5 simple food photography tips for Instagram - just a few small changes can make a huge difference to your photos!

A couple of weeks ago, Samsung and Three sent me a Samsung S7* phone to try out. It’s sleeker than my old phone, and has a much larger memory (I can finally fit more than three apps on my phone, woop!), but the feature that’s got me most excited is the camera. Not only does it have a dedicated ‘foodie mode’, which immediately makes your food photos look more appealing, it can also do slow-mo videos, panoramas, video collages, and even has a ‘pro’ mode, where you can adjust the ISO, aperture, etc.

I’m almost convinced that this camera is as good as my DSLR, which is a heck of a lot heavier and bulkier (not to mention more expensive).

I mentioned the other day how I’ve been really enjoying the new Instagram stories feature, and it’s really been helped by having a decent camera on my phone (my old phone’s camera was atrocious). A good phone camera also means I can snap pictures and upload them onto Instagram straight away, rather than having to get them off my DSLR, which is a huge faff.

If you love sharing food photos on Instagram, here are a few of my top tips to take great, Instagram-worthy photos – and they’re all things that can be done with a phone! Obviously there are exceptions to every rule, but if you keep these ideas in mind, hopefully they will help your food look even more appealing.

(all of these photos were taken on my S7!)

5 food photography tips for Instagram

1. Back up!


I see so many photos where people are right up there in the food’s face (or they would be, if food had a face) – sometimes you can’t even tell what the food is, it’s so close! As I said, there are always exceptions to the rule, but generally food looks much more appetising if you pull back a bit and allow some of the plate to be seen as well.

2. Use neutral crockery


Generally, food looks better on neutral-coloured crockery. Bright colours like the blue plate on the left can make the colours in the food look a little off. I prefer to use white plates and bowls, and then introduce colour elsewhere in the photo. Busy patterns can also be really distracting.

3. Garnish!


Sometimes, a bit of garnish can make all the difference – it can really bring a dish to life. This is a simple shop-bought pasta salad – definitely nothing fancy – but it looks much prettier with some fresh basil and a few pine nuts sprinkled on top. A drizzle of a contrasting sauce, a little bit of cheese or a few seeds also make great garnishes.

4. Use props to add colour


Once you’re happy with the food itself, you can think about adding a few props to make your photo more interesting. I like to use coloured linens (this green one from LinenMe is my absolute favourite, I have to force myself to not use it for every recipe!), and cutlery, glasses of water, or a few extra ingredients (e.g. a scattering of pine nuts or fresh herbs) are also great options for building the scene.

5. Edit


If you need to, use your phone camera’s built in editing function, or edit within Instagram, to make your photo pop. I usually brighten and boost the highlights, and sometimes also increase the contrast. You may also have an ‘auto adjust’ feature, which can automatically edit your photo for you if you’re unsure.

And there you have it! From this to this, in five easy steps.


Do you have any top tips for taking better food photos?

*Samsung and Three sent me the phone free of charge, but I was not otherwise compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.