Give a warm welcome to Abbigail Kriebs, author, photographer, blogger, and bibliophile! You can find Abbigail on Instagram as @abbigailkriebs.
Tell us about yourself! Where do you work/play? What books do you like to read? Do you have any non-bookish hobbies? Any pets? What's your one great ambition?
Hi, I'm Abbigail. I'm a Midwestern gal who somehow became a city-dweller in Madison, WI. My day job is in advertising & marketing, but in my spare time you can find me at Inkwells & Images, writing about books, photography, and writing. I love literary fiction - recent swoons include Sea Creatures by Susanna Daniel & The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I also love a good love story, anything where the Midwest is a major character, and I admit that every now and again I just want to be entertained. I have a husband and he has two cats, so I guess that means I also have two cats: Zipper and Thumper. Great ambition? I'm slowly, slooooowly writing my first novel. But sometimes, my big ambition is to spend time outside while the sun is still shining. Having a desk job can create some funky ambitious cravings.
How did you get started blogging on IG? How long ago?
I don't blog primarily on IG - I often share photos related to blog posts, or that fill in the gaps between posts on my site. Often, I find IG is the perfect place to spell out a lyrical thought that just doesn't need to be longer than a sentence or two. I started posting on IG in 2013, sharing photos and not realizing then that it would become my favorite platform and where I get so many book and restaurant recommendations.
What do you like about IG in comparison to other platforms or more traditional blogging?
I love that it's quick. And also that it seems to be a collection of the most beautiful images on the web. Scrolling through my feed is a relaxing, enjoyably task - not something that has to be done or that clutters my life.
Do you have favorite filters or settings you like to use? Is there a particular reason you use them?
I adore "crema" - as a photographer, this one feels the closest to capturing light on film. And it also reminds me of coffee, which is kind of a win-win for this coffee-sipping gal.
What are some tips you would give someone who was thinking of joining IG or had just joined?
Do it! It's lovely, first. Second: it's a wonderful place to meet people. Make sure to not only use hashtags but to click on those hashtags and connect with others. I've made actual, in real life friends doing this - and I'm not a super user or anything like that.
Third: don't auto-post all your Instagrams to your other social platforms. From a marketing standpoint, you should treat each platform uniquely and tailor your content its own attributes. If I follow someone on multiple platforms and see the same content over and over again in both places, I will likely unfollow them on one of the platforms. There needs to be an incentive to connect online in multiple places, or we are merely just adding to the internet clutter.
Hashtags: What are some of your favorites? Do you have any "rules" when it comes to using hashtags?
I like to capitalize the words in my hashtags to make them a little easier to follow. This doesn't always happen, of course.
Some favorites: #AmReading #Midwestival #AmWriting #BeMadison #Collaboreating
What are some NON-bookish things you love posting?
Food & travel. I love capturing the simple moments of life - my cats chirping at birds, the ice collecting on the windows in January. The little memories that you would otherwise miss while on vacation.
What are some things that surprised you about IG?
How much I would enjoy following absolute strangers! I'm stalking what they read, watching them raise their children, and even stealing destination ideas from people around the world that I have never and may never meet - and it all feels so personal.
What's one place, person, or thing you think has appeared most often in your photos?
My dining room table. It's a lovely wood grain cut on the diagonal that my husband made, and it makes the perfect backdrop for all sorts of things: fancy cups of coffee, new books, chocolate malted milkshakes. It adds enough interest to be beautiful, but not so much that it distracts from the subject of the photo.
Selfies: Yes or meh?
I am worst selfie taker. I have tried and tried, and they just never turn out. I'm going to blame it on the fact that I am only 5'1" tall, so maybe my arms just aren't long enough to take flattering photos?!?
They say a picture's worth 1000 words. What story does your Instagram feed tell about you? Do you think it's accurate?
Back in 2013 when I had only been on IG for a few months, I wrote a random note in my journal:
The seven photos currently in my Instagram profile accurately describe my life:
quiet country spaces, food, books, baked goods (more food), coffee, stickers, and writing (and more coffee).
I make my picture-taking self proud.
So yes - I think my feed accurately described my life, then and now.
What are some tips you'd give people for photographing their books?
Choose neat backgrounds! Don't always opt for the sky or your lap: look for neat textures, or places that complement the subject of the book. I recently bought two memoirs, both dealing with life spent on farms. The perfect backdrop? Fresh green grass, of course!
If you could add/remove one thing in Instagram, what would it be?
I sometimes wish that hyperlinks worked on the platform - I know they're not working keeps it less cluttered with ads, but at the same time it would be nice to click through to a longer article when a post necessitated it.
How do you integrate IG with your blog? Or do you?
Yes and no. I often post a preview image on IG and then direct people to my blog. Otherwise, I'll use similar hashtags, or end up using photos that I took on Instagram to feature in blogs later on.
Blogging's more fun with friends! Who are three people on IG you think are must-follows?
- @BenjaminHole runs a family farm on the Isle of Purbeck, England, and his photos are phenomenal.
- @JoshuaHaroldson is a freelance photographer in the Midwest and his Instagrams are always stunning.
- @AustinKleon, author & artist, posts blackout poems everyday, and also has book recommendations that are always worth taking.
What are four of your best or favorite photos/videos that you've posted in the past year?
Books to read:
Coffee to drink, words to edit:
The current bedside stack:
My husband and I, on a normal night in cold Wisconsin:
Thanks for sharing your tips and pics, Abbigail! Be sure to check Abbigail out on Instagram, as well as Twitter @abbigailkriebs.