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Behind the Scenes on Instagram with @whatshotblog

I have endured years of merciless mocking from my friends when taking photos for my blog and Instagram page and have thus been the subject of many an incredulous snapchat or Facebook post. Anything for the ‘gram right? There was a point when all my recent photos on Facebook were photos of me, in strange positions, taking photos of books.

My friends have mostly become accustomed to me whipping my camera and book out in restaurants or other public places so I’ll usually just get an eye roll but if I’m doing something particularly “strange”, and more frequently, I am, they’ll still take a quick snap. I thought I’d share some of these photos with you guys so you can see what it looks like behind the scenes on Instagram with @whatshotblog!

Squats errday!

Getting the perfect shot often requires you to get low (to the window…to the wall…). Luckily I have inherited the magical ability asians have to sit comfortably on their heels for hours on end. Apparently loads of caucasian people can’t do this without toppling over! You’ll have to try and let me know how you get on…

I don’t think this photo of Me Before You actually ever made it onto my feed as I felt it was a little bland but that’s just how it goes. There’s lots of trial and error behind the scenes and I actually have tens of thousands of photos on my laptop (yes, really). Despite the huge amount of content I take on a weekly basis, I usually won’t upload something unless I really like it or I think its something my followers would love to see.

This is behind the scenes of my post about how many books I read for my French degree at Oxford University (read more here). I gathered together every single book I wrote on in my final examinations in a big duffel bag and dragged my friends outside to help me shoot a photo. Try as I might, I couldn’t pick all of them up myself so I needed some help stacking them all up! What’s funny here is that we actually lived in a fairly ugly, modern student accommodation block but there was this one wall that looked like it would make a pretty background so I had to make use of it!

This is probably one of the most embarrassing photos to date. Luckily I was hidden round the corner at the Handle Bar Cafe in Oxford so no one saw me climb up onto the bench in order to take a picture of my food. Totally worth it though for that avo on toast shot, right?

These used to be “classic” @whatshotblog shots on Instagram but they’re a rare sighting these days! I would always get the strangest looks when I whipped out my open book, seemingly to block whatever monument or famous place I was featuring in the background. In these two shots we have the Musée Carnavalet on the left and the Palais Garnier on the right! Check out this post for 10 museums to visit in Paris that aren’t the Louvre.

Books are not the only subject of my photos and I love to take photos of my food! If I’m on my way to a restaurant you can be sure that I’ll be carrying my camera with me. The majority of my food photos from my year abroad and my eating adventures now remain on my laptop for nothing but my own pleasure even though I enter every restaurant with the intention of reviewing it. As you can see from this brief snapchat sequence above, my friends are not best pleased when I “embarrass” them in public!

Here is an example of where I have actually just blocked out the “famous” monument in favour of a book. I mean I’m sure that distant statue is pretty and all but Adichie’s book is pretty significant too in my opinion.

So the photo on the right doesn’t match up with the photo on the left because after spending a long time trying to create the perfect pizza flatlay on my bed, I gave up and decided that pusheen slippers were the only way to save this. This is a more desperate photo shoot attempt because it was taken at night with 0 natural lighting but who on earth orders Domino’s at 10am in the morning…

p.s. The transformation from right to left did involve me whipping my trousers off in front of my very surprised friend!

The final is another one of my favourites. This was taken by my good friend Pauline (check out here portfolio here) when we met up with a couple of our other Instagram friends for coffee in Fabrique. Meeting up with fellow Instagrammers is probably the only time I feel comfortable pulling my camera out, standing up, arranging lighting etc. without feeling like I am being horribly judged. Clearly my friend Rosie is still pretty surprised I am moving the lightbulb out of my way in order to get that coffee flatlay shot though!

Anyway, this post was just a bit of fun. I wanted to give people a flavour of some of the ridiculous things that go on behind the scenes in the life of an instagram-addict.

Have you ever been caught in a strange position for the ‘gram? Share in the comments below!

If you liked this post, you might also like:

10 Truly Beautiful Instagram Accounts for Book Lovers
10 More Beautiful Instagram Accounts for Book Lovers
5 Truly Unique Instagram Accounts You Need to Follow

And finally…

If you want to follow me on Instagram, you can do so here!

