Top 5 Tips On How To Make Instagram-Worthy Food!
Okay, I have to admit, I am the girl that has to take an Instagram-worthy photo of food when it arrives at the table.
I have done extensive food photography and #foodie trolling on Instagram throughout my career. In my experience, I’ve come to the conclusion that taking the right Instagram photo starts with creating beautiful and visually appealing plates of food.
So here are my tips for creating and capturing the perfect plate of food, on camera. Complete with plating tips and tricks that anyone can do!
Tip #1: Pick the right plate
First, choose the right style of plate. This is going to set the tone for the overall feel of the image. A classic, white, 9 inch, round plate is a good place to start. It conveys a clean and tidy image.
Want to go for a more bohemian style? Use a wooden paddle or earthy materials like clay platters. I like using glass plates and placing them onto a patterned table cloth.
This gives a fun, colourful feel. Glass is so versatile, when positioned properly and to a minimum, it can give a floating effect.
Keep in mind that the right table or background also plays a role in the aesthetics. Add colours with the tablecloth to complement your food.
Tip #2: Organize Your ingredients
Once your plate is chosen, gather all of your ingredients. Be sure to have them washed and prepared separately. This helps with organization and keeps the food looking fresh.
For example: If you are making a salad, you should have all of the greens washed and your other ingredients chopped, with sliced veggies set aside.
Foods like beets, for example, can taint the colours of other veggies. Keep foods separate before you start arranging everything in order to have them looking clean.
Tip #3: Start Plating!
Once you have picked the right plates and have your food ready, it’s time to start plating. You want to create depth and texture to look as realistic as possible in a 2D photo. There are a few ways to arrange food in order to do this:
- Add the larger items to the plate first
- Stack and layer the ingredients according to size and texture
- Create height where you can
- Experiment with colours
- Play with sauce patterns, garnishes, and toppings
The most important thing is to let the natural beauty of the food shine through! Use a variety of colours, even if it’s a simple basil leaf on top of a perfectly twirled spaghetti dish.
Have a squeeze bottle on hand to drizzle olive oil, purè or glazes. This is an easy way to add a professional look to your plate.
When you work with salads, use a squeeze bottle to make a circular design on top or do dots or zigzags.
One of my personal go-to garnishes in the kitchen is edible flowers. You can never go wrong with these beauties, especially in spring or summer!
They can be used in sweet and savory dishes. Flowers also add such a pretty touch to cakes and fruit salads. They also work equally well in vegetable salads.
One thing to keep in mind when buying edible flowers is to make sure they are labeled “edible.” That means they have not been treated with harsh pesticides.
This is important because although the variety of flower can be of the edible variety they may contain toxic chemicals.
Tip #4: Add a final touch
If you really want to kick it up a notch, I suggest attempting the avocado flower. It is everywhere on Instagram these days. I love them in salads or on toast. They are so easy to make and look oh so pretty!
Tip #5: Here is how you make an avocado flower:
- Choose an avocado that is ripe but still has some firmness to it. If it’s too soft it will get mushy but if it’s too hard it will fall apart. I suggest buying a few extra avocados just in case you cut it open and it’s not good. It’s hard to tell until you cut it in half!
- Cut it in half and remove the pit.
- Using your hands, gently peel the skin off of the avocado. Take your time here to make sure you preserve the natural shape of the avocado. I often use a spoon, this makes it a little easier, while still keeping the avocado in tact.
- Use a very sharp knife. Slice the avocado width-wise into the thinnest slices you can get.
- Slowly separate the slices enough to elongate them into a single line.
- Starting on one end of the avocado gently curl the avocado into itself, forming the flower-like shape.
- Brush with olive oil and season with salt.
- Enjoy! Make your flowers right before you serve them because they will oxidize and turn brown.
Now that you know the basics of how to make Instagram-worthy food, it’s time to try it out for yourself. There are so many creative ways to display and advertise your food.
I found that browsing Instagram is a great way to gain inspiration and share techniques with followers.
As a chef, I find it very rewarding when the food I serve looks just as amazing as it tastes. Get out there and start your galleries!