Social media has changed the way we look at food, as more people than ever before have taken to online platforms to post mouth-watering pictures of their meals. Take for instance the photo sharing app, Instagram — a whopping 95 million posts are uploaded every day on this site, and the majority of the content shared involves food and drink. It also appears that most food bloggers are big fans of meat as the second most Instagrammed food is steak. This is why it’s perfectly normal to see a mouth-watering photo of a nicely seared t-bone or tenderloin while scrolling through your feeds on any given day. While a good camera is essential to a great food post, creative presentation also matters if you want to take stunning pictures that have the potential to go viral on the ‘gram or Pinterest. Level up your game and try these smart hacks to take better food photos
The right background matters
Your multicolored dishes may look great on the shelf, but if you’re taking photos of, say, a perfectly cooked steak, then an all-white background is a must to make your food more photogenic. Use a plain white plate, as well as a plain white tablecloth for your photoshoot, and arrange the meat to make it more appetizing. However, if an all-white background is too boring for you, then try a complementary color to make your food pop. A chocolate cake will look great on a blue or teal cake stand, while a few red strawberries will look utterly delectable when placed on a bed of green leaves.
Add props and movement
Now that you have the perfect background, it’s time to add some life to your food to make it even more appealing. Apart from artful garnishing and props such as fresh flowers, you can twirl pasta on a fork and lay it alongside the plate for a bit of movement. Also, don’t hesitate to bring some people into your shot. A hand cutting into a steak, grasping a wine glass or reaching for a roll looks natural and makes the photo more lively. If you’re doing a food photo shoot, make sure that your models are wearing neutral or dark clothing so they won’t take away the focus from the food.
Know the right angles and lighting
There’s a reason why some people stand on chairs to get a shot of their food — an overhead shot, or shooting from a birds-eye view, is one of the best angles to take gorgeous food photos. So do it right, get up on that chair, and make sure that all your food and props are inside the frame. Try to shoot in natural light, but if you’re in a dim restobar or in a dark dining room, then you may have to make do with artificial lighting.
However, you don’t necessarily have to buy professional photography lights — a ring light or a portable light will get the job done. Never place your light source overhead as it can wash out the colors of your food. Instead, place it behind or beside your subject. Once you’re done setting up, take lots of photos from different angles, and don’t be afraid to move your food and props. Sometimes, it’s the seemingly awkward layout that looks stunning on camera, so experiment and be sure to take lots of shots.
Once you’re done taking photos, use your smartphone’s photo editing app or a photo editing software to enhance your pictures. Upload them to your social media pages, be diligent in posting food-related content, and soon, you may gain a large following on Instagram or Pinterest. Try these hacks to take better food photos, and don’t forget to keep enjoying photography and great food.
Meet The Author
After taking a career sabbatical to become a mother, Jackie now writes full time on topics ranging from health and wellness, right through to news and current affairs. She has, in the past battled problems with anxiety and panic, and in her spare time she volunteers for a number of local charities that support people with mental health issues.