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  1. l i s a n n e
    9th January 2018 / 9:16 PM

    I absolutely loved this post! Made me laugh. I think it’s cool that you just do it and don’t give a shit about what others think. I don’t think I would be able to do that

  2. 10th January 2018 / 3:19 AM

    You are adorable! I do many of the same things and now my kids do it too. My hubby has learned that he cannot eat until photos are taken.

  3. Asha Carlos
    10th January 2018 / 2:37 PM

    Hahaha loved reading this blog posts totally….as a photographer and instagrammer I totally understand..suffer for your art right?

  4. 10th January 2018 / 4:07 PM

    I can totally relate to this! My friends have got used to my “don’t touch your food until I take a photo” warning, before I take my camera out. Fortunately at the end of last year I changed my DSLR for a mirorless and now the camera is so much smaller but so much better. The low light photos are amazing!

  5. Rebecca
    10th January 2018 / 4:36 PM

    This mae me smile! I don’t think I’ve ever got a good ‘food in cafe’ shot as I try to take them so quickly when nobody is looking. And I usually REALLY want to get up on a chair to do so!!

  6. 10th January 2018 / 5:22 PM

    Oh wow, these shots are amazing and I didn’t realise how easy it was to create such fab looking shots. Will have to try the standing up method with food more, *queue the strange looks* worth it though 🙂 x

  7. Healthy & Psyched
    10th January 2018 / 5:49 PM

    I have just discovered your blog and I’m in love with your photos. Thankyou for the behind the scenes post 🙂

  8. 10th January 2018 / 5:52 PM

    This is such a great post!! Thanks for sharing I can totally relate to this! x

  9. 10th January 2018 / 7:16 PM

    Fantastic photos. I love a good looking photo but behind the scenes are my absolute favourite. I’m always embarrassing my husband by whipping out the camera over dinner but he has to put up with it!

  10. 11th January 2018 / 10:33 AM

    This is such a good post and your photos look great for it. I try and take as many photos as I can and my boyfriend is starting to get used to me taking photos of our meals before eating etc x

  11. Ashton Gibbs
    11th January 2018 / 10:54 AM

    Oh my gosh, I absolutely love this post! And have been in a few of those positions myself, haha. Totally relatable, and all of your photos end up amaaaazing. 🙂
    Ashton x

  12. Linda Hobbis
    11th January 2018 / 11:07 AM

    That’s really interesting and I love that you just don’t care about clambering on benches. I think I’m going to join you in future because it does make a difference to the shot doesn’t it?

  13. Bex Smith
    11th January 2018 / 11:38 AM

    I think this might possibly be my most favourite post of yours ever – I love your Insta so it is so funny to see what goes on behind the scenes

  14. Super Busy Mum
    11th January 2018 / 12:23 PM

    This is a very cool post and it is always amazing to see just how each person gets their shot! I need to focus on my IG feed more, so I will certainly be using this post for inspiration!

  15. Jenna E Morley
    11th January 2018 / 12:48 PM

    I love this post! I am always awkwardly taking shots for Instagram, can sooo relate to all of this!

  16. Melanie
    11th January 2018 / 4:53 PM

    Wow looks like you really have done your reading! Love the photos and enjoyed your post x

  17. Dino's Beauty Diary
    11th January 2018 / 6:54 PM

    Oh wow I love this post haha, it’s so relatable! My other half used to hate it when I do stuff like this, but now I think he’s used to it ahah xo

  18. Baby Isabella
    12th January 2018 / 11:00 PM

    We love these kinda posts and wish more bloggers would reveal the behind the scenes shots! Makes it much more gritty and real 😉 x thanks for sharing and no, you are not weird xx

  19. 16th January 2018 / 6:24 PM

    I absolutely love this post – it’s refreshingly honest, and funny too! Its good to see the “making of”, some of the shots on people’s feeds often have me wondering “how on earth did they take that?”, especially shots like the pizza one! Poor unsuspecting friend hehe, I love it! x

  20. 17th January 2018 / 8:14 PM

    I adore the post – and the realistic side behind Instagram posts! As someone whose just started finding their passion for taking photos and blogging, it’s so interesting to see what’s behind your amazing photos! Natalie x

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