I’ll admit it, I’m one of those people that usually takes a picture of something I’ve ordered in a restaurant or a cafe before I eat it. I just want to remember how good it was and of course, I love to Instagram it. I’ve collaborated with The Furniture Market to put together a guide of all things Instagram from angles to flat lays, here’s some of my best tips for taking sweet Instagram food shots!
1. Get The Angle Right
Either a birds-eye view or a 45-degree angle is a winner! For a short, square table I like a birds-eye view so you can get the edge of the table in and it looks kinda cool. If it’s a long table with a few different meals on then a shot across the table can also be really nice!
2. Lots of Light
If there’s a shadow or it’s dark and the light isn’t natural then 5/5 times the photo’s going to look pretty rubbish. The same with flash! Never, ever use flash when it comes to food photography because it just floods the image with light and makes all the tasty food look washed out and mushy.
Filters that I like for adding light are Clarendon – this puts a light blue sheen over things too which can make things look really fresh and Lark which gives a deeper, yellow colour to images. I use Clarendon for cooling pictures down and Lark for warming them up and I almost always use the brightening tool.
3. Attractive Background
A rubbish background or a dirty table is the worst thing you can do to an Instagram food shot. Everything will be focused on the weird napkin in the corner or the dirty beer mat. A pretty table or a placemat or even a fancy menu under your plate will make the world of difference. Personally, I like a white table or a nice metal table if it’s a fresh meal and a deep oak or dark wood table can look best for wintery meals.
4. Clean Up
Make sure that the plate or bowl that you’re taking a photograph of is clean and there are no splashes around the edges of soup or sauce or anything that won’t make the image look as good as it could.
5. Props, Props, Props
A white plate on a light wooden table could look a bit boring and dull if it’s just housing a simple sandwich. But, add a pair of sunglasses, some flowers or a fancy coffee into the equation and all of a sudden you’ve got a prettier picture and it also creates a better ‘lifestyle’ feel to the image and can show some more personality.
Finally, make sure the food is actually worth looking at. If it’s just a few slices of white bread with some butter on, it might not be the most Instagrammable thing ever. If it’s a few slices of white bread on the side of a full English breakfast, go for it!