If you scroll through Instagram on any given day, you are likely to see three types of pictures dominating your feed: selfies, sunsets and food. Lots of food. Blurry brunches, dark dinners and an ice cream that doesn’t look appetising no matter how many times you shoot it again – the struggle for the perfect Instagram food photo is real!
We’ve listed the best photography tips and tricks to help you shoot your food like a pro, and get all the likes you deserve.
Get your lighting right
Say “no” to filters and “yes” to natural diffused daylight to show off the food at its best. Natural daylight really is the best lighting for any foodie photograph. If you’re tucked away in the corner of a restaurant, don’t be afraid to move your plate closer to a window or door to get the best shot.
Don’t give it all away
Sometimes it’s what you don’t see in a picture that makes it feel alive, so don’t struggle to fit your entire summer barbecue spread into your iPhone screen. Let dishes, plates and chopping boards fall outside of your photo and viewers will automatically imagine the scene continuing.
Don’t be precious
Garnishing a meal with pumpkin seeds, fresh parsley and coconut shavings can really make your meal pop in a picture, but don’t be too cautious. Choose a garnish in a bright colour, then sprinkle a handful over your dish. A slightly off-kilter sprig of rosemary makes the scene more realistic.
Food photography is all about the odds: odd numbers of dishes, glasses or foods look best, but don’t spend time counting out apples or other smaller foods.
When you’re ready to shoot, follow the rule of thirds: split your image into nine parts with horizontal and vertical gridlines, then your dish should sit on one of the four points where these gridlines intersect.
Messiness is good, within reason. Let the crumbs from a tart case crumble on to the serving plate, or allow some tufts of herbs to fall on to the tablecloth. But always clean the edges of plates before serving
Hold back on some of the prettier parts of the dish, even if they’re normally incorporated earlier on. If you’re doing a slow-cooked stew with carrots as a base, blanche them and put them in at the end. It’s about enhancing that colour without compromising on the flavour.
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