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During these long days of self-isolation, many of us turn to the kitchen to cook and bake – and stay sane. And after all that hard work, who doesn’t want to show the world their results (or even show off a little)? However, even if your dish looks amazing IRL, your photos might look less than appetising. These Instagrammers come to the rescue with tips, tricks and inspiration to take better food photos.

(A little note: We included Instagrams with a main focus on food photography and styling tips, with followings large and small, and we only included accounts with captions in English.)

Frenchly Photography – Fanette Rickert

US-based French food photographer and educator Fanette Rickert is the mind behind Frenchly – where she not only posts wonderful, light-filled photos of fresh, homemade dishes and baked goods, she also provides advice on food styling, photography and marketing via her captions and IGTV tutorials. Fanette aims to help followers build a successful photography business, but really, anyone who wants to take better food photos should pay attention: she doesn’t just cover the technical stuff, but also offers small tips that are infinitely helpful. Did you know that adding a human element to a photo, such as your own hands, results in a spike in engagement?

 

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Are your photos lacking a personal touch? Then get in there!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Even in food photography, a human aspect is an important styling element to remember. Fortunately, you {hopefully} always have your hands with you on a shoot!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Get your camera on that tripod and get cooking. Stage a shot of your hands pouring tea or cupped around a warm soup mug. Stir some batter. Break apart a warm cookie. Once you start really thinking about it, you’ll come up with all sorts of ways to use this in your work.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ {Social Media Bonus!} ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ People like to get a glimpse of who it is they’re following. Even with just a hint of that human aspect, you might see an increase in engagement. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ How do you like to add a human element to your food photography? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #foodphotographer #foodinspiration #beautifulfood #lifeandthyme #foodblogfeed #realfood @food52 @thefeedfeed #hautescuisines #foodstyling #foodstylingandphotography #foodphotographyandstyling #foodstylist #humanelement #personaltouch #foodstylistlife #contentcreator #imsomartha #kitchenbowl #makeitdelicious #inmykitchen #madefromscratch #feedfeed #f52grams #kitchn #foodfluffer #homemade #createtoinspire #photographieculinaire #faitmaison #mycanonstories #stylisteculinaire

Een bericht gedeeld door Fanette Rickert 🥑📷 Food Photog (@frenchlyphotography) op

That’s Sage – Lauren Caris

When British-born, Zurich-based Lauren Caris started her vegan food blog, she quickly became obsessed with all the ins and outs of her DSLR camera. She then discovered that she loved answering the questions that readers asked about her food photos, even (or especially?) the most technical ones. It all grew into a proper business: That’s Sage, where Lauren teaches food bloggers and photographers how to sky-rocket the quality of their own work. These days, she’s offering special courses for people to follow at home, such as the 5-day ‘Manual Mode Essentials‘, helping new food photographers navigate their camera.

The Bite Shot – Joanie Simon

Joanie Simon is a commercial and editorial food photographer, but also finds time to help people take better food photos, one bite at a time. She does so via upbeat videos on her wildly popular YouTube channel, as well as online courses and her Instagram page. She goes into macro photography, drinks photography and natural and artificial lighting setups. One other thing she talks about is how motion is becoming a necessary skill for many professional photographers, from GIFs to short videos. Her advice: “If you find yourself with time to learn something new, and you don’t have motion in your portfolio, now is the perfect opportunity to add it. Like everything, start small, experiment, share it with the world, rinse, repeat.”

Lenka’s Lens – Lenka Selinger

Yes, there’s stunning imagery, but it’s really Lenka Selinger’s captions (in English and Spanish) that provide food for thought. Have you ever thought of sketching the images you’re after before a photoshoot, and thinking through what you can try out? Or paying more attention to colour schemes (monochromatic, analogous, complementary) and their different impacts? The Barcelona-based photographer uses her photos to explain more about storytelling in food photography. Take the shot of a soft pretzel: by tearing open a knot and spreading some butter onto it, the photo emotionally draws the viewer in by activating senses and memories.

