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Features, On Instagram / June 22, 2015


So I’ve been asked on Twitter and by fellow bloggers I meet in real life about how I take my Instagram photos. Where do I get all my white space? Do I live in a white box?

Encouraged by Steph and Jim, today I’m going to take you guys behind the scenes! Warning: this isn’t as exciting as I’m making it out to be. I’m by no means an expert, but I wanted to share my process if only to encourage more people to take lovely photos.

I’ve decided to make this a short series, so I’ll be talking about a different part of the process in different posts. Today, I wanted to talk about what I get questioned on the most, my background!


My early Instagram pictures were mostly taken on a variety of interesting surfaces. I had a wooden table and a cool fireplace, so I generally displayed books on that. I also had a variety of coloured sofas, rugs and carpet.

However, I was addicted to gorgeous food photos, and the ones I especially loved were taken on white surfaces. It really made the colours pop and I’m such a fan of the clean, crisp, highly saturated look. Unfortunately, I don’t live in a perfect white house with lovely white marble surfaces (if only).

Thankfully I do have a white wall, which solved half the problem. I just needed to find another white surface and as my floors are a dark wood. So, enter the footstool:


Then I covered it with a white sheet. Because the surface underneath is quite a strong colour, it’s been folded and then draped:



And taa dah – that’s how I get the white backgrounds for my Instagram photos! You can also use styrofoam boards, white card, or paint cardboard boxes white. It’s fun to experiment and to see what works best with your surroundings and your style of photography.

I’ve also recently been trying some other surfaces to have a bit of variety in my pictures (sometimes a plain white background can get boring). We have a shelf that we haven’t been able to put up, so I’ve been using it as a slim bookcase, which is perfect for displaying book hauls or fake shelfies.


Here is an example of one posted on Instagram:


We also have creamy carpets in the main bedroom, which is next to a window so I can get some good light on the photos.


It can also create some interesting shadows, which look dramatic and the like. Here is another one I posted on Instagram:


So that’s where I take my photos! I like a very clean minimalist style, however, I am super impressed by the talent of those that don’t use a plain surface like me. I love looking at book photos taken outdoors, on wooden decking, on bedsheets, on mirrored surfaces and so many more. Variety is the key to what makes the Bookstagram community so great!

Anyway, hope that has helped! If you’re active on Instagram, what do you take your photos on? I would love to know! I also want to know if you want to see this feature continue and what you would want covered next?

21 Responses to On Instagram: Background

  1. Merel (Lucy) says:

    I love how you use these simple items and natural light to take these amazing pictures! I really need to get into the swing of taking more pictures! I love how a single picture can display a ton of feelings, only I never really take the time to actually take the picture… You’re a real inspiration! Thank you for sharing these amazing tips/tricks!
    Merel (Lucy) recently posted: Comic Recap #1 | Spider-Gwen 001-004My Profile

  2. Samina says:

    I take my photos on an off white skirt with natural light. I wish I had a better camera as I use my phone for all IG photos.

    I was also thinking how your photos had the lovely background. Mystery solved.

  3. Most of my photos are either taken on the top of one of my book shelfs as it’s a nice brown colour and I think it’s pretty or a white side table that I have haha.

    I love your photos. They are simply gorgeous and just arrrrg. I wish that I could take/edit photos like you.
    Angel @Angel Reads recently posted: Book Review: The Potion Diaries by Amy AlwardMy Profile

  4. Ella Janine says:

    I love your Instagram feed! I have always been curious about how you take photos so thank you for sharing this. I’m still trying to get the hang of #bookstagram so my feed’s still very messy. I’m thinking about creating a different account for book pictures, but I think for now using one account’s enough. 🙂
    Ella Janine recently posted: Review: Just Pru by Anne PfefferMy Profile

    • Daphne says:

      Thank you Ella! I think having one account is a lot, however sometimes I think I want to post random photos and I can’t ‘mess up’ my bookstagram account. I end up posting it anyway and just deleting it afterwards sometimes 🙂
      Daphne recently posted: Bookish Firsts: Victoria AveyardMy Profile

  5. Gill Edwards says:

    I always want to know the secrets behind great photos on Instagram or Twitter. I have slowly learnt over the last few months how to take more interesting pictures and since fully ‘getting’ Instagram Im loving posting on there often and trying different techniques.

    I usually take my shots on a bookcase shelf either lying down as i love that stretched angle or standing up. With the right light in front it can really stand out.

    I look forward to more posts

    Gill Edwards recently posted: Thursday Quotables: Finding Audrey by Sophie KinsellaMy Profile

  6. I’m so happy you decided to do this feature. I would love to see more behind the scenes posts!

    It looks like you get awesome natural lighting, which is one of my issues. I have two foam boards that I have been experimenting with and I also have been playing around with my camera settings too. I was taking lessons from a photographer friend, but I didn’t keep it up. So I’m re-learning some basic things. I do enjoy taking my photos on my deck though because the lighting is just so much better out there. And I agree with you about saturated colors. LOVE those kind of photos. I sometimes shoot on vivid to exaggerate that.
    Steph Sinclair recently posted: Buzz Worthy News: Plagiarism Experiment June 22, 2015My Profile

  7. Maraia says:

    Thanks for sharing this! I really like the idea.

    My Instagram is mostly filled with flowers or other nature shots and food. I should really set up a space for my food photography so they look better, but I always forget until I’m about to eat, and then my priority is always my stomach, haha. Also, my house doesn’t have the best light.

    I would love to see more about how you edit your photos, if you use basic filters or more complicated techniques, what apps you use, etc.

    • Daphne says:

      Thanks Maraia, that’s a great suggestion and I can talk through editing as one of the features!

      I actually wanted to start out with foodstagram, but I agree, I always end up just being hungry and eating all the food before I can take nice pictures of it!
      Daphne recently posted: Bookish Firsts: Victoria AveyardMy Profile

  8. Danica Page says:

    I wanted to say thanks for stopping by my blog earlier today. You asked what I think about the new Harper Lee book.

    I’m terrified and actually quite leery of this. I mean so many years have passed and now all of a sudden she’s publishing it.

    I’m worried but I’m also excited. I’ll definitely read it. I’m jut going to go in with low expectations.

    What about you?
    Danica Page recently posted: Review: Emmy and Oliver by Robin BenwayMy Profile

  9. Danica Page says:

    P.S. I’m now following you on bloglovin. 🙂
    Danica Page recently posted: Review: Emmy and Oliver by Robin BenwayMy Profile

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  12. Celine says:

    Ha, I’ve always been wondering how people took these super minimalist white photos! I’ll have to experiment with it some time, get some more diversity in my Instagram pictures
    Celine recently posted: Review: Paperweight by Meg HastonMy Profile

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