An Instagrammable Feast: Taking Pics of Plates

Tacky to some, yet relatable to most, taking pictures of your food is trending. So naturally, we’ve dedicated a little guide to assist you in getting the most likes on your dinner, regardless of its taste. There are a few different ways to approach the throne that comes with an aesthetically pleasing food photograph, I am going to walk you through two.

The first approach involves recreating the aperture effect, which you can do by using portrait mode on your phone. The aperture is the hole in a camera lens that lets light pass through. Think of it as the pupil in your eye — the larger the circumference of your pupil, the more sensitive to light you are. This hole also affects which items stand out in a photograph — the depth of field. 

Processed with VSCO with g9 preset

Processed with VSCO with g9 preset

In this particular approach, focus on having a shallow depth of field, which requires your phone’s portrait mode. A shallow depth of field creates a photograph in which the object of importance is in focus while objects and/or negative space in the background is out of focus. To take a successful aperture effect photo of your food, you need to be slightly above the plate. To enhance the clarity and emphasize your plate, remove distracting visual items from the background of your photo, such as other food plates or condiments. The last important aspect of this approach is lighting *cue teenage girl exclaiming, “This lighting is ahhhmazing!”*.

With dim lighting, your picture will not come out how you wish and often, flash most definitely does not help. Restaurants with soft but bright lighting or outdoor venues on a partially cloudy day are your best bet. A cloudy day heightens the white balance in your photo and brings out the saturation of whatever delectable meal you wish to capture.

Processed with VSCO with al5 preset

Processed with VSCO with al5 preset

The second approach that often pops up in Instagram feeds is the aesthetically pleasing table arrangement from a bird’s eye view. The keys to this approach are keeping your plate pristine and utilizing the shapes of cups, plates, silverware and napkins to add to your aesthetic. Arrangement is everything — try to make silverware lie parallel to each other pointing north, and placed at equal distances from your plate and beverage. In addition to arrangement, color is very important in this approach.

Processed with VSCO with al5 preset

Processed with VSCO with al5 preset

 

 

 

You want to style your plate on a neutral table background that won’t take away from the vibrancy and detail of your meal. Once again, shy away from dim lighting; it will only be disappointing. Make sure you have enough height to capture all the items on the table that you wish to be part of your composition, but please refrain from injuring yourself. Finally, if you notice your table seems slightly lopsided in your photograph, use the straighten editing tool in your smartphone to make the alignment of your meal just right. 

With these two approaches, you are more than ready to take on the world of smartphone food photography. Let the gram-worthy moments begin.

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