One of the most asked questions I get from blog readers is how I shoot my food photos. There’s usually a misperception a fancy camera and expensive equipment are required to achieve the high quality shots you see from your favorite food and travel bloggers. Not true. Next time you head out to eat, grab your iPhone and use these five tips for taking better restaurant food photos.
1. Ask for a table by the window.
Natural light is your best friend when it comes to food photography. Shooting in the dark, or with your flash on, will create harsh shadows and make your food look less appealing. I suggest asking for a table by the window to get the greatest amount of natural light the restaurant has to offer.
2. Play with angles.
Consider the size and shape of your food before snapping. Flat dishes, or anything in a bowl, should usually be shot from above. Foods with height (like burgers or sandwiches) should be shot vertically and from the side.
3. Have a steady snapping hand.
It seems simple, but consider all the blurry Instagram photos you see in your feed every day. Keep your phone as still as possible when snapping your pictures – sometimes I even hold my breath as a mental reminder.
4. Play with your food.
In other words, be a food stylist! Feel free to experiment with utensil placement, take a bite out of your sandwich for a “realistic” feel, or get a friend’s hand in the shot. Playing with elements of your dish will add an element of creativity to your shot.
5. Edit with apps!
Once you’ve taken your shot, the work isn’t done. There are hundreds of photo editing apps that will help you take your photo to the next level. I use Snapseed to brighten my photos and do small retouches with the “healing” feature. Additionally, VSCO filters give my photos a cohesive look and feel. I suggest finding one you like and sticking with it to give your Instagram feed a signature style.
Have more restaurant food photography questions? Need a few more pointers? Fire away in the comments below!