How to Make Your Food Photos on Instagram Dazzle – Hot Tips for Amateur Photographers

Posting photographs of food is perhaps one of the most popular activities of Instagram users. Right from recipes executed in your home kitchen to a day out with buddies at a restaurant, there is nothing like beautifully curated food photos to make your followers stop in the tracks and drool. There are hundreds of thousands of Instagram accounts dedicated to food, many of which have followers running into several million. While each of the accounts has its individual style, one thing is common across all of them – the remarkable quality of the photographs. If you too have an Instagram account devoted to food, you will need to make the photographs pop to get the engagement you are looking for. Some useful tips for taking mouthwatering food photos for Instagram:

Look to Use Natural Lighting 

Undoubtedly the best tip you can get for shooting beautiful food photographs is to use natural lighting. As every professional photographer will certify, it is the quality of the lighting that makes or breaks the looks of a photo. There are many things you can do with photo editing software; however, fixing a lighting issue is not one of them. Photos of food lighted by candles can be very romantic; however, these are very difficult to take because by using a flash, you will wash out the softer nuances of the composition. It is also important to avoid direct and harsh sunlight as you will not be able to capture the food textures well. Soft natural light streaming in from a window close by is perhaps the best thing to use.

Appeal to the Senses

When you are taking food photographs, you need to be showing off the highlights of the dish to give the viewer a mouthwatering experience. You don’t have to adopt complicated maneuvers when the idea is just to give viewers an idea of what the food tastes like so that they wish they were having it themselves. Simple actions like adding some fresh herbs on a baked fish or letting the hot chocolate dribble over the side of fresh vanilla ice cream can do the trick. If you are not being able to generate the desired engagement, you can of course buy likes on Instagram to set you up for the big league.

Figure Out the Optimum Angles

If you are dining at a restaurant and getting your mobile phone ready to shoot photos of the food you have ordered, you should resist the temptation of shooting the photos from your chair. Some table layouts benefit by your standing up and taking a shot of the spread from a height while others merit a close-up shot. For example, if the item has an interesting profile like a loaded hamburger or a cheesecake slice, you can take a straight shot so that you can capture the layers and textures, however, other items like soups and stews in bowls look great with an overhead shot. According to Forbes, it is better to use a macro lens, rather than an all-purpose one to take close-ups.

Capture the Food Preparation Process

To add a layer of authenticity to the food photographs you are taking, you should also take a few photos of the cooking or food preparation process in the kitchen. This is especially important when you are conjuring up the dishes in your kitchen. If you are dining out and it is not a busy time for the restaurant, you could try persuading the chef to let you get a peek into the kitchen for some shots. Many a time the preparation of the food can be very interesting to foodie audiences.

Use Props to Make Your Photos More Interesting 

Food photography is all about creating drama. The principal actors maybe the dishes however you can set the stage better with some carefully selected props. If you are cooking robust country food, you could use a rustic unpolished wooden table to set the tone. In other situations, a pretty tablecloth can add zing to the shot. Other props like a pair of spectacles, a vase with fresh flowers, and a folded newspaper can add a different dimension to your shots. Making sure the crockery and cutlery match the food is important to set the right tone. However, it is important not to add too many props as they can easily take the attention away from the food.


Many times you will find that what looks good on the table turns out drab in the photos! It is, therefore, necessary to use photo-editing software to make them more appealing to cut out stuff that has crept in unintentionally into the frame. However, as in everything to do with food photography, it is important to use restrain with the tools. Your intention should be to use a light hand to retouch the images without compromising their integrity or naturalness.