How to take good Instagram photos

Top tips on how to get the best Instaframes, as advised by veteran food photographer Dave Hagerman and mega-Instagrammers Trisha Toh and Lim Sher Reen
Photo: Lim Sher Reen (@sherreenl)
Advertising

Top down or eye level?

'Top down. For the iPhone, it has some limitations in terms of light capabilities, depth of field and lens distortion so I shoot all these from the top down. It’s also more graphic so I can use the rim of a plate or a bowl to focus attention on the food.' – @davehagerman

Top down

 

A photo posted by David Hagerman (@davehagerman) on Jul 15, 2014 at 11:54pm PDT


Eye level

 

Morning shopping. #georgetown #travel #penang

A photo posted by David Hagerman (@davehagerman) on Aug 10, 2014 at 6:41pm PDT

 

Human element or without?

‘My photos have a lot of human element. Not only in showing hands; things like napkins, keys, newspaper, all of that highlight human elements. People can resonate with it, and it’s more raw and natural.’ – @trishates, food stylist

With human element

 

A photo posted by Trisha T. (@trishates) on Oct 10, 2014 at 12:37am PDT

 

Without human element

 

A photo posted by Trisha T. (@trishates) on Oct 24, 2015 at 7:09pm PDT

 

Negative space or cluttered?

‘Depending on the mood I’m in. Cluttered, but with sufficient space.’ – @sherreenl

Negative space

 

A photo posted by Sher Reen L. (@sherreenl) on Feb 27, 2015 at 9:03pm PST

 

Cluttered

 

A photo posted by Sher Reen L. (@sherreenl) on Aug 30, 2014 at 7:33pm PDT

 

Foodstagramming tips

1. @trishates: 'Don’t use generic hashtags as your airtime will be limited. Try participative hashtags. My favourites are #wwllt (what work looks like today) or #fromwhereistand.'

2. @davehagerman: 'For me, I work fast. If the shot doesn’t come together quickly, it will likely not get posted. Tuck in when the food is still hot.'

3. @sherreenl: 'Try to sit by a window for more natural light, and go earlier in the morning or later in the evening when sunlight is at an angle.'

Read more about the Instagram trend

Instagram - Camera eats first
Photo: Trisha Toh, Lim Sher Reen and Dave Hagerman
Restaurants

Camera eats first: Is Instagram changing the way we eat?

For all its popularity (400 million active users at time of print), Instagram has a bad rep among food purists. We hear of acclaimed restaurants banning phone photography, citing bad manners, infringement of intellectual property and disturbance of other diners’ experience. No surprises there. 

Advertising
This page was migrated to our new look automatically. Let us know if anything looks off at feedback@timeout.com