Let’s admit, we all do it. We all take photos of food and post them on Instagram because the world needs to know what we eat. Sometimes the meals that we cook or order in restaurants look just too good to eat them straight away. We grab our phones and start shooting; It’s hard to capture a perfect picture from the first attempt so we keep on trying until the food is cold and people with whom we share the meal are bored and annoyed. Fortunately, there are ways to improve your food photography: follow these simple tips that will help you end up with mouthwatering photos right away!
1. Turn off your flash.
Harsh, direct light will make photos look flat and your phone’s flash can irritate people around. Whenever possible, use natural light: find a place close to a window, or even eat outside (but avoid direct sun rays – they are no better than a flash). If that’s not an option, you can always brighten up your photos with filters and editing tools.
2. Use only fresh ingredients.
First of all, fresh food is tastier and healthier. Moreover, the freshness of the ingredients plays an important role when it comes to food photography. Wrinkled skin of veggies, dried out steak and brownish herbs will never get you “likes” on Instagram. Cook fresh and don’t let your food sit around too long before taking photos.
3. Mind focus and framing.
When the food is ready and the flash is off, it’s time to think about the photo’s composition and sharpness. Which angle to choose in order to make the dish on the photo look exactly the same as you see it in real life? One of the safest ways to frame a food photo is trying something called the Top Down method. Stand up, look directly down over your food and shoot: this way you’ll be able to capture the whole scene and end up with a symmetrical, balanced photo. To avoid blurry images, simply tap on your phone’s screen – this tells the camera where to focus.
4. Use props.
Avoid a clutter in the background but add details which will help you tell a story. Cute tablecloth and napkins, fresh ingredients next to the cooked dish, polished cutlery, plates matching the food colors, flowers – the right props will make your photos stand out and bring the right mood. You can also shoot the eating process: this will tell the story around the photo and add a human element which is often more appealing and real to viewers.
5. Shoot selectively.
No matter how tasty your meal is, sometimes it’s just not going to look delicious on photos, no matter how hard you try. If the dinner you cooked looks somewhat questionable, if the plates holding the food are dirty, if the background is messy – put your phone aside and just enjoy your meal. You will have more chances to shoot this perfect shot – don’t cluster your Instagram with the photos that just look sad instead of appetizing.
With some practice, you will learn to take amazing, mouthwatering food photos before your meal gets cold so that you can actually enjoy its taste too.
Bonus tip: When posting your photos on Instagram, apply a unique hashtag so that you can easily collect all the pictures you made in one place. You can then turn them into a beautiful photo book – a hardbound collection of your culinary chef-d’oeuvres. The best thing is, everything can be done with just one click: just type in the hashtag you used – and all the tagged photos will be instantly imported in a photo book that later will be delivered right to your doorstep.