Coffee, macarons and The Alchemist of Paris
#Bookstagramming on Instagram combines three of my favourite things – taking pictures, microblogging and discovering new books. With hashtags such as #booksandnature, #booksanddogs #booksandcafes #booksinthewild etc etc, it all looks so chic and simple.
However all those artful pictures are not as easy as they look, as I discovered when I decided to photograph ‘The Alchemist of Paris’ (which is finally a real, “hold in your hands”, “put in the bookcase”, “throw on the backseat of the car” book!) and a box of macarons (a popular hashtag being #Booksandmacarons).
I set aside Saturday morning for this task, which progressed as follows:
9.30 a.m. Consider taking the book to the patisserie to colour coordinate with the macarons. True, I have never seen anyone else do this, but how else do you select the right colours?
9.42 a.m. Trusting my judgment, I visit the patisserie and make my selection by eye.
(In case you are a macaron enthusiast, my selection was: red velvet, strawberry, chocolate, cookies and cream, salted caramel and nutella).
9.50 a.m. Returning to the “studio”, aka my apartment, I get the props ready.
The props are ready
10.05 a.m. I realise macarons need to be photographed on their side. Otherwise, they look – kind of round.
10.10 a.m. Line macarons up in the box, then try to get them to artfully stack on top of each other.
The macarons aren’t lining up straight
10.16 a.m. Consider the merits of the book cover v. open book page shot.
10.21 a.m. Worry about the colour combination – is the bright pink strawberry too jarring?
10.22 a.m. If the strawberry macaron is too bright, should I eat it?
The macarons are becoming distracting…
10.26 a.m. Salted caramel is melting. The top has slid sideways. Get some filling on my finger and seriously tempted to eat entire macaron.
10.30 a.m. Wonder if the white table or wooden tabletop looks better.
10.45 a.m. Very tempted to eat the props.
10.50 a.m. Should I stand on a chair to get a better shot? The chair is kind of wobbly.
10.51 a.m. How will I explain to people if I am injured falling off a chair while photographing a box of macarons?
10.52 a.m. It’s getting hotter. Salted caramel is sliding sideways again and not going to make it.
10.53 a.m. I’m feeling very hungry.
Okay, that’s it – I’m hungry
11.00 a.m. Find a few pictures I am happy with – casual and relaxed, like I spend my days in a cafe reading books.
11.09 a.m Can’t believe I’ve spent over an hour and a half doing this.
11.10 a.m. Impressed at the skill of bookstagrammers.