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Six tips for taking perfect Instagram food photos

Six tips for taking perfect Instagram food photos
Photograph: Alex Reichek

Taking pictures of food is finally socially acceptable. You don’t have to be a blogger, a chef or a nutritionist's patient who is supposed to document every single thing you eat. Photographing food is officially part of our culture, so you have no reason to feel weird or cheesy doing it at your favorite restaurant. The only thing you should feel guilty about is posting a photo that looks like slop. Here are a few tips and tricks on how to make your food photos look like glorified professional shots on your phone.

Use natural light when possible 

 

A photo posted by Alex Reichek (@chekmarkeats) on

 

If the sun is out, use it. Sit by a window if you can. When you use natural light, your brunch photos can look like an angel is shining down on your food. If you are out of light, and luck, use your friend's iPhone Flashlight app. Play around and hold it straight above the food you are photographing. If the light is too harsh, put a napkin over it. Candles don’t do the trick, so if you need to be spontaneous, a phone light is your best bet.


Purchase an extra light 

 

A photo posted by Alex Reichek (@chekmarkeats) on

 

If you want to go above and beyond, purchase a mini phone light online. This way you don’t have to bug your friends for their phones when they are in the middle of a Bumble session, and you can feel in control. Move the light around to see which angles work best for the light on the food, but holding it high up and directly above the plate is generally a good call.


Leverage the power of overhead shots 

 

A photo posted by Alex Reichek (@chekmarkeats) on

 

If you are taking photos of something in a bowl, or something flat like a pizza, the best way to rack up those precious likes is to shoot overhead. Make sure you tap the middle of your screen before shooting and that the whole plate is in the shot.


Don't be afraid of shooting close-ups 

 

A photo posted by Alex Reichek (@chekmarkeats) on

 

Close-up shots of food are great—they allow viewers to feel like they're almost tasting the food. These shots are great for burgers, ice cream, doughnuts, mac and cheese and most desserts. 


Download Snapseed 

 

A photo posted by Alex Reichek (@chekmarkeats) on

 

Snapseed is an amazing app for editing photos. Before you open the app, make sure the brightness on your phone is turned up all the way so you can see every detail of your shot. Once you’ve chosen which image you want to use, open it up and use the “Details” section for sharpening and structure options. Then, go into “Tune Image” and toggle around with the brightness, highlights, saturation and warmth. The last step is to use the “HDR Scape” filter. Sometimes it can be too intense, but when done right it can turn your photos from good to great.


Not all food gets a lot of engagement 

 

A photo posted by Alex Reichek (@chekmarkeats) on

 

In my experience, the most likes tend to be for burgers, pasta, ice cream and cookies. If you're looking to rack up the likes, post your best food photos during the evening (trust me, it works).

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