We were always told not to play with our food, but on Instagram it seems like that'll all we do! But playing with your food isn't always easy (not to mention sometimes messy, more on that later). So today I'm sharing my top tips for how to get that adorable food shot for the 'gram you've always dreamed of, from ice cream to cookies and everything in between.
The Flatlay Shot
The classic foodie Instagram post with a lifestyle twist! Add hands and a little bit of torso or face to create context, plus add a bit of outfit or jewelry details.
Take the shot from above but slightly angled to get a perfect balance of both food and surroundings. Plus don't be afraid to add lifestyle elements like a phone or mesh bag.
The Food in Your Face Shot
To fully cover the face with an item, hold it out in front of you as far as you can. To have the subject holding the item blurred, keep the aperture wide open, f/2.8 or lower. To have the subject in focus, try around f8. I find I like these shots the best when the subject is looking off to one side, but experiment with your own style and preferences, as well as lowering the item to show more of the face.
For a smaller food item held closer to the face, I also call this the "Apple of My Eye Shot" (got this phrase from Emma of Emma's Edition hehe). For these shots, hold the item just an inch or so away from your eye. The more playful the expression the better!
The Action Shot
It's tempting to just post a nice and neat shot posing with or holding your food or drink, but it's more fun to really get in there (and maybe make a mess!) By actually eating or sipping, this creates a shot that's more natural and realistic. And again, the more playful you are the better!
I've also found it's best not to look directly at the camera while doing these shots, again looks more natural and caught in the moment.
What's your favorite way to photograph food and drinks? Let me know down below!
Thanks for reading,
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Karya Schanilec is a Seattle based photographer specializing in fashion, portrait, and performance photography.