5 ways to make your food more Instagram worthy

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Here’s everything you need to know about nailing the perfect shot…

It’s an undeniable truth that we’re now a generation who eat with our eyes as well as our mouths.

That means the way we present our food can have a direct impact on how we enjoy it. 

And let’s face it, who isn’t guilty of pulling out their phone the minute their plate of food arrives at the table?

If you’re something of a newbie when it comes to Instagramming your food, fresh pasta aficionados La Famiglia Rana are arming you with the skills you need.

Head to La Famiglia Rana Grocer at 51 Marylebone High Street between 9 November – 16 December to experience one of 50 workshops they’re hosting over the course of the five weeks.

They’re giving lessons in everything from how to prepare fresh pasta to food photography and ingredients tastings, with proceeds from the Rana masterclasses donated to FoodCycle.

One of these will be hosted by food writer and photographer Giulia Mulè as well as a heap of other foodies for the occasion, so we asked Mulè to dole out her best tips for taking the perfect food shot.

1. Go au naturel

“The best food photos are always shot under natural light, so try to take your food ‘Grams during the day (breakfast or lunch are the best times). 

If you’re at a restaurant, ask for a table outside or by the window. 

Also, look for a table that’s interesting. White marble, rustic wood, concrete and scratched metal all make for photogenic backgrounds. 

And beware of direct sunlight. It can create harsh shadows over the table and plates.”

2. Be artificially intelligent

“It’s not the end of the world if you can’t shoot in the daytime or you didn’t get the best table by the window – you can still achieve good results when shooting in artificial light. 

In this case, opt for close-ups at a 45-degree angle and avoid overhead shots – the light will reflect off the plates, creating annoying orange/yellow reflections. 

If there are spotlights above your table, you can easily block the light by holding a menu underneath them.”

3. Follow the Rule of Thirds

“Food photography is all about composition, especially when it comes to food flatlays (the overhead shots of tables full of pretty dishes). 

All the elements on the table – plates, bowls, glasses, napkins – should create a balance of shapes and colours.

Try to avoid square or rectangular plates and reflective surfaces. 

The best way to achieve a simple, clean and aesthetically beautiful composition is to follow the Rule of Thirds. 

Imagine breaking an image down into thirds (both horizontally and vertically), then place the main subject where the lines intersect, rather than in the centre of the frame.”

4. Tell a story

“You’re not just showing food to your followers, you’re telling a story. 

You want to share the amazing meal you’ve just had in a restaurant, or maybe a recipe you’ve made at home. 

Set the scene by adding styling elements that help you tell the story: ingredients, cooking tools, cutlery, linens, plants, candles and menus are all great props to showcase the story behind the dishes.”

5. Ignore the #nofilter brigade

“Take your photos to the next level by downloading photo editing apps and following a few simple steps. 

My favourite apps I use for all of my Instagram posts are Snapseed, A Color Story and VSCO. 

It only takes a few minutes to brighten up your photos, add contrast and structure, crop and tilt the composition, adjust the saturation and vibrance, and even retouch small things (such as cleaning up crumbs and sauce drops on a plate). 

Don’t be afraid of using filters, but it’s best to use them in moderation. Only add around 10-20% of a filter (A Colour Story has great ones for food pics).”

For the ultimate foodie Instagram experience, head to La Famiglia Rana Grocer in London Marylebone from 9 November. Expect high-end Italian products, artisanal goods and all round gastronomical beauty.