Behind the Scenes: How to style your Instagram Photos

I've developed and worked on how to lay out my journal for photography since I began my Instagram back in 2015. I finally feel like I have found a method and style that produces textured, cosy, colourful photographs. I regularly use the same tones, materials and props to ensure consistency across my brand, so that my posts stand out as unique on the feed. Here are my top tips, and some behind the scenes photographs of my process.

1. Create a flat surface for your spread

Image from

I use one of these table trays from Ikea (they can be found here). This instantly creates a frame for my spread, and an easy flat surface to work with. It also allows me to play with perspective and layer different textures, as you'll see in examples below. I usually have a cushion and a rug underneath the table tray, to act as an interesting background for the focus of my photographs.

2. Use clothes or any fabrics you have to hand to create pattern and texture

Cardigan and Dress

This is probably my favourite tip. If you're struggling to create interesting backgrounds, look to your wardrobe! I recommend playing around with different patterns and materials. Wool works really nicely to create a soft, warm, cosy vibe, which is in keeping with my brand. Find the fabrics that reflect your work most appropriately and layer them up on the table tray, such as in the example below:

Fabrics on table top

3. Use a range of props

Fabrics, coaster and chopping board on table tray

I often us a chopping board to add further texture and to place my journal on directly. I use coasters (this one is my boyfriend's, an ardent Rangers fan!) to put candles, or a cup of tea on. Then I search the house for little knick-knacks to place around the journal. These range from materials I've used to create the spread, such as washi tape or stickers, to pieces of jewellery, house plants or dried flowers. You can really use a whole range of props to create variety and interest. I also vary them depending on the time of year, using dried berries and a Christmas wreath in December, for example.

Journal with a cup of tea, wooden board, candle, washi tape

Bonus Tip

Sometimes it can be tricky to keep your journal propped open, especially if you're a fair way into the notebook. I use little lady bird wooden pegs to hold my pages together. You can get some really cute pegs or bulldog clips to keep those pesky pages down!

Journal Page with ladybird pegs


I hope you find this helpful and transparent. Taking photos of my journal is quite a lengthy process and takes a fair amount of set up and creative thinking. I hope that this piece has inspired you to up your photography game, and if you use any of my tips I'd love to see how - tag me on Instagram @goodlookingjournal

Take care,




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