Today, we have one of my favorite bookstagrammers, Coleen from @cfeecup to tell you guys more about her inspiration, creative process, and give you some great tips to make your photos look better.
How would you describe your style/ aesthetic?
I would describe my current aesthetic as cozy and warm.
I mostly gather my inspiration from multiple photos or accounts, and just use that inspiration to bring out the creativity in me. The people who do provide positive feedbacks about my photos give me inspiration everyday too.
When did you start your bookstagram account? How do you feel about the journey?
I started my Bookstagram account about one and a half years ago. My journey here has been such an extreme rollercoaster. Other successful accounts get on a ride and it just brings them upward, but I have had ups and downs in my account with regards to engagement and follower count. I have had multiple stagnant months where I do not gain at all and have had months where I gain followers by a thousand. It's all still a trial and error for me. I try to make it work sometimes and try not to let it bother me. Sometimes I can't help it though. But overall, it has been a great journey as I got to work with MULTIPLE businesses which other accounts do not get a lot and that makes me happy that businesses trust me.
What’s the best and worst part of being a bookstagrammer?
The worst part about being a bookstagrammer is when your content becomes stagnant and it becomes hard to switch it up from lifestyle to books and vice versa since majority of your audience are bookworms. It does not help too that there are just so many beautiful accounts out there, so it is inevitable that you get to compare your work with theirs. This thought brings us down. On the other hand, being a bookstagrammer is the most awesome thing in the world because as a reader, a whole new world is suddenly open for you to indulge in where you can meet other bookworms and share book reviews and recommend other books or authors. I believe that the beauty of being a bookstagrammer lies in the fact that you get to enter a universe where you are not judged for the book you have not or have read. You are welcome the moment you read and finish a book and that's a magical thing. To open up our arms to book strangers and eventually make lasting friendships.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
Some of my favorite authors are Colleen Hoover, Laini Taylor, Schwab, and Rowling. I still discover authors every year so eventually new authors or old authors make it to the list!
What is your preferred reading genre?
I really enjoy Fantasy right now, but I also love Contemporary YA. So, my favorite genres play around Fantasy/Dystopian and Contemporary/YA
My favorite bookish items are pillows and bookmarks, definitely. I simply adore reading with them.
Do you have a reading goal this year?
I did set a Goodreads reading challenge but decided I do better when I set no goal whatsoever. So right now, no. I just read as I go.
Do you use a professional camera to take pictures? If yes, what model? Do you use any additional lenses?
I use ONLY my Asus Zenfone Selfie, and would love to upgrade to a new phone or an SLR camera!
Do you edit your pictures before posting them? If yes, what software(s) do you use?
Always! Edit is a photographer's bestfriend. Plus, it is hard to maintain a consistent feed when you do not edit because lighting changes for every time you click that snap button. While everyone almost always uses VSCO, and a bit of Snapseed and Lightroom, I use A Color Story, which is amazing in so many ways. I absolutely love the filters and the user-friendly interface.
What is one photography tip that changed your life?
Natural light is EVERYTHING.
I love your aesthetic. Do you use any filters? What are your go-to filters?
My Go-To filters are filters I purchased from A Color Story, and I usually use Cassidy and Corduroy together and edit them out depending on levels.
How often do you take pictures? Do you take them as you go or take a few at once and store them for future use?
I ALWAYS take stock photos. This is due to the fact that I work on a dayshift and when I get home, sun is out, and I leave home BEFORE the sun is out so it is impossible to do any photoshoot for 5 days a week. During my rest days, I do photoshoots.
How do you come up with write-up ideas for posts?
I wing it everytime. My captions are long, but 100% authentic and real time typed out 😂 I am shy, but talkative when I feel like sharing (which is almost every time) and I type out what I have in mind as I go.
Do you schedule posts or prefer to post spontaneously?
I never schedule a post.
Thank you so much for doing this interview with us. I’m sure it’s going to help a lot of people. What advice would you like to give those that are new to bookstagram?
Never compete with accounts who are bigger than you. Interact with everyone instead. When I was new, I complimented, I DM’d positive feedback, and I posted daily. I try to be as active as possible and in the long run, it really helped me get to where I am today. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT. I try out filters from time to time. If I love it, I save it and experiment on it. Take all your photos under natural light (sunlight) and make your photos as clear as possible.
Pro tip: The Sharpen editing tool in apps or IG is your best friend for making a blurry shot appear HD.
Thank you so much, Coleen, for these sharing your process. I’m sure these wonderful tips are going to help all the Instagram newbies (and veterans) out there.
Guys, go follow Coleen on Instagram @cfeecup and thank her for the pro tips.
Stay tuned for more bookstragrammer interviews.