Do you find yourself delaying to eat that delicious meal in front of you so that you can capture it and share it on social media? Whether you’re a pro at it or a complete amateur winging it and hoping for the best, you don’t want to miss out on the tips below on how to Instagram food or take photos of food for any online medium.
I admit I feel silly and a bit embarrassed every single time I’m at a restaurant and take photos of my food but I do it anyway. I also admit that sometimes I have to make my husband wait to eat his food. So it’s best to know the best ways to get a good shot if you’re gonna give it a try.
There are several things to consider when it comes to getting a great food shot. Do you think of your environment? Do you think about color? What about texture? Do you get creative with the angle? Do you know the best way to edit your photo to perfection? What about the caption? It’s easy to underestimate the importance of the message you convey.
For tips on all these questions and more here’s a simple guide on how to Instagram food:
1. You don’t need fancy equipment
You don’t need a fancy DSLR to get a great shot nowadays. By improving your smartphone photography skills, you’ll manage a stunning shot. Taking shots of food requires you to think differently about photography. You have to get creative and think of unusual angles and your surroundings. Using a stack of books and a portable phone tripod, for example, will get you a higher angle to get that great food shot.
2. Natural light is your best friend
Lighting is one of the most important aspects for getting a nice food shot. Natural light is by far the best kind, so it’s best to position your food where you have access to it. Artificial light will give you off colors that are very hard to edit right. It’s better to take a shot with underexposed natural light and later edit the exposure and brightness than a well-lit photo with artificial light.
3. Think about your environment
Think about where you are when taking a food photo. Are you at home? Or at the ice cream parlor? Do you have access to a particularly interesting background that goes with your food?
Consider adding props that complement the theme of your photo and removing anything that takes away from it. You could use plants, flowers, serving ware, and additional related food. For example, when taking a photo of a smoothie, you can include in the photo some of the foods you used to blend it with like a whole banana or a lime.
4. Consider the color
Colour is the main attraction when it comes to a food photo. Naturally lit and bright colors often stand out. Think about the color of your background and the color of your props. Which colors go well together? Or you could think of including different hues of the same color. Just make sure it’s aesthetically pleasing and there isn’t too much going on.
5. Emphasize texture
The texture is one aspect that may be often overlooked but it can really help get a great Instagram food shot. Texture helps the food make appetizing and make your audience crave what you’re showing. If your food is smooth like a smoothie or oatmeal, consider adding “crunchier” or textured toppings that create a contrast like toasted coconut, fresh fruit, and seeds. And of course the closer you get, you’ll show off that texture better. Like a runny yolk of a fried egg or that ooey gooey chocolate melting from a recently baked cookie.
6. Be quick!
Be quick! It’s not smart to take forever to get your Instagram food shot however tempting it might be. Foods start to lose their appeal the longer it takes. The steam of a hot cup will disappear, the froth from a beer will reduce, and the ice cream will melt. So consider your environment to get your food at its appetizing peak. If possible set up the shot and environment before the food is ready.
Plus, if you’re quick, you’ll get to enjoy your food as it’s meant to be eaten.
7. Get creative with angles and composure
Don’t be afraid to look silly to get the right angle. Have you seen people stand up on chairs at restaurants to get that perfect bird’s eye view of the food? This angle makes food look good. You can also get up close to get an appetizing macro shot and emphasize that texture we talked about. Your attempt at a crazy angle can make your shot stand out.
8. Use an editing app
The worst is when a decent photo gets ruined with a bad filter. It’s best to invest in good editing apps like VSCO and Adobe Lightroom where you’ll have full control of the characteristics of an image including contrast, brightness, saturation, temperature, and more. It also doesn’t take a photography expert to learn how to use these editing tools.
9. Think about your message
Make good use of the caption section. Instagram, although highly visual, is also a great place for conversation. Think about your environment, what you want to convey to your audience, what you’re feeling, and what you want your followers to feel. You’ll be surprised at how much more interaction you get from being specific and personal.
10. Don’t ignore your audience
Last but not least, listen to your audience! It’s easy to read and ignore comments. But by responding, asking questions, and conversing, you can achieve a greater following and make those that come want to stay and continue interacting. Analyze which posts do better and why so you can gain useful data for your account.
Are you one of those people? Do you have any other tips for taking photos of food?
If you need to save a quick guide or pin for later, here’s an infographic by Kitchen Cabinet Kings that summarizes these tips: