Have you ever thought your meal looked awesome IRL, only to take an Insta snap of it and it turned out a little lacklustre? Same. If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably wondered what the Instagram foodies are doing to make their meals look so damn vibrant and delicious. Are they spraying their meals with hairspray to make them glisten, like they used to do in the old school food photography days? Do they just have epic cameras, while we’re relying on our iPhones? WHAT ARE THEIR SECRETS!?!
Turns out, you don’t have to render your meals inedible or use a pro camera to take awesome shots of your food. We were lucky enough to pick up some super practical food styling tips from Jordanna Levin—retreat caterer, recipe developer, food writer and creator of The Inspired Table.
Scroll through the gallery for Jordanna’s top tips on taking better photos of your food.
1. Use a small vessel
The smaller the plate or bowl, the more abundant the food is going to look. Just remember if you downsize the crockery you’ll need to downsize the cutlery too or you’ll look like you’re eating your porridge with a serving spoon.
2. Pick a point of focus
People’s eyes will go where you lead them. So, if you want your point of focus to be in the centre of the dish garnish it with a contrasting colour or dollop with some yoghurt.
3. Layer in stages
Like lots of toppings on your porridge/smoothie/salad? Add ingredients in stages, taking photos in between each layer, that way if you go too far (and we all do it!) you have the before shot to revert back to. I also recommend this when adding sauces and dressings.
4. Work with odd numbers
This is a classic design rule across the board. Whether you’re working with interiors or food try to work in 3, 5 or 7’s. There is no definitive reason why it looks better, but some say it has to do with the way your eye captures odd numbers. Unlike even numbers where your eye settles, odd numbers make your eyes move around and see more of the bigger picture.
5. Use natural light
You can’t beat natural light when it comes to shooting food. If you can’t find an open window opt for white light over yellow, and the most basic lighting tip is to make sure the light is behind the camera not in front of it.