Disclaimer: This post contains a mix of UK English and American English.
Breaking Down Bookstagram is back and it’s better than ever! Longer interview, more pictures and the wonderful Ashlley who’s Instagram account we adore. You can check her out here @ashleythebookslayer and everyone please welcome her to the blog because we’re so glad she’s here.
Let’s get on with the interview shall we?
Question.1 : You started your Instagram in December 2013, but it seems to have only really come to life this year. Can you tell us if there’s any reason for that?
Definitely! So this actually used to be my personal account that I posted on only occasionally because I didn’t have anything ever to post about myself, anytime I was posting something it was something about me and my books.
So, back in February or March, some of my friends on Goodreads were talking about bookstagram and I had no idea what that was. I had decided to look into it and I thought how amazing it was that there was this world where people took pictures of their books, their bookish candles and everything book related. I just knew I had to be a part of this bookstagram.
I really didn’t start bookstagramming until May and I had no idea what I was doing. I’d walk around my backyard and take pictures of my books and maybe the neighbors thought it was strange, but I really enjoyed getting to be creative!
Like I said, I had no idea what I was doing, so I would just pull things from my room because I thought they looked good with the cover and now it’s sort of like an addiction. I just started to find bookstagram friends and I’d actually talk to them and find people who’s feeds I really loved and soon people began to follow me back, maybe for my pictures, but also because I actually love to talk to people about the books that I’m reading.
I think being an active member in the community has helped me gain more followers.
Question.2 : How do you go about taking the epic photos?
Oh gosh, it makes me smile whenever someone says they genuinely love my photos! I’ve always thought I’ve had a creative soul and I love to mix and match things from my room. I always have a general idea of what I want to do before I actually start doing it and I think that’s key.
For example, I have a certain color in my mind that I want to convey. For example, blue and gold is one of my favorite combinations, so I pick out books with gold/blue toned covers and I find props that highlight or bring out the book covers. I have these glitzy gold/blue feathers that match perfectly with Rebel of the Sands, so I find a way to incorporate the props with the cover.
It’s all really random and I think it’s important to just go with the flow and not worry about a certain order!
Oh and yes! That Grisha photo was a pain actually! It’s important to have a certain time of day you take photos because you don’t want it to be too dark or the lighting won’t work out!
I have a whole bunch of Grisha swag and I love to show it off. Honestly, laying all that out took me almost an hour because I want it to look perfect! Just finding props that bring out the color tones in the covers is key!
Question.3 : Do you have any other big passions besides books?
Hmmm, let me think. I love writing for sure, I’ve always been passionate about creating stories and I want to write a book someday, but I just need to find the motivation to do it.
And outside of reading and writing, let me think, I’ve always had a passion for learning about the world. I love learning about different types of medicines, poisons, plagues and how they affected people back in the day and also today.
I’m in my second year of college and I’m deciding a major. I’m debating on a science major, but I think choosing a major is always a complicated/hard decision. Oh, and this might be obvious, but I love photography.
Bookstagram has shown me that!
I have a weakness for nature shots and I love whenever people go outside and take book pictures…I just love being outside and discovering new places!
I’m also into designing and I love watching HGTV to get ideas on how to design my room!
Question.4 : You said earlier that you’re not an expert, but your account is so bright and colourful and basically wonderful. Do you have any tips and tricks you could give to people who are thinking of giving bookstagram a go?
I always love seeing what everyone else is doing and pictures everyone else creates, but it’s important to do your own thing whether that be nature pictures, indoor pictures, anything because you’ll excel at what you do best.
As for coloring and editing pictures, I don’t have a professional editing program like some other bookstagrammers, I just use a free online photo editing program called “Befunky” and then I usually just add an Instagram filter to my pictures!
Some people like to be consistent about their theme, but I love trying new things so I’m never just doing all nature pictures or all indoor pictures and maybe that’s not your style, but that’s perfectly okay because it’s you account.
Question.5 : What has being a part of the book community done for you?
Wow, let’s see. I always love coming home from classes to take book pictures. I find it very stress relieving. It’s almost like reading in itself in that I’m able to escape from reality for a few hours. I’ve met so many amazing people on bookstagram that I wish I could actually talk to in real life!
And through bookstagram I’ve found so many cool candle companies, bookmark companies and people who make book related sway, so now I know what to say when people ask me what I want for my birthday and Christmas!
Question.6 : Switching it up a bit, do you feel like there are any negative aspects to bookstagram?
Let’s see, bookstagram can be time consuming! Especially when you’re really busy with school and work. Finding time to prepare pictures can be really hard, so I’ve gone three or four days without posting because I haven’t had time. I think when you have a higher follower count, you feel like you have more expectation to post and sometimes it’s overwhelimg, but I love bookstagram anyways.
Question.7 : Who are the people who helped you integrate yourself into bookstagram?
@darkfaerietales_ has been so amazing, she’s given me multiple shoutouts and she’s such a nice person! Some of my closest bookstagram friends are @herbookishthings and @justacupofteawithbooks. They’re both amazing people! @imaginativepages has such a unique feed and is utterly amazing! I feel like I’m missing so many more people, everyone’s just so nice!
Question.8 : Does feeling like you always have to take excellent photos ever take its toll on you?
Yes!! I take photoshoots and end up getting no good pictures more often than not. It actually happened last night! I designed a book picture and ended up not getting any good shots because of the lighting! I always want to try to top myself and see if I can do better than what I’ve already done. It’s very stressful, but its worth it when you get an amazing shot!
Question.9 : Is there any chance those gorgeous cats of yours in your earlier photos will be making an appearance any time soon?
Haha, that’s up for them to decide! They show up for pictures on their own terms, otherwise they tend to run away from me. Or they’re sleeping. I should definitely include them in the future!
As always, thank you for reading this blog post! What did you think of our questions? Is there anything you would’ve asked? An didn’t you just love Ashley? Let us know what you think in the comments and don’t forget to follow us on:
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