 

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Color – my photography has never been the same after starting to really think about the colors and color combinations I use. . Before diving into color theory, psychology and neuroscience (a lot left to explore here), my unconscious idea seemed to be that more is more 😅. . Today I know the power of using fewer colors to create an impact. . The most important color schemes are: • Monochromatic, as in the photo: different hues of one and the same color. Excellent for providing an idea of elegance and to communicate simple, straightforward messages. • Analogous: adjacent colors on the color wheel (like orange-yellow-green or blue-violet). Conveys a sense of harmony. • Complementary: opposite on the color wheel (such as red-green or blue-orange). Complementary colors contrast greatly and therefore attract attention. . Would you be interested in a whole blog post about color theory, color psychology and neuroscience? . 🇪🇸 Mi fotografía cambió radicalmente cuando empecé a pensar cuidadosamente en qué colores y combinaciones de color quería usar en cada foto. . Antes de estudiar la teoría, psicología y neurociencia (aquí queda mucho para explorar!) de color, mi idea inconsciente parecía ser que más es más 😅. . Hoy en día en cambio soy consciente del impacto de usar pocos colores. . Los esquemas de color más importantes son: • Monocromático, como en la foto: diferentes tonos de un mismo color. Sugieren elegancia y son útiles para comunicar mensajes simples y directos. • Análogos: vecinos en la rueda de color (como naranja-amarillo-verde o azul-lila). Se perciben como armónicos. • Complementario: opuestos en la rueda de color (como rojo-verde o azul-naranja). Son colores que contrastan mucho y atraen la atención. . Te gustaría que ampliara esta información en una entrada en el blog sobre teoría, psicología y neurocienca del color? . . . . . . . . . #lenkaslens #isolationcreation #quarantinebaking #modernbaking #bonappetitmag #saltedcaramelbrownies #beautyfulcuisines #f52grams #fellowmag #bbcgoodfood #tastongtable #gatheringandstyling #fotografiagastronomica #foodphotographer #firstweeat #compositionessentials #theglobalsupperclub #foodfluffer #feedfeed.baking

Een bericht gedeeld door Lenka | Food Photographer (@lenkas_lens) op

 

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Storytelling in food photography. Have you ever had a soft pretzel in your life? I guess you have, and I bet it was an experience you’d repeat. . Can you see just how perfect these pretzel knots turned out? Can you imagine how the house smelled when they were in the oven? How they are still slightly warm? Can you imagine the soft, spongey texture? . I teared one knot open so that you could imagine that perfect interior. And spread some butter on it, which partly melted (you might’ve guessed from the buttery knife and the missing edge of the butter, right?). . Would you like to grab one of these knots right out of the image? – If yes, I guess I’ve reached my goal of drawing you emotionally into the picture, to activate your senses and memories – although admittedly the knots themselves did part of the job 😜🤤. . 🇪🇸 Storytelling in fotografía gastronómica. Alguna vez has comido uno de estos pretzels tiernos? Si los probaste apuesto a que repetirías y si no, a que te gustaría probarlos. . Puedes ver lo perfecto que salieron estos nudos de pretzel? Puedes imaginar el olor que había en mi casa cuando estaban en el horno? Como aún están un poco calientes? Te puedes imaginar la textura suave y esponjosa? . Abrí uno para la foto, para que pudieras imaginar el interior mejor, y porque tenía las mismas ganas que tú de comerme uno. Lo unté con un poco de mantequilla que se fundió parcialmente – lo podrías haber adivinado por la parte que falta de la mantequilla y por el cuchillo, ¿verdad? . ¿Quisieras meter tu brazo en la foto y sacar uno de estos nudos? Si es así, lo conseguí. Conseguí que conectaras emocionalmente con la imagen, que activara tus sentidos y recuerdos – aunque hay que admitir que el sujeto en este caso no me lo puso demasiado difícil 😜🤤… . . . . . . . . . . #lenkaslens #foodphotography #isolationcreation #stayhomeandbake #quarantinecooking #pretzelknots #ultimatecomfortfood #pretzels #storytelling #huffposttaste #homebaking #foodstyling #seektexture #thebakefeed @thefeedfeed #twocupsbakery @twocupsflour #freshfromtheoven #foodphotographytips #makeitdelicious #goodmoodfood #freshbread #bakersgonnabake #still_life_gallery #foodartblog #forkyeah

