When I started my food blog @Carnivorr three years ago, I had no photography experience. I just loved food and wanted to share what I was eating with other food aficionados. At the beginning, my pictures were absolutely terrible. I didn’t understand anything about lighting or making food look appetizing. (Don’t believe me? Seriously, scroll back on my feed and look at some of my earliest posts!) But as time passed I started realizing which photos looked better and which ones my friends were liking and commenting on more. I’m certainly no expert, but through a lot of trial and error I’ve learned a lot more about food photography.
Here are my top 5 tips for getting the perfect food Instagram shot:
Choose wisely – When ordering, really think about how your food is going to look! Sometimes I ask the waiters what the most photogenic dishes on the menu are before making my choice. Presentation is everything, especially in the Instagram world of “eating with your eyes.”
Natural lighting – Lighting can make or break a photo, so definitely pay attention to your light when taking a picture. I always try to photograph restaurants and dishes during the daylight when the lighting is best. Don’t be afraid to ask for the window seat to get the best light for your shot. However, sometimes you’ll need to take a picture at night inside a dark restaurant. Use another person’s phone flash light or bring a LED light to help illuminate your food.
Play with your food – Don’t be afraid to get hands on and move your food for a shot. Stack two sandwich halves on top of each other, poke the yolk of a runny egg, pull a grilled cheese apart, drizzle syrup over your pancakes… get messy with it! It will make for a much more interesting shot.
Close-ups – A great way to capture a dish is by getting up close and personal with it. Close-ups work really well for food photography because it makes a great dish look even more drool-worthy. People care less about the background and whatever else is in the shot – they just wanna see that food up close. Zoom in!
Overhead table shots – Another great way to capture a dining experience is with a beautiful and styled overhead table shot. Artistically arrange several dishes and drinks and silverware to create a photo-worthy table. Don’t be afraid to ask a couple friends to hold some silverware or grab a piece of food to help bring the shot to life!