Something I get asked a lot is, How to Take Amazing Food Photos for Instagram? How do I get the colours on my pictures just right and what do I use to edit my pictures. Keep reading, I will be covering all the details so that you can experiment and have fun when taking your food pictures.
Light & Food
Capture your pictures in natural daylight rather than artificial light as this gives your images a softer and more natural look.
Artificial lights can give your food images colour casts and make it look grainy.
Use the natural light as much as possible. Place a table next to a window or windows. Take your food outdoors if weather allows and make use of the natural light as much as possible. Don’t neglect cloudy days these are perfect for food pictures because the clouds act like giant light diffuser and give that soft light look rather than sharp shadows from direct sun light… on to the next point.
In some images shadows can add more depth and more visual pattern. But most of the time in food photography, the shadows can dominate too much of the picture and draw the attention away from the subject. Work with the shadows if it creates interesting shades that adds to the composition.
But in most cases avoid the bright sunlight, that creates harsh shadows. Soft light and shadows are much more flattering to the food photography creating light depth without dominating the whole image.
To avoid harsh shadows, move to a lightly shaded area or cover your windows with semi transparent white curtains or white blinds.
Use neutral backgrounds as much as possible. You don’t want a background that takes away from the food but that complements the composition. It doesn’t have to be completely plain but neutral. It’s all about where you want to direct the attention.
Depending on your style and theme you are going for, different backgrounds complement different foods and styles. Food photography works well with light backgrounds, dark backgrounds and wooden backgrounds. You can also add more texture to your background with newspapers, tea towels, covers, baking tray, marble and whatever works best with your composition when it comes to how to take amazing food photos for Instagram.
You can use similar colours to make the composition look more softer and you can use contrasting colours to create a more vibrant and dynamic look.
Experiment with different colours and find your own style. Consider that different colours and colour combinations can bring up different feelings and emotions in the viewer. Once you know the style and the feel you are going for you can choose the colours accordingly to represent your vision. Specially if the images are for your Instagram feed it is good to consider whether or not the colours work with the theme you are going for.
When taking pictures of food, shooting from above has a lot of benefits. It allows you to cover in more details the food, the background the dishes all the cutlery and any other details within the frame. Always take pictures from several different angles and choose the one you like best. It’s amazing to see the difference of the slightest angle change. It gives the viewer a whole new perspective of the food.
How to Take Amazing Food Photos for Instagram Part 2
Arrange Your Food
Make sure you are not hungry when preparing to take your Instagram perfect food pictures. Because arranging your food and having it look neat with each detail carefully thought after, will take you some time. If you want that mouth-watering effect on your viewers keep on reading.
Food Photography is all about arranging your food in a neat and creative way.
Create a visual appeal that makes the viewer want to eat whatever it is you are presenting. Even if it’s broccoli on a tray. Make the broccoli look colourful and slightly bronze with some oil drops. If you are playing with some deserts and have some chocolate around, dip your spoon in some melted chocolate and place it on the side of your desert. Most importantly have fun and play around. Create something we don’t see on a daily basis, like perfect smoothly bowls 🙂
After you are done with the arrangement, make sure everything is neat and clean. Wipe any sauce spills on the edges of the plate or on the background. Make it look picture perfect.
It’s great to have all the focus on the main object but to make your images more interesting you can add some smaller details and add different textures.
A great way to add some decoration is to add some of the ingredients that you have used to prepare the food or drink with. For example, if you have made a raspberry smoothie then add some frozen raspberries in your arrangement. This can also help the viewer to get a “visual recipe” of the main ingredients used. Spices tend to look great as decoration as well. Add a spoon full of the spices used and place it within the frame.
Some other food decorations that look good in pictures are, pieces of chocolate, berries, fruits, nuts, coffee beans. Any thing that complements the look you are going for.
How to Take Amazing Food Photos for Instagram….
You can also decorate your composition with some non-food items that add or complement to the story and the feel you are going for. Use different shapes, lines and textures or even celebrations like Xmas. As long as the item doesn’t take away from the main focus and the main story. Always consider how the colours of the decoration and the colours of the food interact together. You can work with colours that are in the same colour tone or colours that pop and create more of a contrast in the image.
Anything that’s natural and that’s alive adds something extra to your images. Flowers bring your images alive and add beautiful colours and touch to your food images. Flowers, leaves, plants and pine cones all add to your story that you are creating. So, look around when you are in nature for some unique peace’s. Well, you can never go wrong with some beautiful flowers.
Tell a Story
Decide what story you want to tell with your image. Photography is a great way to tell a story without using any words. Decide on the feeling you are going for and what objects you could use to help you convey that feeling. Is it a more dreamy atmosphere, tropical, adventurous or relaxed feel? All depends on your Story. The story helps the viewer to enter into your image and experience the feeling through their perspective.
Create a more personal touch by adding your arm or hand. It can also be someone else’s arm or hand. By adding hands and cutlery it creates a sense of movement in a otherwise static image. It also makes it feel more personal. Some human element creates a sense of presence and a different feel to the images. Again, going back to your story and what kind of feeling and story you are going for, dictates how to position your hands and what movements to make.
How to Take Amazing Food Photos for Instagram Part 3
Less is More
Yes, you can add a lot of different details to tell your story but sometimes less is more. Keep it simple and let the main subject tell the story and have all the focus.
For a strong visual impact and a minimalistic look, position your subject in the centre and use very minimal decoration. Let the food do the talking 😊
It’s best to avoid patterns or to bright plates that take away the attention from the food. White and neutral china is a great option and it doesn’t take too much of the attention away from the food. Unless you want to take a look at my plates shoot then go for it…How to Take Amazing Instagram Food Photos
Editing is Your Friend
A lot of times the colours don’t come up quite right on the phone or on the camera. You can easily fix this with a photo editing app. One of my top favourite editing apps are VSCO & Light Room.
Choose a filter that works best with the food that you have and that enhances the colours and the feel of your image. In most photo editing apps, you can fine tune the colours and the exposure that enhance the mood of the image. If you are going for a more vibrant look then go with filters that make the colours more vivid and bright. While if you are going for a “softer” look choose filters that tone down the colours and make them more fade.
You can also choose to only adjust the colour saturation, brightness and fade in your images without having any filter applied. This is my preferred option. Adjust and fine tune until you get the look and feel you are going for.
More detailed editing tips will be coming up shortly stay tuned…
So …. How to Take Amazing Food Photos for Instagram?
Practise, Practise and more Practise
Remember most importantly to have fun! We are talking about food after all and the best part of food photography is that you can eat it after the picture taking 😊
Isn’t that’s why we all love taking food pictures?
So now you know How to Take Amazing Food Photos for Instagram. Capture the best day light and experiment taking your images next to a window/windows or outdoors. Capture the story and the feeling you are going for and use decoration in accordance to your story. Arrange it to perfection and follow this simple step and we guarantee that you’ll have tempting and mouth-watering shots.
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