Ensure Your Food Photos Really Pop On Instagram With These Top Tips

Words by Gracie Stewart

3 min read

If you have an Instagram account, the chances are pretty high that you’ve snapped a photo or two of your favourite meal to share with your followers. In fact, with the hashtag #foodporn being used over 185 million times it's difficult not to feel inspired (and hungry) by the array of delicious looking meals posted on your newsfeed. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up the top tips and tricks for taking your food photos to the next level.

Shoot in natural light
Natural daylight really is the best lighting for any foodie photograph as it allows for varying tones in a photo that a phone flash does not. So don’t be afraid to move your plate closer to a window or door to get the best snap and make sure you adjust the exposure on your phone while shooting. If possible, you should also shut off any lights in the room because two different light sources can do strange things to a photo.

Focus on the food
It might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many food photos there are on Instagram that don’t adhere to this simple rule. Steady your phone to avoid shaking the camera, and focus on a point near the middle of your dish or its most appetising detail, like the interior of an apple crumble.

Don’t use the zoom function
If you’re using your phone to take photos, avoid using the zoom feature as it lowers the quality of your photos and will make your food look pixelated or blurry. If you want to get closer to your food, just move the camera closer.

Play with your angles
For the best #foodporn, try taking an overhead shot of your food or duck down to meet your plate at a 30 to 45 degree angle from the table.

Try shooting with a camera
If you’re really serious about your photos and want to try your luck at becoming a professional foodie, you’ll want to invest in a good camera. Unlike a phone, a camera with manual settings offer better control in low light (for instance, a restaurant after dark) and lenses that allow you to narrow your depth of field to really highlight the subject of the photo. You can then also use photography software to tweak the contrast, levels and sharpness of your photos to make them pop.

Think about your background
While we’re not all blessed with marble worktops and rustic wooden dining tables, the key to a great food photo is the background. Keep your cupboards stocked with interesting-looking crockery and set the scene with different tablecloths or pick up some printed vinyl backdrops.

Act fast
Unfortunately food has a tendency to look tired very fast, so to avoid wilted herbs and melted ice cream you’ll have to work fast. If you’re shooting a home cooked meal, it’s best to get your props out before cooking, then plating up only when everything’s completely ready.

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