food photography

7 Tips To Make Your Food Photography Worthy of Instagram

If you’re not snapping pics of your food before eating it, chances are you know someone who does. But, unfortunately, not every food photographer is a good photographer. Here’s 7 tips on how to make your meals look truly Insta-worthy:

Rule of Thirds 

Something you’ll learn early on in photography school is the rule of thirds. This tried-and-true composition rule applies to food pics on Instagram too. Frame your food with this simple yet effective principle and it will go a very long way.

Try a different angle

Angles in photography–no matter what you’re shooting–matter. Don’t just shoot your plate from where you happen to be sitting. Get creative with your positioning. Don’t be afraid to play with angles because the possibilities are endless.

Fill the frame

There are many ways to compose a photo (the rule of thirds works great but shouldn’t be followed all the time) and filling the frame is one of them. A close-up of a big juicy grapefruit will certainly grab someone’s attention as they mindless scroll through their IG feed.

Use a white napkin or piece of paper

If you’re sitting next to a window, there may be a lot of natural light coming in. Natural light is important but too much can overexpose your photo and wash out your subject. Take a white napkin or a piece of paper and hold it on the far side the plate, opposite of the window. This makeshift bounce board will give your food the fashion model treatment.

Don’t use the zoom

With single-lens smartphone cameras, the quality of your photos decreases when you digitally zoom in, so don’t use it. Instead of relying on zoom, move your camera closer to the subject. Just don’t drop your phone in a bowl of soup!


Keep your frame clean and uncluttered if you’re photographing your food–the table, the utensils, your friends–they may just get in the way of your image. Remember that less can be more and to let the food stand out on it’s own.

Become an expert photographer

Of course the best tip to photographing food is to learn how to photograph everything, with state-of-the-art equipment from award-winning professional instructors. You can find information on photography programs offered at New York Film Academy here.

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Photography Hashtags to Increase Your Reach on Instagram and Twitter

Few could have expected the # sign, previously called pound or number sign and only recognized on a phone, would become an important part of social media.

Hashtags are used to identify a message on a specific topic, allowing people with similar interests to discover each other’s content in the expansive sea that is the internet.

The Power Of The Hashtag

As a photographer, you naturally want other fans and professionals of the art form to check out your work, especially if you’re confident in your abilities and seeking exposure. By using the right hashtags, you’ll increase the number of people in the online photography community who come across your stuff. Many popular pages even look to hashtags to select what photos they share or add to their featured pages, which inevitably increases your social media reach.

Choosing The Best Hashtags For You

From professional to amateur photographers, many have made a name for themselves on Instagram and Twitter with the help of well-chosen hashtags. While it’s not a death sentence, some people are put off by posters who get carried away with how many hashtags they use. In fact, a big mistake to avoid is using hashtags that aren’t relevant to your photo or just aren’t trending.

Instead, your best bet is to carefully choose relevant hashtags while also keeping an eye on whatever is trending. To help you find the best, here are some excellent hashtag choices for some of the most popular categories in the photography world:

Niche Hashtags

Arguably the best hashtags you can use are the ones where people with the same interests will discover you. Although you’ll reach less people, they’re likely to appear on someone’s relevant search who will continue revisiting your pages and follow you.

Trending Hashtags

Sometimes, all it takes is a well-timed post that uses a hot hashtag to earn tons of exposure. If you hop on Twitter or Instagram and see that the latest trend is photos of funny old people, sand castles, or whatever, there’s nothing wrong with jumping in to see if your stuff becomes popular.

Generic Hashtags

These are the hashtags everyone uses and for good reason: everyone follows them. For example, the most basic and timeless photography hashtag is simply #photo. It’s harder to stand out from the crowd with a generic hashtag, but you still have a chance of getting your work on people’s devices. These are best mixed with trending and niche hashtags.

