Food Influencers Reveal 8 Easy Tricks for Better Instagram Photos

Do you ever look at a gorgeous food Instagram and think, whoa, why can’t I get my burger to look like that? Same—all the time. That’s why we tapped into the brilliant minds of eight of our favorite food influencers. Here, their easy tricks for creating stunning photos. Make the hearts rain.

7 Tricks for Taking the Best Food Photos

Do Photo Research First

“When I’m looking for inspiration…say, I don’t know how I want to style an ice cream sandwich…I’ll go on Pinterest and search ‘ice cream sandwich food photography’ and see all of the gorgeous ways that people styled their ice cream sammies. I have different backgrounds, linens, cutlery, etc., so mine will never look the same. But studying photographs that you think are beautiful can help you start to develop your own style.”

- Rebecca Firth of @displacedhousewife and Displaced Housewife

Make Sure Your Food Is Colorful

“Make sure whatever you’re shooting has plenty of color, whether that's in the form of garnish, an avocado, colorful vegetables, red pepper flakes, etc. You need something that's going to catch everyone’s eye.”

- Gaby Dalkin of @whatsgabycookin and What’s Gaby Cooking

Consider Patterns And Negative Space

“The eye loves seeing a recognizable shape to stare at over and over again—circles, squares, swirly lines, etc. They should be arranged to create structure in what could otherwise be a chaotic food scene. You see it on Instagram all the time—overhead shots of 12 tightly swirled cinnamon rolls, an up-close shot of a huge pile of ripe strawberries at the farmers market—and you immediately want to double tap. It’s equally important to leave enough negative space for the eyes to have a place to rest and take in the object without confusion or distraction.”

- Jerrelle Guy of @chocolateforbasil and Chocolate For Basil

Turn Your Phone Upside Down

“Turn your phone upside down when shooting food. You'll get a better, close-up angle. Another tip is to make sure you wipe off your camera lens every time you snap a photo; you'd be surprised how dirty and blurry it gets.”

- Monique Volz of @ambitiouskitchen and Ambitious Kitchen

Photograph Everything (we Repeat, Everything) In Natural Light

“Use natural light. The more you shoot, the better you will become. Try shooting at different times of day, in different lights and at different angles to find the best look.”

- Maria Lichty of @twopeasandpod and Two Peas & Their Pod

Curate Your Food Props

“I love passing through antique malls to shop for food props. I’m always on the lookout for antique silverware and serving utensils. They look less shiny and you won’t get that horrid reflecting when shooting them. The smaller your plates are, the better. When you use large dinner plates, your meal gets lost on the plate. For big meals, I typically squeeze it all on a salad plate so the plate looks full and beautiful.”

- Alex Snodgrass of @thedefineddish and The Defined Dish

Don’t Be Shy About Filters

“I always edit with editing filters—especially brightness, contrast and saturation—to amplify colors and make food pop. It’s a great way to showcase the vibrancy of healthful, plant-centric food.”

- Gena Hamshaw of @thefullhelping and The Full Helping

Create A Signature Style And Look

“Stay as consistent as possible. There are some fabulous apps now that allow you to save your own presets or copy your editing history from picture to picture. I still recommend tweaking each photo since every image is different, but if you're just getting started honing your visual eye, presets help save time and ensure that there's a cohesiveness to your feed.”

- Phoebe Lapine of @phoebelapine and Feed Me Phoebe

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Food Editor

From 2017 to 2019 Heath Goldman held the role of Food Editor covering food, booze and some recipe development, too. Tough job, eh?