I’m Bronte but most people call me Bee. I’m an Instagrammer, a blogger and a writer. I’m all about trying to live as kindly as I possibly can, whether that is being nice to people or being kinder to the planet.
Q&A with Bronte
You are best known on Instagram for being a bookworm, for those of us that are new to the term can you tell us what ‘Bookstagramming’ is?
Bookstagramming is essentially a community on Instagram that take photos of books. This can be anything from a simple flatlay to marvellous Photoshop creations using books as props.
We can all relate to falling in and out of love with Instagram, how has your account evolved over time?
Oh gosh, my account has changed dramatically overtime! I started off on Instagram just posting book flatlays (they’re still up on my account if you fancy having a bit of a nosey!) and over-time I developed into doing more creative photos. I started appearing in them a lot more and Photoshop became a bit of a main staple in my photos. But after a while, I felt like I wasn’t being ‘me’ anymore. When I started the account, I had no idea that it would become my full-time job, and I was much more than someone who liked books. That’s when I decided to do my rebrand and change my name from ‘bookishbronte’ to ‘frombeewithlove’. This was very freeing for me and was something that needed to happen, but I also felt like I had no direction anymore. That I was just posting photos for the sake of posting them. So I decided to go back to why I started the account in the first place; to show off my writing. And now I am doing exactly that! Each month, I theme my photos around a short story I write at the end of the month. It’s early days, but so far I’m loving it! It makes me feel like my account actually have a purpose, and the location changes every month so I’ll no longer be getting bored of my photos like I was before.
Can you tell us about your creative process, how do you come up with ideas for what to share next on your Instagram account?
This is something else which has changed a lot. But it’s always about finding the right inspiration. Previously, I used to take a lot of inspiration from other Instagrammers and Pinterest. I’d find a concept that I would like and somehow make it my own. But now I don’t really look to other Instagrammers for inspiration simply because I think that if a photo already exists on Instagram, why would you want to recreate it? I still look to Pinterest for inspiration, but it’s not for concept ideas anymore, it’s more for poses. I absolutely love looking at editorial fashion shoots for posing ideas because they’re always so unusual! I also really love taking inspiration from certain decades – I’m a sucker for the 60s!
What equipment do you use?
I use a Canon EOS 200D with an ef 16-35mm f/4l lens. I used to use a 50mm kit lens, but since I’ve been doing a lot more outside photography, a wider lens means you can get so much wider! I also think that natural lighting is the best lighting, and I never really use any lighting equipment unless it is a flatlay of objects that create really harsh shadows. I mainly use Lightroom and Photoshop for editing.
It seems you have quite the knack for doing creative and whimsical edits in Photoshop. How did you get started?
I mainly got started with doing edits in Photoshop because I got bored of the photos I was doing and I needed something to re-spark my love for photo taking. I’m the kind of person who’s always looking to do something different, and at the time, I wasn’t seeing many bookstagram accounts who were using photoshop. So I started doing really simple Photoshop editing which I taught myself to make things float. Then things got a bit out of hand and crazy before I calmed it down again. I always think Photoshop looks best when it is kept very simple, especially for beginners.
As creators we are always looking for ways to do our best work with whatever materials or environment we have available so we loved your blog post on ‘How to create great photos when you don’t have an Instagrammable house’ What’s your number one home studio hack for those that are facing the same challenges?
Of course, it always helps when you have a plain white wall but I’m not about to go and ask you to buy some paint and start painting your walls haha! If you can, I would think about investing in some backdrops – they don’t have to be anything fancy, they could just be large white card or plain bedsheets! But if you’re not looking to buy anything, I would really just use what you already have and use it to your advantage. Do you have a colourful wall in your house? Use it! I do a lot of overhead shots on the bed, and these are really simple and easy to do, especially if you don’t have an instagrammable house.
You have started your own book club on Instagram @girlswhocanbookclub, can you tell us about it and how we can get involved?
The Girls Who Can Book Club celebrates all things women. It’s a community run by women who feature books written by women. We cover a lot of different genres from early readers and beyond. It’s really simple to get involved, all you have to do is follow @girlswhocanbookclub where at the beginning of the month we announce what books we are all reading and you just read along!
We can see from your blog that you have a passion for writing as well as reading, do you have plans to write your own book?
I do! I’ve recently started posting my writing on Wattpad which I update weekly. I also publish a short story at the end of the month on my blog, which is loosely based on the photos I’ve been posting that month. I do have plans to release a book in the future too. Your personal mantra is ‘self-love, empowerment and kindness’ I think we could all do with a healthy dose of all three, how do you stay positive and inspired? I think it’s important to note that it’s not possible to stay positive 100% of the times. There’re definitely days where I feel like I can’t do anything right or the world is crumbling beneath me – that’s completely normal! But I’ve always been a very optimistic person who believes that everything that happens to me has happened for a reason. Even the bad things are there to teach me something. Seeing the good side to everything is just part of my nature. Staying inspired, however, is something that I used to find really difficult. Before I decided to start basing my feed around a short story, I found it super hard to stay inspired because I didn’t have a direction. I’m the sort of person who needs to have a reason why I’m doing something, otherwise I start to feel quite lost. It also doesn’t help that I get bored easily, so now that my photos are going to be changing every month, that’s definitely helped me to stay inspired and excited about what I’m doing. My advice would be to not limit yourself to what you create. Don’t be afraid to change it up and experiment, especially if you’re unhappy with what you’re creating and just creating for the sake of your followers. Keep experimenting until you find something that makes you excited.