Most Popular Photography Hashtags

Photography Hashtags

#photo #photogram #photographer #photooftheday #pictures #photographyislife #capture #instalove #picoftheday #keepitsimple #exposure #collectivelycreate #instagood

Wedding Photography

#Beachwedding #Beachwedding #weddingcake #Weddingphotography #Weddingphotographer ##Engagement #weddingideas #weddingdress #beautiful #gorgeous #bride

Urban / Street Photography

#urbanphotography #streetphotography #urbex #buildinggraffiti #shoot2kill #graffitiart #streetmobs #instagraffiti #urbanandstreet #guerillaart #urbanromantix #spraypaint #urbanphoto #wallart #streettogether  #streetart #streetartistry #streetexploration

Portrait Photography

#postmoreportraits #portrait #photooftheday #portraits #portraitmood #feelgoodphoto #portraiture #makeportraits #selfshot #vsco #vintage #selfportrait #portraitphotography #selfportrait #selfie #selfies #myself #face #lips #hair #me #eyes #mouth #cute #pose #moi #closeup #model

Nature Photography Hashtags

#nature #naturegirl #awesome_earthpix #discoverearth #earthfocus #mothernature  #naturesbeauty #sky #wanderlust #natureseekers #sun #summer #wildlifelovers #explore #birdphotography #wildlifephotography  #photooftheday #skylovers #animalsofinstagram #wildlifephoto #natureisbeautiful #travelphotography #wildlifeplanet #picoftheday #traveling #summer #wildlifeonearth #naturelover #wildlifeperfection #sunset

*Top 5 Pieces of Gear You Need for Travel Video and Photography

Landscape Photography

#landscapephotography #travelphotos #nationalgeographic  #nakedplanet #places_wow #optoutside #earthofficial #natgeo #beautifuldestinations #pixel_ig #landscapelover #amazingplaces cityofdreams #landscapephotomag #natgeoyourshot #exploretheglobe #landscape_hunter #splendid_earth #ourplanetdaily

Travel Photography

#travel #travelphoto #worldtravelpics #getlost #travelphotography  #travelscenes #thegoodlife #instatravel #explorer #travelworld #instapassport #hdriphonegraphy  #travelingram #mytravelgram #keepitwild #mytravelgram #traveladdict #arountheworld #travelwithkids #paradise #travelawesome #wonderfulview  #travelstoke #lifeisbeautiful #adventuretravel #goodoldmemories

Food Photography

#Chefmode #foodoftheday #foodaddict #onthetable #hautecuisines #chefsofinstagram #foodpost #foodlife #foodie #hungry #sweet #fresh #homemade #foodgasm #yummy  #foodphotography #foodpics #foodstagram #instafood #Eatingfortheinsta #foodgram #nomnom #cleaneating

Black & White Photography

#blackandwhite #bnw #monochrome #instablackandwhite #bwstyleoftheday #monotone #monochromatic #bnw_society #bw_lover #bw_photooftheday #photooftheday #bw  #instagood #bw_society #bw_crew #bwwednesday #noir #insta_pick_bw #bwstyles_gf #irox_bw #igersbnw #fineart_photobw #monoart #insta_bw

Fashion Photography

#fashionphotography #fashionphotographer #FashionDiaries #Ootd #Liketkit #StyleTheBump #fromabove #outfitinspiration  #todayiwore #lovethislook #streetfashionstyle #newshoes #shoesday #makeyousmilestyle #howtostyle

*7 Fashion Blogs Aspiring Photographers Should Follow Now

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Food Photography: How To Take Stunning Photos Of Food

Pan fried potatos and garlic

For the Love of the South

As more and more people are struggling to pay the bills these days, many have begun to return to their roots. That is, many people are realizing that a home cooked meal with vegetables picked from the garden is much cheaper and healthier than a trip to a restaurant. This is great news for aspiring photographers who are looking to start a blog, since food blogs have been drastically increasing in popularity over the past year. While the amount of food blogs will likely continue to increase, the amount of people interested in these blogs will also increase.

