How to take Food Photography for Instagram the easy Way
Silvain • updated June 25, 2022 • 7 min read
Silvain • updated June 25, 2022 • 7 min read
There’s no denying Instagram has a great thirst for food posts, with chefs, bloggers, producers, and home cooks all snapping, sharing, and liking on the image-led platform.
Instagram is used by 500 million individuals globally, with 300 million of them using it every day, including you and us.
Because artificial lighting might make your food appear unappealing, it’s better to shoot in natural light. Shooting adjacent to a window is the simplest way to accomplish this.
If you make a reservation at a restaurant, simply request a table near a window – your photos will be 100 times better.
Shooting in direct sunlight (such as outside on a sunny day) might make your food appear harsh and cast long shadows. This can be cool and provide a modern air to some images, but it can look overly intense in most food photos.
Shoot in diffused light, such as light shining through a window of light that has gone through a thin curtain, to get around this.
Consider how your Instagram feed looks as a whole, as this is what people see first when considering whether or not to follow you. If the photographs don’t flow neatly together, it can look a bit sloppy.
To accomplish this, shoot as much as possible against a consistent backdrop or color. Stick with it and develop a style for your account, whether it’s a rustic kitchen table or clean, fresh, and white.
As a general rule, avoid filters, and be mindful of warm tones or yellow illumination. Crop, brighten, and increase the saturation of your photographs. Aim for a uniform look across your postings.
If you’re taking a shot near a window, place something white (such as a piece of paper or a napkin) against the plate’s non-window side. This will reflect some of the window light onto the gloomy side of your food, revealing additional details in an area that is frequently too dark. Reduce light to create dark and moody photos.
While shooting, most Phones allow you to manually control the exposure. To do so, when snapping a shot, tap and swipe up or down to open the exposure settings.
This just affects how light or dark your shot is, which might be useful when shooting in bright or gloomy conditions.
Food looks best when it’s a little sloppy, drippy, and oozy, so don’t try to make it appear too flawless. One thing I’ve learned from photo shoots is not to overfill the plate. Allowing the food to breathe will make it look even more lovely. Read more about food styling.
Keeping the tableware and cutlery plain, the decorations might overpower the meal and make the meal appear fussy.
Good lighting is essential! If you’re shooting outside, position yourself with the sun behind you to emphasize the meal and pick up on all the fine details.
Yellow tones can make an image appear ancient and dismal, so I usually reduce the warmth and boost the saturation in the self-edit tools to compensate.
A good piece of advice is to clean your camera lens before you begin taking pictures. Most phones spend the day buried in bags or pockets, accumulating a layer of dirt. A short polish with a clean cloth can make a big difference in image sharpness.
Simply move the camera closer to your food to get a better view. Using the zoom reduces the quality of your images and makes the food appear sloppy.
When photographing food, always take more shots than necessary. That way, you can go through and select the ones with the most concentration. Almost half of the shots come out blurry, so having selections is wonderful.
Learn how to use your phone’s features: enable grid lines, tap the screen to focus before shooting, and consider utilizing the AE/AF lock to adjust the exposure and focus.
Look for visually appealing backgrounds to provide depth to your photo – in pubs, cafes, and restaurants, I’ll look for graphic tiled floors, colorful wallpapers, textured walls, and table tops.
You don’t always have to shoot where you’re served; Pick up your glass or dish and go over to a different area of the venue to get more light or a photogenic background.
Consider your surroundings; you don’t want to create a commotion by taking pictures and disrupting other diners!
Instead of using your flash to photograph food at a dark restaurant, ask a friend to swipe up on their phone and utilize their torch app.
You may alter the light’s intensity by moving it closer or farther away and adjusting the angle. Just be careful not to overuse this tip and blind your fellow diners.
When in doubt, shoot from the sky. Sure, it’s not the most innovative or intriguing viewpoint to photograph from, but practically every dish looks good from this perspective.
The goal here is to keep your phone as parallel to the subject as possible. Your shot will not have that crisp, bird-eye style if it is slightly slanted.
Use asymmetry and negative space to your advantage. Don’t be scared to leave some space on one side to enhance intrigue. It’s critical that the shot be well-lit so that the ingredients can really stand out. Use natural light and, if possible, position yourself near a window.
This is very useful when photographing something properly lined up from above (like cookie dough balls). The lines will be displayed to help guide you during shooting, but they will not appear in the final image. To enable your grid, go to settings > photo and camera > grid and turn it on.
It’s easy to think of photography’s storytelling potential. When you initially begin, you should focus on lighting, composition, and camera settings.
But, after you’ve learned the fundamentals, what’s the next logical step? How can you maintain people’s attention for more than a few seconds?
There will be times when you feel driven to photograph your dinner in a candlelit dining room. You will almost certainly fail. The light created by your phone’s flash will not flatter the cuisine. Read about how to take food photos in low light.
If you’re dining with friends, have them turn on their phones’ lights and position them toward the dish as you shoot the picture without using the flash.
