by Caleb Goellner

How to Photograph an Instagram-Worthy Meal

Man cannot live by bread alone. But salted caramel vanilla bean ice cream? Now that’s another story.

Creating drool-inspiring, Instagram-worthy photos doesn’t require a team of food stylists or Giada De Laurentiis-caliber skills. You just need confidence and some tips and tricks, like these from Drizzle and Dip:

Lights, Camera, Action!

Whether you’re taking a selfie or a shot of your favorite dish, natural light is always best. To create a 3D feel, have fun with shadows.

The Subject of Subjects

Subject placement is the second most important tip. You can follow the rule of thirds or have the subject off-center, which makes the photo a bit more interesting—but also takes away from the meal. Like everything in life, it’s all about tradeoffs. You have to decide which is more important: that full, yummy-looking pizza, or half of that yummy-looking pizza with added interest.

Deep Thinking

Depth of field is another crucial consideration. There are three types of depth of field: shallow, medium and deep. Shallow depth of field is used when a small part of the subject is in focus, with the majority of it out of focus. Medium has more of the subject in focus with a portion of it out of focus. Deep focus has everything in focus. How do you decide how deep to get? Think about what you want to show off. Focusing on the earthy beauty of a ripe tomato’s veins, with other tomatoes in the background, can produce a yummy Insta- (or Pinterest-) worthy photo. 

Rise Above

Stand up for great photos! Get a shot of your feast from overhead. Foods that are round, such as pizza or pie, look best from above. If your food has many layers, like a cake or slice of casserole, its best side is, well, the side. Take the photo from an angle and push the strata into the stratosphere!

Color Us Impressed

Variety may be the spice of life, but color and texture add flavor to photography. Accentuate your dishes with colorful garnishes, such as greens or tomatoes. Create contrast through color, shape and texture. Just don’t get carried away. Just like great food, simple is better than overdone. 

Last but not least—enjoy! When the photos have been snapped, indulge in your culinary creation. Chances are the experience will leave you hungry for more creative ways to immortalize your meals.

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