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How to Take The Perfect Food Image for Instagram

How to Take The Perfect Food Image for Instagram 2048 1366 Cate Triendl

Did you know Instagram has 1 billion users every month? So if your restaurant isn’t activity using this platform, you’re missing out! The good news is that food is one of the most featured categories on Instagram. Not only do people upload pictures of food they have made, but they also capture the food they have eaten at restaurants. This is an excellent marketing tool for your business, especially if they tag your business and location so it can be found by others. So better get started with planning your food images for your Instagram account.

Uploading images of your food onto Instagram is a great method of getting hungry crowds to flock to your restaurant. Like any marketing tool, however, it does take a bit of trial and error to get right. After all, this is not your personal page where likes and follows don’t matter – this is your business and you need your product to shine in order to turn a profit.

So, if you are looking to get your food onto Instagram, here are our top tips to make it a success.

Choose Your Dishes Carefully

No matter how well they are made, some cuisines just don’t photograph well. Curry and risotto being two notable examples that spring to mind. 

But hold up – that doesn’t mean to say you can’t photograph these or any other less photogenic cuisine. In fact, curry is one of the most Instagrammed dishes out there. It does, however, require some skills to make it look as appetising as possible. As a general rule, anything slopped on a plate with no attention given to the presentation isn’t going to win any new customers, no matter what it consists of. 

Your food needs to look as if some thought has gone into it. If in doubt, don’t upload the picture on Instagram or re-take it at a different angle. The last thing you want it to upload a really off-putting food image onto your restaurants’ official page. 


Many restaurants use low lighting because it’s atmospheric. But, the trouble is it doesn’t make for the best outcome when taking photos of the food. Using flash is too harsh and can be distracting to other diners, so what’s the solution?

If you haven’t already invested in some professional lighting, you can pick up a ring light for as little as £5. The right light can make all the difference in photography, and the same goes for food too.

Another trick is to make use of natural lighting, by photographing food near a window. The best trick is to stand with your back to the window so that you are holding the camera the same direction in which the light is flooding in.

If possible avoid heavy yellow light which is quite artificial. It can give food an orange tint, and generally doesn’t bring out detail very well. While you can always use filters to enhance an image, getting the lighting right isn’t something you can really compromise on. 

Consider Hiring A Professional

Granted, we’re not all Rankin’s in the making. If you or your team aren’t great at photography or perhaps don’t have the time during a busy service – it’s time to think about setting up a professional photoshoot

When the restaurant is closed or on a quiet day, book a photographer to capture your dishes. You will probably want to make at least 10-20 so that they can shoot a tonne of food images at once for your Instagram account. Another great idea is to have them also take images of the dishes being made in the kitchen, as this can make for some authentic behind the scenes shots.

The advantages of a professional taking care of your images is, that they will be shot in the right lighting, in super HD plus using the most flattering angles. You can then upload one at a time to Instagram, or use the images as backgrounds to Instagram Stories.

It’s All In The Details

Plates that could have done with a clean up around the sides were sauce or gravy has run over. A burger that looks messy and isn’t stacked very well. Chips that are burnt. You get the picture here – your food needs to look appetising! 

Attention to detail really is key, so make sure your kitchen staff always present dishes to the best of their ability. When photographing food for marketing purposes, this couldn’t be any more important.

Well presented food communicates you care about what you do. Food that is badly presented and generally looks quite messy on the plate, signals to customers that little attention is given when making the food. It can be driving any customers without you even realising.

Another tip is not to overload a plate with too much food. Although you might find it contradictory when you’re trying to make people hungry, sometimes less is more. If a plate has too much food then it can also make it difficult to style correctly when trying to take the right shot. 


Instagram is an amazing platform to upload images of your food. You can take mouthwatering shots straight from the kitchen and have them seen by potential customers all over the globe. The best part is it’s simple to use as well as being completely free too! 

What about taking this one step further and encouraging your customers to post their own images of your food on their social media accounts. Even better encouraging them to share it with family and friends whilst they’re still in your venue. All possible with our Guest WiFi solution. Once your customers have signed into your WiFi, you can redirect them to one of your social media channels. Higher interaction guaranteed.

Why not give it a try today?

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