Tips To Capture Picture-Perfect Food Photos

Style Contributor

Social media has truly changed the way we appreciate food. These days you’ll undoubtedly encounter diners at restaurants who can’t start their meals without snapping photos of their plates first. If you’re an aspiring ‘foodstagrammer’ and love to make people salivate over your food photos shared on Instagram, here are some tips to click it up a notch and make your photos look more extra ‘grammable’ and visually appealing!



Natural light is key when taking pictures of the food because it allows for nuances in a photo that a phone flash does not. When dining at a restaurant, try to sit near the window as the natural lighting can help to highlight the details and colour of the food. A photo that is well-lit with natural light means less time spent on photo editing apps! They say that where there’s a will, there’s a way. If the natural lighting from the window doesn’t do justice, take the table outside and dine alfresco (that is, if the restaurant has an outdoor dining space). If you happen to dine outside at night, you can ask your friends to turn their phone lights on so you can take a shot without having to turn on the flash. That said, be considerate to other diners when opting for this trick. If you cooked at home, then don’t be afraid to move the plate around  – even if it means you have to put the plate on the floor to get good lighting!


Even if your goal is to entice them with incredible dishes, keep it real and snap photos of food you like. Don’t order pasta for the sake of Instagram when you want to eat steak, for example. Be honest, and keep in mind that while you want to do it for the gram, don’t compromise your own appetite for it. This is your Instagram feed after all. Also, don’t try to focus on having the dishes look too perfect. It’s okay if a dish turns out to be a little messy, drippy or oozy – that’s the best part! Food has to be beautiful in and out too.


Be creative by taking your food shots from various angles either from an aerial point of view or side shots – just experiment. Use props if you want, like a rustic table or a small flowerpot. Food shots with a scenic background is a big yes too. There’s no need to chase after trends. Just because you see others taking food shots with a certain mood or light and you don’t favour that, then don’t do it. Imitation is certainly a form of learning, but you should be yourself. Find a style that speaks to you and don’t be afraid to try something different.



The phrase ‘less is more’ doesn’t only apply to fashion and beauty, but with food photography too! What matters most is to highlight the wonderful colours and details of the food. Instagram features are pretty good to help enhance the quality of a food photo if you’re not into using multiple apps. Otherwise, an app like VSCO offers great editing tools. It’s easy to lose the quality of a photo with too many filtres, so the main focus is to adjust the brightness, contrast and sharpen the image. Other apps like Snapseed or Afterlight allows you to tweak the image’s warmth and colour saturation too, enough to make the image pop.

While you’re working to improve your food photography skills, here are some incredible Instagram food accounts to follow and take inspiration from!