Admit it: every time you eat at a restaurant, the first thing you do is whip out your smartphone to take a picture of your meal. It's the default behavior of many, notably those whose daily routines involve a bit of social media management. In the Philippines, instagramming #foodporn has become a popular obsession(our own people are no different – check out some of our favorite restaurants).However, many #foodporn practitioners take careless, unappetizing photos, and what could have been glorious shots of delectable, well-plated creations instead become steaming piles of nothing. Fortunately, giving your food photos the potential to go viral is easy with five little visual tweaks.
Let There Be (Great) Light
Lighting is the most overlooked element in #foodporn and its misuse is the reason why many photos look gross. Harsh light makes the food look shiny and plasticky. Misplaced lighting creates shadows or glare in the wrong places. Use natural, soft, indirect light whenever possible. Don't be afraid to move yourself or the light source around to get just the right effect. If you came with friends, borrow one of their phones and make use of its light.
Make Use of Props
Because the main focus is the food, it pays to keep the props simple and few. However, don't forget that they can also be used to manipulate lighting. A white napkin can fill shadowed areas while a glass of water can diffuse light.
Keep the Background Blurry
The biggest problem with phone cameras is the lack of depth of field; everything is focused in the same way. A blurry background keeps the spotlight on the food. You can manipulate the light to make the backdrop brighter but it's often easier to simply use your phone's blur or focus tool to obscure the background.
Compose and Contrast Colors
The best-looking food is typically bright with color. Newly prepared meals are usually arranged in the best possible manner but there can be room for improvement. Don't be afraid arrange the food with others on the table to maximize the contrasts but don't play with it too much. Three clashing colors at a time are more than enough.
Use Your Phone's Camera Then Upload Later
Instead of opening the Facebook or the Instagram app to take a picture, use the default camera function. In the case of the iPhone, the function takes better pictures than the app. But more importantly, the camera function relieves you from the pressure of self-editing in real-time. You can take several pictures in quick succession then find the best to edit and upload.
Do you have your own secrets to taking a great #foodpornpics? Or questions about improving social media management in the Philippines? Let us know below.