Seven tips for snapping drool-worthy food photos from Instagram pros

If you want to step up your food-photo game, this post is for you.
(Instagram @thekitchenmagpie )

You've likely drooled over their Instagrams and their feeds have inspired you as to where to go for dinner. So how do those Instagrammers with beautiful food photos get the amazing shots that they do? We checked in with some of our favourite foodies to get their advice on how to up our game when it comes to Instagramming and making the photos drool-worthy.

Play with numbers

"When it comes to shooting food and flatlays, odd numbers always look best. I usually try to have three dishes in a photo along with a couple of drinks," says Didier Young of @didieryhc.

Include real live human interaction in your food photos

Monica Lee of @foodsisterhood says adding a human element is key. "Capture the moments when the syrup is being poured on the fresh pancakes, when everyone's reaching for different items on the table, or when you're making the first cut into the steak. Even better, take a bird's eye view of this action shot," she says.

Take your overhead photos in portrait mode

"Overhead shots done in portrait, not a square, tend to be my most popular photos," says Karlynn Johnston of @thekitchenmagpie. She says that portrait photos are more eye-catching in the Instagram feed and that the straight down shot that has the entire frame filled with food is the best—yet also hardest to compose—way to go. "These are especially successful when you don't have access to natural light as a beautiful composition can help make up for the lack of lighting."

Snap close-up photos in square format

This is Johnson's exception. "Especially if it's a dessert. Make people daydream about licking the icing off of that cupcake," says Johnston. With comfort foods, your goal is to make people crave it, so frame (it) right dead center and make people drool, she says.

Use what you can as props

"Never be afraid to use everything at disposal," says Young. "Even at restaurants, I will often go grab flowers at a different table if I find them more appealing or if I feel like it would work best for the photo. You might feel a bit self-conscious about doing so at first, but at the end of the day, it also benefits the restaurant if you are posting a flattering photo of their institution so most restaurants these days are super cooperative when it comes to Instagrammers."

Aim for natural lighting whenever possible

Clara Lau, the other half of @foodsisterhood, says it makes all the difference. "There's nothing worse than a shadow in the middle of your delicious food photo. Sit by the window and take photos during the day."

Get the shot, but remember to enjoy your meal

Don't get so caught up in getting an incredible photo that your food gets cold. "Work your angles, bust out a ring light if you have to, but try to do it all in a timely fashion so you can eat the food the way that it's supposed to be eaten," recommends Danielle Finestone of @TOfoodies. "In the interest of time, snap multiple photos with different settings and pick the best one after tasting."