Insta Food for Thought

A guide to mouthwatering food photos

After spending the time preparing and perfecting your food masterpiece, it’s only natural to want to show it off on Instagram. Here are some best practices to ensure you always capture your dish in the best light.


Be thoughtful about what you’d like to achieve. The plates you use, plating your dish and where it’s placed in the frame all contribute to the appetite appeal and capturing a tasteful photo.


Using pops of color will make your food more interesting and appetizing, especially when it’s placed on a (cough, cough) white dish or background. Rule of thumb: try not to exceed more than three colors. You want contrast, not chaos.


Use natural lighting instead of the flash. The flash can wash out the colors of your food and create weird shadows or reflections that will make your dish appear unappetizing, which defeats the purpose of posting it on Instagram.


Decide on an angle that will capture your dish at its best. Consider the details and layers when determining an appropriate angle. While an overhead shot might work well for a pizza, it might not do a burger any justice. Don’t be afraid to move around a little—crouch, stand on a chair or simply angle your phone slightly askew—before snapping the shot.


Relax. It’s only a photo. Hold your phone firmly, while keeping it steady to make sure everything stays in frame and in focus. You may be an amateur, but there’s no need to look like one.


You’ve plated the perfect dish, applied a garnish for contrast, taken it outside for natural light, found just the right angle and snapped your photo without even the slightest quiver of the wrist. Now don’t mess it up with excessive filtering. Respect the natural beauty of your dish, and use minimal effects. Consider using the blur tool to help direct the eye to the subject of your shot, or to highlight specific details…but don’t get too crazy. When it comes to filters, less is more.


Congratulations, you’re ready to upload your delicious photo to Instagram. Feel free to pair it with a clever line, hashtag and/or emoji.