If you take a look at my Insta feed (@selestewashere), it’s pretty clear that I live by the motto ‘the camera eats first’. Of course, I don’t photograph every single meal I eat because sometimes the photo just doesn’t want to happen or — horror — the food just isn’t photogenic.
Given my love of food photography, today I’m here to share my tips for what types of food looks good when put into that little square on screen. Obviously don’t go and order something you don’t like just to post it on Instagram (we’re not trying to be wasteful here), instead, here are some general tips for what looks good and a general list of the best instagram foods, which can be applied to all sorts of different restaurants or foods. I’ve shuffled some of my own photos into the mix so I hope you like them!
The first category of food that I really love to photograph is the decadent type — think images that make you want to lick the screen. The easiest way to achieve this style of photo is to try to add some movement to the image. Drizzling syrup over a stack of pancakes, or a golden egg yolk running down turns just normal dishes into #foodporn. Take these photos from a side angle to mimic what you see and really enhance their droolworthyness.
The second type of dish that looks awesome on Instagram is colorful food. People tend to scroll quickly through their feed so making people stop and notice is important.
Think brightly colored salads, smoothie bowls, or even a bowl of Fruit Loops against a bright white plate. Or even a slice of french toast and a handful of berries against a dark blue plate.
Making sure that whatever food you’re taking stands out against the background makes people stop and notice. For instance, a burrito will blend right into a white plate, but cut it open and show off the fillings, or drizzle some salsa over the top and suddenly the photo is a bit more interesting.
I tend to use a bird’s eye view for these photos. The full table shot also falls under that category: Make sure that there’s variety on the table, and that the food stands out, and you’ll have a winning shot.
There’s also the category of food that was just made for Instagram. That includes anything character themed, rainbow, charcoal, or otherwise super trendy. These may not taste the greatest, but from an “aesthetic” point of view, they are your best bet for catching attention of a scroller, and are usually quite fun to eat. Take these photos however you see fit, but play up the trendy aspect of it, maybe an epic cheese pull, or highlighting the character faces.
How do you get the best food photos for Instagram?
There are honestly so many more tips to share here — this is just the beginning. I could do an entire post about what to get at cafés, or more stylized shots, but these types of photos are more chill, and won’t get you weird looks from other customers or your friends.
If you’ve found these tips helpful, share your food photos with us on IG (use the hashtag #CFSquad for a chance to be featured on our Instagram account) and be sure to tag us, we’re @collegefashion!