They can also use lightweight white napkins to reflect the phone light. Be considerate, however. Nobody wants to eat next to the group that switches on the floodlights for every single dish.
Take an overhead shot of your food by standing up or ducking down to meet your dish at a 30- to 45-degree angle from the table. Read more about Camera Angles for Food Photography.
You might be surprised to learn that I take the time to set up each of my food photographs. It can be as easy as using a single thing intelligently, such as my daughter’s half-eaten cookie. Take your time for the composition.
Take the path of light. Sometimes you have to place that plate on the floor to get the best shot. (Do not attempt this at a restaurant.)
If you move or shake while taking a picture, the picture will be blurry. To see if a photo is in focus, zoom in on the food on your phone and see if it is clear. Read more about, how to take sharp food photos.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell if a photo is actually in focus, so zooming in will help you choose the right one.
Some things are better with filters than others, but the food isn’t always one of them. You can’t change each part of the editing separately, so some settings might be too high and others too low. Instead, download a good app like Snapseed for editing and make small changes yourself.
For the uninitiated, a dish might just be about taste, but for a food photographer, it’s about the visual feast. Food filters for Lightroom are the tools that plate this feast, ensuring every image is seasoned to perfection.
Inspire your imagination and your taste senses with these mouthwatering Instagram feeds of professional food photography.
Instagram’s #food search returns about 490 million results, followed by #foodporn with about 290 million results.
Whether you’re a novice or an expert photographer, food is a popular and delectable subject matter.
Even though Instagram is overflowing with food photos, there are a select few taken by talented photographers that will leave you craving more.
Whether you’re looking for a professional food photographer, food styling, project planning, starting a food blog, or even more on #foodporn, we’ve got you covered.
Thank me later once you’ve had a look at Leslie Grow’s Instagram feed. The first time I started scrolling, I had no idea how long it had taken me to scroll into oblivion.
A cuisine and still life photographer, she lives in Los Angeles and creates images that are both vivid and austere. In her work, she typically employs new angles and dramatic lighting, and her Instagram feed is awe-inspiring and actually brings food to life.
Despite knowing what a peanut looks like, I’ve never taken the time to appreciate all of its delectable intricacies. Phenomenal.
It’s easy to lose track of time scrolling through this cake-filled feed. Everything from elegantly folded bread to fruit-filled cakes to bite-sized goodies made especially for Sarah Brunella’s son may be found here for your viewing pleasure.
Aimee Twigger’s Instagram feed would be like The Secret Garden if it were a real person with a passion for food photography.
Aimee not only photographs but also styles the cuisine she posts on her Instagram feed. In the perfect squares, the colors range from eerie and enigmatic to vibrant and alive.
As a result, I’ve developed an enormous and unrelenting yearning for hot cross buns after looking at these photos, which include magical food.
As the host of Ugly Delicious, American chef and restaurateur David Chang uses his cellphone camera to send food photos to his one million Instagram followers.
In addition to posting mouthwatering dishes from hidden gems, he also features some of the industry’s most forward-thinking chefs.
Alex Lau began photographing for his high school newspaper. Later, he sold all his photographic equipment to travel Europe.
Lau started a photographic internship at Bon Appetit without ever having done food photography before.
He fell in love with art when his career took off. Alex worked full-time for Bon Appetit but now freelances for cookbooks and businesses including Good Drinks by Julia Vernon Bainbridge and Tsingtao.
His photos are detail-oriented, beautifully lit, and angled.
Steve Hansen’s food seems to defy gravity in his paintings. It’s not uncommon to see this photographer photographing food and beverages while they’re soaring through the air.
Hansen’s shots contain a special ingredient: imagination. For those who follow him on Instagram, he regularly gives them a peek behind the scenes at how he creates these mind-boggling images.
David Loftushas had the pleasure of working with some of the world’s most celebrated chefs, including Jamie Oliver, Rachel Khoo, and Gennaro Contaldo.
Close-ups of uncooked food and clumsily plated miracles adorn his Instagram account.
Pop art may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of food photography, but Magali Polverino’s Instagram page will change your opinion.
She’s an Argentinean with a penchant for bright colors, geometric designs, and food-inspired patterns. Her feed reflects these passions.
An artist, she transforms food from something you eat by mouth into something you can eat by looking at. In each picture, you’ll be whisked down a fanciful and delightful road, and I’m sure you’ll be desiring something sweet.
Dyutima Jha, an architect-turned-food photographer, provides a little something extra for her fans. From how to stay creative to how to emphasize glossy food, the Singapore-based photographer trains her fans on everything connected to food photography.
Her website will inspire you to experiment with new food photography techniques and styles like never before.
When it comes to photographing food, who is the best? Some could argue that a photographer who is also an accomplished cook would be the best candidate.
When it comes to baking, photography, and cookbook author Linda Lomelin has it all. It’s a Swedish photographer who prepares stunning baked pastries before photographing somber, edgy photographs.
Your thoughts and questions