So what is it that makes the best food blogs stand out from all the rest? While the perfect combination of good recipes and good photographs is certainly the claim to fame, the photography may be even more important than the actual food. Think about it this way: haven’t you ever judged a book by its cover? Personally, if I’m ever looking for a particular recipe, I judge the website based on its photography. After all, a nicely composed, well-lit sandwich looks far more appetizing than one that was photographed in dreary lighting with a cell phone camera. Capturing the true essence of food is not an incredibly difficult task, but it does require you to have a few tips and tricks under your belt.

Things You Need

  • A window that lets in natural light
  • A 50mm prime lens (an f/1.8 is both inexpensive and versatile)
  • A tripod
  • Attractive plates, bowls, and silverware
  • Optional: External flash, soft box, macro lens

Camera Settings

  • RAW vs. JPEG: Honestly, if you’re wondering which one to use, always shoot RAW. The one downside of this is that RAW takes up more memory than JPEG, so make sure you have a decent sized memory card. If you haven’t shot RAW before and are interested in comparing the two, many cameras offer the ability to shoot both a RAW and JPEG version of the same image. When shooting in RAW, you’ll have a photograph that contains all the information. This means that if your highlights are a little too overexposed or your shadows are a little too underexposed, you’ll be able to fix those problems quickly and easily. With JPEG, any missing information is missing forever.
  • White Balance: Generally, setting your camera to automatic white balance will produce adequate results. And if you’re shooting RAW, you can easily change the white balance in post processing.
  • Aperture: If you chose to go with the 50mm f/1.8 prime lens, shooting wide open (at f/1.8) will provide a beautiful blurred background, allowing you to place all of the focus on the food. Generally, anything wider than f/4 will suffice.
  • Shutter Speed: Since you’ll be shooting on a tripod, shutter speed isn’t much of an issue. Once you have your aperture and ISO set, simply use your light meter to determine the best shutter speed.
  • ISO: The higher the ISO, the more grain. While an extremely cloudy day may require a higher ISO, try shooting with your lens wide open at the lowest ISO you can muster.

Taking the Photographs

1. Try to shoot in natural light whenever possible. When choosing a location, choose one where the light source is either in front of or on the side of your setup. This will light the food beautifully, evenly, and provide natural shadows that make the photograph more interesting. Direct sunlight may cause too many harsh highlights and shadows, so it’s best to shoot on an overcast day or find a shady area.

Rose Water & Orange Blossoms

Rose Water & Orange Blossoms

2. Always choose relevant props. There’s no need to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on tableware when you can head to your local thrift store and find tons of cheap and beautiful props. If you’re photographing an Indian dish, choose Indian inspired tableware. If you’re photographing food with a lot of color and texture, try to choose tableware that doesn’t distract from the dish.

My darling lemon thyme

My Darling Lemon Thyme

3. Dont use on-camera flash!!! It will blow out the photograph and cause the food to look flat and unappetizing. If you need to add in some off-camera flash to supplement the natural light, make sure you filter it through a soft box to make it look more natural.

4. Shoot from different angles. Some food looks best when photographed symmetrically from above, and some looks best when you’re shooting from a lower angle and focusing on one main part of the dish. What may seem like the best composition may not seem as great once viewed on your computer screen, so it’s nice to have options to choose from in the end.

love and lemons

Love and Lemons

5. Consider your entire frame. While shooting a beautiful sandwich on a plain white background may work in some cases, people like to see that the food was created in a real home with real forks, plates, and condiments. Many popular food blogs take inspiration from antiques; shooting on a beautiful old wooden table covered with natural looking tableware is a great way to create a homey feel. Many successful food photographers also include some of the ingredients found in the dish.

Local milk

Local Milk

6. Use complimentary colors. Brown food pairs especially well with dark purple and maroon hues, while a pop of green basil atop a ripe red tomato is a perfect combination of colors. Make sure that none of your props distract from or clash with the food you’re presenting.

My New Roots

My New Roots

One of the most important things to remember is to have fun!! Don’t be afraid to play around with your lighting, styling and garnishes. The more you practice, the better you’ll get. We hope this article on food photography helps in your quest to take stunning photos of food. Happy shooting!