Een bericht gedeeld door Lenka | Food Photographer (@lenkas_lens) op

Fotogredients – Joshua Jude Miranda

Based out of Chennai, Joshua Jude Miranda runs Fotogredients and gives followers a peek behind the scenes of his action-packed food photography. He shows how he blends technology with art, revealing the exact light setup, camera settings and retouching that result, for example, in shots captured in mid-air that are quite cool – but the behind the scenes tutorials are even cooler. We’re a little less impressed by the graphics added in recent photos, as the text tends to take away from the overall effect.

 

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Tameshiwari with Appalams! I can’t break bricks but I can smash appalams. One side that goes with anything is appalam. How do you eat appalam? Take a descent bite or crush it over food? Tell me in the comments. An Appalam (also called papad) is a thin, crisp, round flatbread from the Indian subcontinent. It is typically based on a seasoned dough usually made from peeled black gram flour (urad flour), either fried or cooked with dry heat (usually flipping it over an open flame). Flours made from other sources such as lentils, chickpeas, rice, tapioca, certain millets or potato can be used. Appalams are typically served as an accompaniment to a meal in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka or as an appetizer or snack, sometimes with toppings such as chopped onions, chopped carrots, chutneys or other dips, and condiments. In certain parts of India, appalams which have been dried, but not cooked, are used in curries and vegetable dishes. Appalams have been a part of the cuisine of the Indian subcontinent for generations and are an intrinsic part of everyday meals. Appalams are called pappadam in Kerala, appadam in Andhra/Telangana, happala in Karnataka, and papad in Punjab and Gujarat. _______________________ Settings: ISO1000, f7.1, Shutter Speed 1/2000, Focal length 105mm Gears: Nikon Z6, NIKKOR 105mm f2.8 Macro Lens, Godox SK400ii, Godox V860ii speed light, Godox SB-UE 80cm Octagon Softbox, Snoot, Red gel, Godox XT1 wireless trigger, Manfrotto 055 tripod, Manfrotto X-Pro 3-way head and 5 in 1 reflector. For Post-Production: MacBook Pro and Lightroom Classic. #foodphotography #foodstagram #foodinsta #foodstyling #foodphotos #foodpornography #foodoftheday #actionfoodphoto #foodpic #delicious #foodpicture #foodporn #foodart #foodiegram #foodgrams #foodspiration #foodiefeature #foods #foodie #foodlovers #foodofinstagram #foodforlife #foodheaven #foodiesofinstagram #foodshoot #foodlifestyle #fotogredients #aharame #appalam

Een bericht gedeeld door Joshua | Food Photographer (@fotogredients) op

Two Loves Studio – Rachel Korinek

An Aussie food photographer in Vancouver, Rachel Korinek is the creative force behind Two Loves Studio, or ‘the home of food photography’. On her Instagram page and blog, you’ll find more tips than you can count, many of them free for the taking. Start with “50 Ways to Improve Your Photography”, a special e-guide to “how you can keep working on your photography when challenge strikes and resources are limited” (use the hashtag #50ways to show your work). She explores topics such as using diptychs, seeking texture and adding movement to your shots through pours, splashes or steam.

