The debate on whether or not food photos should be Instagrammed is a bit Marmite – either you’re a fan or you aren’t. When I ask food photographers whether or not they Instagram, their reaction is usually one of two extremes – either they couldn’t be more excited about it, or they’re shocked they were asked the question. I mean, they’re professionals, darling.
Being a self-confessed photo-editing snob, turned secret Instagram devotee, I’ve learnt that when done thoughtfully, food photos with filter effects can look gorgeous. On the other hand, a perfectly good photo can be ruined with too many, or the wrong effects. Sadly, there are some food pics which should never be seen in Toaster.
A Few Don'ts (and Dos)
Don’t: Soft focus the entire dish beyond recognition. Appreciate the dish and its textures.
Do: Soft focus backgrounds to highlight the main focus of the dish and create depth of field. Instagram’s linear and radial blur tool can work wonders if you use it in moderation.
Don’t: Use the black and white filter on food. It removes the most interesting element of the photo – the colours!
Do: Pick a filter to accentuate or tone down colours depending on the mood you want to create.
Don’t: Choose filters that make your dish look too unnatural. If the light in your photo has too many yellow hues, try to neutralise with blue tones and vice-versa.
Do: Think about the kind of look and feel you want to create with your food photo and how a filter will help when you take the picture. Will that strawberry milkshake you snapped in the garden look really cool with a 1970’s filter?
Don’t: Whack a border on anything and everything.
Do: Use borders to add character to a simple food photo. Think solitary apple or a scattering of strawberries.
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