Plenty of foodies who are successful on Instagram did not get a degree in photography, and are using their phone’s camera. So how are they thriving on an app centered around photography? In this post, we will be giving you the best tips, tricks, and hacks so you can create professional-looking content of your recipes without paying a penny.
Why Quality Matters
Having high resolution aesthetic content will lead your hungry audience to see you or your brand as something they can trust. When people can tell you put some hard work behind your post, they will be more likely to listen to what you have to say!
You’re probably not the first person in the world to take a photo of whatever you’re shooting. That’s a good thing! Use hashtags and accounts with similar content as inspiration by saving your favorite posts on Instagram or by screenshotting them. Then, make a tangible list of the photos you want to get, either in the general future or for a specific dish. You may think you’ll remember everything without one, but you probably won’t. Better safe than sorry (or rather, better safe than forgetting to get a shot of your cake batter before it goes in the oven).
What To Remember While Shooting
If you’re not using a tripod (and you rarely have to) you’re going to want to make sure your shot is slightly wider than you need. This way, when you edit the photo, you will have the ability to crop and rotate it without cutting anything important out.
Next, be intentional. If you’re trying to shoot a photo of your dinner from above, get high enough so your phone can be completely parallel to the plate as you take the shot. If you’re getting a low angle shot, get LOW. If you’re trying to focus on one piece of a certain dish, get a close up of it. If these artistic decisions aren’t fully committed to, it shows in the art. Focus, and then go for it!
Lastly, use basic tools to your advantage. Swipe through the camera app to use portrait mode when applicable. This way your photo will have a blurry background, and your subject will pop out more. Create symmetrical images. Play with the exposure or brightness of the shot by tapping light and dark parts of the screen. Find a visually pleasing background. Most importantly, take your time! Rushing through something like this will leave you frustrated when you go to edit your work and it isn’t exactly what you wanted.
Post Production Tips
Time to edit! Adobe’s Creative Cloud photo editing app Lightroom is free for mobile, which is huge! There you can edit the lighting, contrast, and even the saturation of each color in your photo. The more practice you get editing, the better you will be and the quicker you will find your specific style. One tip for any editing style: if there are natural horizontal or vertical lines in your shot (i.e. a table, door frame, the horizon) use them as a reference when straightening out the photo. It’s the perfect cheat sheet you never knew you had!
Here’s an example of a photo we took and then edited for one of our client’s Instagram pages:
As you can tell, the edits are pretty subtle (we made the colors warmer and upped the contrast) but they make a huge difference when it comes to your feed as a whole!
You’re Ready To Create!
Implementing these free tips will help your Instagram feed look even more polished. Practicing these tricks, especially in low stress situations, will help them become second nature to you. You’ll be posting beautiful photos like a pro in no time.