Jade Nina Sarkhel

Normally, Jade Sarkhel travels the world to shoot for restaurants and chefs. Now, having set up a studio in her Bali apartment, she shares photos of her (plant-based) dishes while self-isolating. She also posts tips on touching up your images (with Lightroom tutorials), tips on taking better photos with your smartphone, and other helpful advice. One hint is to look for a ‘specular highlight’ in your food – the sparkle that catches your eye. You can sometimes add it with a touch of oil (don’t overdo it), and then make sure to stand in the right position for your camera to capture it.

Food Capture Collective

It’s not so much a page to go to for concrete tips and tricks, but Food Capture Collective is great for discovering the work of different food photographers and comparing the vast range of styles. They do ‘monthly technique collabs’, posting different interpretations of a single technique, such as ‘gathering shots’, ‘moody captures’ (chiaroscuro) or ‘hard light’ (the theme for May). It’s stupefying how differently photographers apply the same technique – and a great way to discover what speaks to you, and what doesn’t.

The Little Plantation – Kimberly Espinel

Kimberly Espinel, who runs vegan food blog and Instagram The Little Plantation, is a food photographer, food stylist, Instagram growth coach and creator of the podcast Eat Capture Share, where she talks with fellow food photographers and bloggers about photography, styling, social media, blogging and other topics. During these difficult times, she has launched the #eatcaptureshare challenge, “where fellow Instagrammers connect through food, photography and creativity, with a sprinkle of soul for good measure.”

 

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Would you like to receive feedback on your food photography? 🙋🏽‍♀️ . . . Have someone give you honest advice and practical suggestions on where you’re going astray, then check in and hold you accountable so that you continually work on making your images better? 💪🏽 . . . If that sounds like you, then my signature online food photography course may be just what you’re after! ✨✨💪🏽 . . . Who is it for: ✨ – ambitious beginners who are committed to do what it takes to make their images stand out ✨ – experienced photographer who want to take the next steps and go pro 💪🏽 . . . Who it is NOT for: – complete beginners who haven’t started shooting food yet at all🙏🏽 – those who already know all there is to know about composition, styling, colour theory and visual storytelling . . . If you learn best with support, guidance and feedback I’d love to hear from you🥰. Just 3 spots left and the EARLY BIRD offer ends TONIGHT🏃🏽‍♀️🏃🏽‍♀️🏃🏽‍♀️. I’ll pop the link to further details below and in stories and my bio for an easy swipe up. Can’t wait to hear from you! . . . https://thelittleplantation.co.uk/blog/online-food-photography-e-course . . . . . IMAGE INFO: Today’s #vegan lunch. I’ve spoken openly with @shisodelicious on the #eatcaptureshare podcast this week about my struggles with sharing overly styled food, abundance, all the things on IG during this rather crazy time. Anything other than real, raw and honest food somehow hurts my soul right now🙈. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to continue to show how darn sexy #plantbased foods are because it’s an important message that needs to get out now more than ever🙏🏽. It just means I’m keeping it simple, without the frills. Thank you for allowing me to share all the brown food 😬. Edited with TLP hazy concrete preset (as yet unreleased). 1/125 – F6.3 – ISO250 . . . . #creativityfound #veganuk #foodandwine #lifeandthyme #whatveganseat #bestofvegan #thatsdarling #f52grams #beautifulcuisines #hautecuisines #eattheworld #huffposttaste #gatheringslikethese #vegansofinstagram #eattherainbow #eatmoreplants #bombesquad #bbcgoodfood #wfpb #healthylifestyle #flatlayforever #foodphotography #foodstyling

Een bericht gedeeld door Kimberly Espinel (@thelittleplantation) op

 

