5 Ways to Take Better Food Photos

Written by Bryce

You’re undoubtedly a great cook or a frequent diner at world class restaurants (or, perhaps both). You probably document just about every meal you eat on Instagram and Facebook at the very least, but unless you’ve got some skills, you’re probably blissfully unaware that your food isn’t looking as glam as possible. You probably wonder how to take better food photos, too. Take careful note, the love of your life might unsubscribe from your Facebook feed if you upload too many sub-par blood orange cheesecake images. Don’t risk it. Here are 5 tips to take MUCH better photo photos:

1. Use natural lighting whenever possible. Your best meal photography options will be in a sun filled restaurant. Even a simple yogurt and berries dish will look like it belongs on the cover of Martha Stewart Living in natural light. Try to use crisp white plates, not-t00-busy table linens, and neatly organized food to get the shot just right.

2. No sunlight? No problem. Your phone’s flash is the enemy of professional-looking food photos. Whenever possible, use overhead lighting (if you’re at home, for example) or if you’re in a restaurant just drag over the table’s candles within 4-6 inches of the plate being photographed. Candles offer subtle lighting, and you can easily brighten the photo within Instagram or Facebook. I repeat, flash is the enemy.

3. Never photograph muddy-looking foods. If your meal is a stew, dark colored soup, or a giant pot of mole sauce- it’s going to be an extremely difficult shot to capture. Think about photographing foods with a variety of colors and texture- like a plate of fresh cheeses, tomatoes, and sliced avocado. Sometimes the best tasting meals just aren’t right for photos, and it’s hard to resist the temptation to photograph them anyway.

4. Hashtagging. If you’re uploading to Instagram, consider the hashtags you use. It’s obviously much more gratifying to get 45 likes on your photo than the 2 you normally get from your cousin in Detroit and the girl you went to high school with but hardly remember. Use relevant hashtags like #whatsfordinner, #brunch, #mexicanfood, #cheeseplatter, or #foodie.

5. Add layers of texture. Add a colorful napkin beneath your plate, a gorgeous wine goblet, a fork laid gently on your plate, or even a a few sprigs of fresh herbs for garnish. Voila!

About the author


Bryce Gruber is a Manhattanite mom who can be found jet-setting off to every corner of the globe. She loves exotic places, planes with WiFi, summer clothes, & Sucre brown butter truffles. Bryce's aim is to do to luxury what Elton John did to being gay. Follow her on twitter @brycegruber

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