Spoiler : I didn’t make those paper stars. I can’t 😂🙈 buuut I did make the origami flowers and butterfly. They’re very easy to make! This is also around the time when I started using my brother’s DSLR. I didn’t understand a single thing about it though, so I only used automatic hahaha it was pretty satisfying for a newbie.

Style #3 : The Graduation Flowers Edition

I’d always wanted to use flowers as props but to have to buy them myself ONLY for props sounded… absurd. And redundant. No judging any of you who does, but I’m cheap and I don’t want to spend money on things that don’t last 😂😂 but then the day finally came for me to use flowers as props! Remember how I got so many flowers on my graduation day? Those flowers served as my props, at least while they last 😛

I actually really liked this aesthetic! It’s pretty and I love the colors, especially because the flowers came in so many colors I basically had so many choices.

Style 4 : The Drying Flowers

Like I said above, flowers don’t last. I put them in a vase of water but still, in less than week they started to dry. But hey, drying flowers still make good props, right? So I thought. I started using them as my props and while at first they looked great, I started to dislike them rather quickly.

The thing with using dried flowers as props is they made the pictures looked a lot darker than I preferred. Compare it with the pictures above, you’d see the difference. This was the time when I started to experiment with manual setting, because as you see, the pictures are dark 😂 I wanted to brighten them, but unfortunately (or fortunately?) automatic setting didn’t suffice. So I had to learn to play with ISO, aperture, and shutter speed 😛

Style #5 : The Autumn Vibes

There’s really no stopping the flowers from dying, so one day I asked my friend about what to do with my flowers because I didn’t want to throw them out. She told me to pry all the dried petals and put them in a jar, it would look pretty, she said. It was actually a good idea so I started prying them, but then halfway through it I realized these dried petals would be great for props! I mixed them with my paper stars and voila ♥

I also started to experiment with props and used random stationery items for my pictures. Thankfully they blended well enough and no longer looked like random items 😂🙈 I called this autumn aesthetic because with all the dried petals and flowers, they created an autumn-ish vibe. Maybe. I don’t know, I’m a tropical girl and we don’t have autumn here 😛 anyway, I was pretty content and I stuck with this style for a long time… until something dreadful happened.

Style #6 : The Extinction of the Dried Petals

Sometimes in last September or October, I completely lost ANY desire to take pictures. I can’t remember why, maybe I didn’t have any inspiration, time, or was simply lazy. But I went for a few weeks without taking any pictures. During this brief hiatus, I stored my dried petals in a shoe box and it was closed. Fast forward a few weeks later, I suddenly wanted to take pictures and when I opened my shoe box, the dried petals were humid and covered with mildew. I freakeeeed 😂😂😂 honestly it felt like a step back because I lost a vital prop and didn’t have anything to replace it yet. So I started taking pictures with my usual style—only without the petals.

I really didn’t like this style, I thought it looked so boring. I started using my origami paper to spice things up. It worked, but it didn’t look like my style at all. It only lasted a few pictures before I tried on another 🙈

Style #7 : The Dried Petals Replacement & Return of the Flowers

I spent some time thinking of something to replace my dried petals then one day I went to the bookstore and found some dried wooden skins in arts and crafts section. It was a bit overpriced but I bought it. And while I was at it, might as well buy some flowers, or so I thought. The color is more white with less autumn vibe but it worked so well. I really liked this aesthetic, too bad it didn’t last long because the flowers (inevitably) dried 😂

Style #8 : The Fake Flowers

I was so done using flowers only to have them dried a week later so I decided to buy fake flowers altogether. If I was gonna spend money on it, might as well spent it on things that last, right? 😛 at first it was kind of difficult to set up but after some times experimenting, I started to really love this style. This is actually the style that I still use 😀 I’ve experimented with the set up and props ever since but my general aesthetic remains the same.

So you see, it took me a while to finally settle on this current style. I’m probably not gonna stick to it forever, but for now I’m pretty satisfied with it and have no intention of changing style anytime soon ♥

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Alright everyone, that was the evolution of my book photography style! I went through roughly 8 styles before settling with my current style. Which one do you like best? What about you, did you do a lot of experimenting before finding your perfect style? I’d love to hear your thoughts! ♥

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9 thoughts on “The Evolution of My Book Photography Style

  1. These are so good! I am not very good at it, but I do love being part of the bookstagram community. Give me fake flowers and fairy lights, and I am a happy girl. I have looked into getting one of those mini tables, because I struggle with the lighting and finding a good staging place.
    Sam @ WLABB

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  2. Your photos are so good! I don’t experiment a whole lot with different styles but I do tend to cycle through flat lays on a white blanket, bookshelf shots, and holding a book up against the wall. If I’m feeling a bit more motivated I’ll edit my photos so that I’ve got accent of colour when the rest of it is in black and white, but that’s probably the most advanced I’ll go for now 😅

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  3. I love this evolution! I started with flat lays and have tried some random props but grew disgruntled pretty fast. I just don’t have a good instinct for it, and I’m sure I could develop it (as you did), but I also don’t have the TIME to experiment. So alas, I will stick with boring non-book-photos.

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    • Thank you Michelle 😀 ahaha I get what you mean! For the first couple of months I was kinda frustrated because I couldn’t get the desired result but I had time and the resources to experiment at time 😛 I agree though, this is mostly instinct hahaha I’m sure those photos aren’t boring 😛

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  4. I loved watching your progression – it’s so interesting watching how your style has evolved! I don’t really have a style, but I totally agree that I hate looking at a bunch of blank space haha

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  5. First off, um, I totally missed this post??? It didn’t even show up in my Reader? The date posted says March 24, which I don’t know if it’s accurate or was supposed to be on that date! Whatever, that’s it the point of this post.

    Your photos are so pretty! I’m so jealous of your book photography skills; I don’t have any of that (though I do think my photos look okay, at least). It’s so nice to see all the different themes and styles you used! I’m really liking my rainbow theme that I use; I’m not a huge fan of props, so I much prefer not using them, but those that can use them well are amazing.

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    • Not your fault!! It’s my wordpress messing with me 😦 I actually published this from my wordpress app on my phone so it was messy. It didn’t show up on my own reader either </3 thank you so much Mikaela ahaha I like your photos though! 😀 ohh you're my opposite then, I love using props so much hahaha 😛

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      • Oh, yeah, I feel you! The amount of times I’ve attempted to publish something, and I have to change the date because it’ll post three months back to when I last edited it. 😝

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