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Is now the right time to delve deep into food photography or absolutely completely NOT?🤔 . . . If you’re in shock, in limbo, upset or simply want to use this time to figure things out, that’s cool and valid and important 🙏🏽. Please take your time and follow your gut. ✨✨✨ . . . If channeling your energy into creativity and learning a new skill feels right to you in this moment, may I invite you to join my online #foodphotography and #foodstyling ecourse? The early bird offer expires this Thursday and I’d love to have you 🙏🏽. . . . I have updated the course to include a few new extras such as a brand new Lightroom preset and some other surprises that will serve you well, especially in these uncertain times💪🏽. . . . If you’re curious to find out more, head to the link in my bio OR to stories were I’ll share some student success stories too✨✨✨✨. There’s also a link below should you wish to copy and paste it. Can’t wait to hear from you 💓. #eatcaptureshare . . . https://thelittleplantation.co.uk/blog/online-food-photography-e-course . . . IMAGE INFO: #vegan banana bread muffins from the weekend 😋😋. I’m not a frosting kinda girl, but this homemade hazelnut chocolate vegan ganache was a lovely addition. TBH we’ve bucked the trend and barely baked in quarantine at all cuz there’s no flour and too much sweetness sends my head into a spin 🙈, so I’m using what I have got only when the bananas are extra brown and practically begging to be baked😅. (BTW 1/2 of this batch went to a neighbour. I traded it for lemons 😆. Oh and social distancing strictly observed during the trade 😬). . . . I’ve also taken quarantine as an invitation to really focus on fine tuning my food styling and capturing our real food without relying on anything extra, elaborate or fancy. It’s been challenging AF but also such a privilege to push the boat out. CREATIVITY was my word of the year after all, now I just gotta honour it 🙏🏽. Shot on @canonuk 5D mark iii, 1/100 – F6.3 – ISO400. .

Een bericht gedeeld door Kimberly Espinel (@thelittleplantation) op

Bea Lubas

Originally from Poland, UK-based Bea Lubas is a wildly popular blogger and food photographer, known for her bright, colourful imagery. Her descriptions of how she shoots photos are insightful and detailed, talking about technical aspects, colour palettes and styling. In other posts, she offers inspiration to start thinking about your own photos, such as how to achieve a ‘wow-factor’ in food – which for Bea is an element of surprise – or think outside the box by looking at ingredients with a fresh eye. You might just surprise yourself!

 

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How I shot this photo👇 . I wanted to share with you the series that I have been planning for my blog and I WOULD LOVE to hear if this is something you find helpful and interesting! (YES? Or not so much and I am wasting my time?) . Ok, let me take you behind the scenes and share my thoughts and decisions behind this photo . . 👉TECHNICAL: shot the final image with a 24-70mm lens (at 70mm) and f4 – I wanted to get the foreground and the second half of the meringue out of focus to add more depth to this photo. (Huge fan of shallow depth of field here 👋) . 👉COLOUR PALETTE: SOFT analogous. I wanted to emphasise the soft texture of the meringue and whipped cream with the delicate cream-orange-red colour choices. . Silver/ grey props add a light contrast to the warm colours found in the composition. (Cool/warm combo=more contrast and dimension) . 👉COLOUR REPETITION: I repeated the orange colour found in the the blood (or how I like to call it – blush) oranges in the background choice to add harmony to this photo. (We have a beautiful golden maple syrup drips too!) . 👉LIGHT: photographed with a medium size window. Notice the grey wall behind my set up in bts that works as a negative fill and which prevents the light bouncing off too much. All results with dark but quite short shadows which add dimension but not overpower this image🙌 #shadownerd . . 👉ANGLE – higher 3/4 to capture the sides of the meringue, tasty drips and the beautiful shape and colour of oranges (the lower the angle the flatter the oranges and pavlova looked which you can see in picture number 3!) . 👉COMPOSITION: I tested few positions and props to add to the frame before I topped the meringue with the oranges-once the fruit would be on top they would start releasing the juice. . 👉STYLING: whipping the cream to perfection! 👌Also including a spoon with cream adds an interesting touch to the composition suggesting that it has just been made. . HAVE I MISSED MENTIONING SOMETHING? Let me know if you have any questions on how this photograph was taken!

Een bericht gedeeld door Bea Lubas (@bealubas) op


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