Top Food Styling Tips for Instagrammable Dishes

Looking to upgrade your food photography game for Instagram?

Our handy guide to capturing that perfect snap for the ‘Gram is a good place to start!

It’s all about the food

Before we go any further, rule number one is the food needs to have the ‘yum’ factor. Props, lighting and styling are wasted if you don’t have your audience drooling over the dish. Focus on the food initially, the aim is to create a ‘have to have you right now’ dish that simply cannot be scrolled past. Close up images can only be your friend if the food is well prepared. You want to portray the texture and taste through your image to ensure your audience want to eat the food – not just admire your shot. Keep everything fresh and try to take your photos quickly, curling salad leaves and dried meat won’t appeal to your audience.

Feel the vibe

Your photography mood should naturally complement your recipe. If you have a hearty stew or roast, the environment should be warm and cosy for a wintery vibe. Equally, if you have crisp summer salad the mood should be bright and vibrant. Once you have established the vibe you can arrange props and backgrounds much more easily. Take advantage of the lighting. Although natural light embraces organic textures of certain dishes, shadows can also be your ally when photographing food.

Props to the Props

Choosing props is an extension of creating your vibe. Sharing finger food such as pizza, tacos and burgers works well with pints of lager to create a social mood. Whereas pasta and steak look best with glasses or bottles of wine. Homely cooking such as Shepherd’s pie and lasagne look authentic against reclaimed wood and textured linen. Keep in mind your intended audience and make each dish look unique. Try and avoid mass-produced looking images against a stainless-steel worktop.

Get Straight to the (Focal) Point

Play around with your composition. Too many of the same images can be mundane so mix up your focal point. Ideally, you’d like to display the entire plate but perhaps there is a dripping sauce that looks irresistible. This is something you want to capture in a close-up shot.

(Despite what they say) Size does matter!

An important tip is to understand your food to plate ratio, too much room around the plate makes the portion size too small and unappealing. You want the focus to be on the recipe and not the china pattern so try not to underwhelm your creation with too much plate or bowl.

We hope you found this useful! Let us know if you have any any Hot Tips of your own when it comes to sharing Instagram photos!


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