Think you’re the only person taking overhead shots of your brunch plate? Think again. Studies show that half of Americans nowadays take pictures of their food, and chances are that those numbers will only continue to grow.
Of course, taking a gr8 food photo is easier said than done. We reached out to some of our favorite food influencers to share their behind-the-scenes tips on the perfect food Instagram.
Use Natural Light to Your Advantage
Good news: You don’t need to drop major cash on expensive lighting equipment to make your photos look amazing. “One of my biggest food photography musts is to use natural light,”@sweetpotato_sneakers told us. “Most of the time I take my photos outside, but my second choice is inside by a window.”
Another pro tip: Clouds are your friend. When you shoot during an overcast day, the shadows are more subtle and there’s less glare.
And don’t be afraid to move around your space to find the best lighting. “I usually take pics from a bunch of my favorite spots in the house and then compare for the best,” says @sweatysweetpotato.
Find Your Food’s Good Side
Chances are you take your selfies with similar setups—and the same goes for how you should approach food angles!
“My favorite is the overhead shot, but food like smoothies or parfaits look great straight on. And, sometimes, depending on the food, a 45-degree angle can look great too. Move around the food and try different angles to see what looks best for the dish that you’re shooting,” @jenniemiramadi suggests.
Have a Consistent Background
Want to spice up your Instagram photos? Ditch the blank white background. “I always try to have some plants or succulents in the back, and colors that compliment the food,” @bitesbyhay told us. That said, make sure whatever background you choose doesn’t take away from the food!
Additionally, you’ll want to keep overall Instagram aesthetic in mind. @becksliveshealthy points out that a consistent background makes your photos recognizable: “I want all my food photos to look the same, and if you change up backgrounds or lighting then you won’t get that same consistency.”
Don’t be afraid to DIY your own background, whether it’s a linen towel to create texture, or even faux marble contact paper.
Put Those Editing Apps to Good Use
You don’t need a fancy camera for drool-worthy shots. “I shoot on my iPhone 7+, and edit with VSCO and Photoshop,” @avokween told us.
Meanwhile, @valeriefidan explained that you don’t have to stick to Instagram filters and gave us a list of her favorite editing apps instead:
- Snapseed for sorting out the basics: “Snapseed is perfect for people that want to do a little editing but maintain that no-filter look.”
- VSCO for all the best filters. She uses the A5 or HB1 filters and plays around to “brighten up the exposure, clarify, sharpen, and decrease the warmth to get rid of the ‘yellowish’ color.”
- Facetune for smoothing out skin or patching up a photo. “I also use this for photos that have a lot of white and I need to make it pop a bit more using the teeth whitening setting.”
One thing to keep in mind is that you want your food photos to look natural so that your plate looks as good as it tastes. Adobe Photoshop Fix is perfect for correcting small issues like making the color pop, and Fotograf has become a foodie favorite because of its preset filters.
But one of the sweetest tips comes from @bakeritablog: “When doing photography for something chocolatey, photograph while it's still hot and the chocolate is still melted for the most drool-worthy shot!”
What’s your number one tip for taking the best Instagram food photo? Let us know!