How to Improve Your Food Photography on Instagram first appeared on The Grits Blog in January.
If there is one thing I love more than eating food, wait, scratch that… If there is one thing I love almost as much as eating food, it’s taking photos of food! I share a lot of my meals on my instagram and through my posts have determined how to make my food photos pop on the app using VSCOcam and Instagram.
First things first, make sure you have Instagram and VSCOcam downloaded (they are both free), and you’ve taken the photo you want to edit. VSCOcam has a great camera feature if you want to take your pictures using some special functions not available on your basic phone camera. In this case I am going to edit these grilled chicken thighs and mango salad I took on my iPhone.
Open up VSCOcam and select the photo you plan on using, by clicking the + symbol at the top. After the image has imported, select it from the home screen and click on the paintbrushes at the bottom.
You now have a number of filters you can use to edit your photo, but my favorite for food photos is C1 which is a filter to adjust vibrancy. With this open you can boost your photo to the desired amount. Play around with what works for your image, but usually something between +3 and +6 gives it just enough boost without going over the top. Hit that checkmark to hold on to your favorite.
I used +3 for my photo as it looks most natural.
If you’d like to crop your image manually before uploading to Instagram, now is the time to do it. Click the triangle to crop or make other edits. If you’d rather let instagram do the cropping just save your work by selecting the checkmark.
Once you’ve made it back to the homepage, select the up arrow, and click instagram. This will prep the photo to be uploaded to instagram for you, and then open in Instagram.
I ignore all the preset filters in Instagram and go straight for the tools up top.
Starting with the sunburst, adjust the lux of your image. 50 is usually a great place to be, but adjust as needed to enhance the photo without making it look unreal or too edited.
Once you’ve saved you’re on to the final editing step. Click the wrench symbol to pull up standard photo editing options. For all my food photos (instagram and blog) I increase the brightness and contrast by just a few notches. Brightness about a 3-4 and contrast under 10.
To determine the best contrast, slide the meter to the right to where the picture starts to look funny. Now pull it back until your eyes balance it out and it looks right again.
You’re ready to share your image with your friends and followers. Be sure to add about five hashtags that work for your photo. #yum #delicious are two hashtags that get a lot of “likes” as well as #paleo #glutenfree #dessert if your food fits into one of those categories.
Doesn’t that chicken on the right look so much more appetizing? To see more food photos check out and follow my instagram, especially this week as #BenAndDreeEatAmerica!
What are your secret, or not so secret tips for Instagram?