10 Tips for Taking Perfectly Envy-Inducing Food Pictures on Instagram

The struggle for the perfect Instagram food photo is real. Between blurry brunches, dark corners in restaurants, and cluttered workspaces, capturing the right photo takes a lot of planning and process.

To help you capture the most #foodporn perfect photo, we’ve put together a few simple tips for getting that double-tap on every post you publish:

1) Focus on the Food

Literally – focus on the food in front of you. We can’t tell you how many blurry brunch photos we scroll past. Steady the phone to avoid shaking the camera and focus on the center of the dish.

If you really want to go above and beyond, focus on the most enticing detail of your dish, like the crispy layer of fried chicken, the center layer of cake, or the sugar flowers on a cupcake. If you have an iPhone, take advantage of portrait mode. 


2) LIGHTS, Camera, Action

Anyone who has ever applied a full face of makeup knows: natural daylight is best. The same goes for your food photos. Florescent overhead lights in restaurants don’t make for the best photos; while dimly lit corners are perfect for date night, they’re miserable for your food shots. 

Don’t be afraid to move your plate closer to a window or door if natural light is available. Natural light allows for nuances in a photo that a phone flash does not.


3) Play with Props

Don’t be afraid to play around with kitchen tools to help paint the scene before you. With the addition of a wooden spoon, a napkin, and fresh chopped herbs, you’ll be able to truly tell your viewers about what they’re seeing. Your picture is transformed from food to an entire kitchen. 

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4) Play with Creative Angles

“Try taking pictures from unusual viewpoints. A view that seems normal can look amazing if shot from a completely different perspective than one is used to seeing. Try shooting from up high or right down on the ground to achieve more interesting pictures.”

5) Ask Your Friends’ To Be Photo Assistants

With a friend? Ask them to turn on the flashlight feature on their photo and move it around to create exposure without ever having to use your own flash. 


6) Be Patient

Channel your inner food stylist when you’re thinking about taking creative pictures. Wipe down the edge of your plate for a clean line, clear the clutter away from the countertop, wait for the ice cream to drip down the cone a bit – there are many layers to composing the perfect photo.

7) Compose the Photo

While Instagram generally is used in square format, don’t be afraid to play around with vertical and horizontal photos.

Use the “rule of thirds” – a simple principal of photography that suggests framing key focal point of an image along one-third of the frame, rather than in the center. 


8) Don’t Be Afraid of Shadows

You don’t always need to fill the entire frame with food. Play around with shadows and white space for an added layer of chicness and elegance.

9) Don’t Give It All Away

Sometimes it’s about what you’re not showing that tells a better story in the picture. Don’t feel obligated to get your entire spread in the picture, let the dishes and cutting boards fall outside of the frame to encourage users to use their imagination. 


10) Tell A Story

A photograph isn’t just a picture, it’s a moment you’ve captured that tells the bigger story about who you are and what you do. In the world of food, everything is constantly moving – the pastry chef is adding details to their dessert, someone is chopping herbs, wait staff are coming in and out of the doors, orders are being shouted out – show your audience that one moment in time and what it means for your brand.

Play with creative captions as a final touch to your story. 

Decorating Cupcakes

And don’t forget: not every dish is Instagram-worthy. That loaded chili probably tastes delicious, but ground beef and beans aren’t the most appealing item to photograph. It’s okay if that memory is just captured in your heart and not shared with the world.


Need some inspiration on some of the best Insta accounts out there? Have no fear! Here are 12 Instagram accounts you need to be following ASAP, and here are 5 more accounts to follow. 

And don't forget to follow @FLIKHospitality for more! 


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