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What Is a Shelfie?

Tired of selfies? Try shelfies! Essentially a portrait of a shelf or bookcase featuring books, art, figurines and miscellaneous personal belongings, shelfies are a fun way to show off your favorite reads, personal style or both. Here, get inspiration from our own favorite shelfies plus tips for taking the perfect shelfie in your own space.

What Is a Shelfie?

Shelfies are basically the bookshelf form of selfies – they’re an up-close portrait of a shelf displaying whatever you want it to display. The only difference between a selfie and shelfie? Since shelves don’t have arms, they need someone else to take their picture; that’s where you come in!

How to Take the Perfect Shelfie

Just as with selfies, a shelfie involves a few key strategies to make it shine. Follow these tips to turn your shelfie into nothing less than a piece of art.

Shelfie rule #1: Declutter the shelf. Less is more in a shelfie. While tempting to include anything and everything  that can fit into the space, doing so will only disorient the viewer and deflect from the things you want to highlight. Keep three or four items you absolutely love, and take down the rest (just temporarily – you can put the rest back after the picture!). This way makes for a clean, sophisticated visual that pops on the feed.

Shelfie rule #2: Vary the subjects. A shelf crammed with books might be a dream come true if you’re a reader, but most often, for the purposes of shelfies, looks junky and, not to mention, only shows one side of your personality. Try replacing at least half of a book collection with a keepsake item like a jewelry box or a souvenir. If you choose to use your shelf more for décor and style over books, consider objects like vases and jars to add variety in height and shape. Either way, sticking to the ‘less is more’ mentality will only help you.

Shelfie rule #3: Zoom in. A bookcase is a large thing, but a good shelfie is supposed to be an up-close-and-personal perspective of your favorite items. This presents a conundrum: while a portrait of an entire bookcase is tempting, since it gives you the chance to show off more style and more personality, it lacks the intimacy of a true shelfie. While zooming in won’t capture the entire story, it makes for a richer viewing experience in the end.
Shelfie rule #4: Think about perspective. A straight-on shot is a classic, but a slightly angled perspective is a bit more unique – and will make your image stand out from all the millions of other shelfies floating about!

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.