How Do Savvy Instagrammers Take Their Food Photos?

Chad Faith
Chad Faith

Director of Content


Today, social media has made a huge impact on the restaurant industry, in terms of concept design, retail marketing, and more. In addition, nearly 50 percent of millennials Instagram, tweet, text, etc., while they eat. It is important to note that these individuals tend to have the highest spending power. That’s why it pays to know what makes them tick in the culinary landscape. If you are planning to set up an Instagram account for your restaurant business, it is recommended that you learn how to take the perfect food photos. After all, a restaurant’s reputation is everything; what consumers see on Instagram can influence their decisions on where to eat. With that in mind, here are some tips to help you take better food photos:

Adjust the Exposure

Modern smartphones allow their users to manually adjust the image’s exposure levels. Simply open the exposure settings and adjust how dark or light your photo should be. These settings come in handy whenever you need to shoot in very dark or sunny locations.

Working with Natural Light

It is better to take pictures of your food in natural light instead of artificial lighting. One of the easiest ways is to shoot next to a window; set your food on a table next to it and switch off any lights in the room. Two different light sources can affect the outcome of the photo. You can also bounce some of that window light onto the shadowy side of your food by holding up a napkin against the non-window side of the plate.

Although shooting in direct sunlight can help you achieve a cool and modern feel, your food may look harsh due to extreme shadows. You can lessen the intensity of the shot by activating the HDR (high dynamic range) setting.

Capture Multiple Shots and Avoid Zooming

When taking food photos, it is a good idea to capture several shots of the same item. This way, you have more options to browse through and you can pick out the most focused ones. In many cases, almost half of your shots will turn out slightly blurred, so it is always great to have options.

If you are considering getting closer to your food, avoid using the zoom function because it will lower the quality of your photos. Simply move the camera closer so that the final shot does not look crappy.

Try Shooting Overhead and Enable Photo Grid

Almost every dish looks its best when shot from above. To capture food from this angle, one will need to hold his or her camera as level as possible to whatever is being photographed. If the camera becomes slightly angled, the photo will not have that clean, birds eye style. Photo grids are especially helpful when shooting a top-down photo, so be sure to use them as a guide!

Avoid Overusing Filters

Filters can make photographs look fun and interesting, but do not always work out well for food. The settings of some filters may have been bumped up too high or are too low. In addition, they do not allow users to control individual aspects of editing. A good practice is to capture the shots you need first and then make minor adjustments in a separate photo editing application.