DIY Book Wall for photographers
Being a photographer means spending a lot of time talking talking my clients and understanding what brings them to me and what they want to achieve from their photography sessions.
Regardless if I am going to work with the whole family or just with a baby, I always want to make it a special and unforgettable experience for them. At the end of the day, it’s not only pictures that I provide but also the service.
How happy was I when a mum asked if we can include a book or two somewhere in the set for her little baby girl’s cake smash session because she thinks her daughter is going to be a bookworm! “Why one or two?”, I thought. And then I remember seeing somewhere a book wall that would be a perfect décor for this little reader cake smash theme! The mum said YES and I was very excited to begin my little project!
This time a little less about photography, instead I am going to give you a tutorial on HOW to make your very own book wall and make YOUR photo sessions unique and beautiful! Here is how I did mine...
As I don’t own books that I would happily scarify to create this decoration, I decided to ask for some donations through local Facebook groups. People responded and very quickly I collected enough to get myself to work.
At that point, I also needed a large piece of plasterboard, strong cardboard, or a block of wood and adhesive tape, nails, hammer, and glue gun, depending on what you want to attach your books to. If you go for plasterboard or wood, you HAVE TO make sure it’s securely attached to the wall before the session so that it’s not dangerous to use. You DON’T want to put a baby at risk so make sure your decoration is safe!
For my project, I decided to use cardboard. Yes, it was a massive box, that my friend’s bicycle was delivered in. I brought it back home and I was ready to start being creative...
Step 1: Remove everything that is unnecessary from the area where you will be working. You need a space and being able to move back and see how your project looks from the distance.
Step 2: Before adjusting your books in a certain area lay them in the desired order and make sure you like the layout.
PRO TIP 1: Start from the bottom and make sure that the biggest and the heaviest books are in that line. If you keep them open somewhere in the middle, these pages will give support to the next layers up.
PRO TIP 2: In order to keep it neat, use roughly the same height books in the same line. Also compare the colour of the pages. I wanted to go for a slightly older look which is why I only used books with yellowish, beige pages.
Step 3: Once you are happy with the layout, remove the books but keep them on the pile in the same order so that you can pick them one by one and attach them in the way you planned it. Again – start taping from the bottom. Finish that line, move to the next, and so on.
The bottom layer is really important and needs to be strong so you may want to go around it a few times. You may also want to tape a larger part of a book and leave just a few pages loosely. That will support levels up.
In the next line, you may want to start by attaching only the back of your book to the cardboard, so that the front cover is flipped over. It will help to create a little more interesting visual effect.
PRO TIP 3 :The higher level of your books, the lighter they should be. If that means removing hard covers or splitting your books into two or three, do it!
Step 4: Once you attach all the books, move back and see if you want to make any alterations. At this point, you will still be able to see a lot of nasty tape going all around all books. Don’t worry, get ready to change your tools and move on to the next step.
Step 5: Now is the time to hide the tape. I used a glue gun which probably is my favourite tool when it comes to creating something new. I can honestly say that I use it every time! Show the pages that suit your project the most by gluing together the others you want to hide.
Step 6: You are almost there! If you are happy with the look you can leave it as it is. In my case, because I wanted to add a bit of colour, I decided to attach some leaves and flowers. I found a few gaps in between the books that were just perfect for it.
Step 7: Secure your project. I already said that your book wall needs to be safe to use. You can attach it to the wall or a backdrop. Because I had still loads of books left, I put them inside my box in order to keep my project sturdy.
I hope you find this post useful. I encourage you to create something unique. Something that will add variety and personal touch to your sessions, and something you will have fun with. I know it may look difficult but it actually isn’t. If I could do it so can you! Good luck!