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How to Take Photos of Your Meal Like an Instagram Pro

A few tableside tips to take your plated pics from meh to mouthwatering


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Best Pho (Critics' Pick): Pho Hoa | Photo: Anne Watson

Pick a pretty background.

Realizing the importance of sharing their dishes online, restaurants are now designed with Instagram in mind, with no shortage of colors, tiles, textures, and cool elements meant to be your backdrop (consider Holy Matcha’s palm-print wallpaper). Play around with different surfaces until you find one that works, and make sure it complements your food—for example, if your plate is dark, find a light backdrop.

 

Find natural lighting.

The best food photos employ that soft, natural light to really pop. To ensure the best lighting, sit inside by a window, and choose an off-hour to dine in so you don’t get photobombed. (My go-to for dinner is 4 p.m.)

 

Edit accordingly.

Don’t be afraid to fix up that photo before you post. Use an app like VSCO or Lightroom to quickly increase the contrast and sharpness, and add a little film grain effect. It adds dimension to your photos and brings a basic phone snap to near-professional status.

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