I may not be a professional “foodie”, but I still like to eat. When I go to Rocket (which is often), my food choices usually go one of two ways: I’m feeling healthy and order their scrambled eggs, or I feed my sweet tooth with Buckwheat Waffles. Finally and regardless of my mood, I always get a drink. Depending on my caffeine intake so far that day, I will either order a coffee or one of their ice cold coconuts.
On top of tasting delicious, I can always count on Rocket for making my food look fabulous. Although I have my regular orders, I’ve probably had most things on the menu and it always arrives looking oh-so-good.
I am a social media obsessed fashion blogger, so you can probably guess what happens when something pretty is placed in front of me. Photos, duh – it’s Instagram time! You can see from the photos in this post that I’ve had a few Rocket Instagram moments myself.
Food photography isn’t the easiest of endeavours, but I’ve had some time to practice and I’ve come up with the following rules. Hopefully these steps will help you bring Rocket’s delicious dishes the social media justice they deserve.
Aside from one photo, which doesn’t follow the rules (I’ll let you guess which one I’m talking about), you can use my photos as examples.
1. Natural Light
Thailand is hot and you probably want to avoid the sun, but if pictures are a priority then you’re going to want to sit by a window.
2. Avoid Shadows
An iPhone 6+ size shadow taking over your Rocket Fuel Iced Coffee is going to throw off your food photo in a pretty big way. Yes, you want natural light, but make sure to sit yourself accordingly (at least while you’re taking the photo).
A professional photographer would probably start talking about the rule of thirds, but let’s keep it simple instead. When arranging your food, it’s best to follow a few basic principles: remove anything that is not aesthetically pleasing (the empty glass from your pre-dinner cocktail), keep the layout simple and not cluttered, avoid large empty spaces and try to form a balance. Things do not have to be in the exact centre, but try to create horizontal and vertical lines, such as straightening out your placemat.
4. Camera Angle
Restaurants are always coming out with great photos of food taken from each and every angle, but it’s best to snap your pics looking straight down, unless you want to move your meal to a photography studio. Yes, this will involve standing up, sticking out your behind, leaning into the middle of the table and taking your photo – there cannot be any shame when Instagram is involved.
5. Something Special
Just to keep it extra interesting, it’s nice to add one little thing that isn’t food to your photo. Are there flowers on the table? Candles? If you’ve got a cute purse, why not add it to the photo? A few other good options are sunglasses or even a hand holding that pretty little latte.
6. Colour Treatment
So you’ve got your photo, now it’s time to make sure that everything is perfect. There are an endless array of photo editing apps out there, but “pic-tap-go” is an especially great one. It often works best to brighten up the photo a bit and ensure that it’s the right balance between warm and cool. Increase the saturation slightly if you wish and then finish by adding sharpness.
You are now ready to post to Instagram! Although the app may seem like it’s all about filters, you might be surprised to know that the most used filter out there is “no filter”. Having said that, it can still be beneficial to filter a little bit, but that does not mean turning it on 100%. Sticking with the most popular basics such as Valencia, Hudson, Lark and Juno and keeping them between 40-60% will generally give you the perfect looking food photo.
Next time you’re at Rocket try out these tips and see how it goes. Make sure you tag both @RocketCoffeeBar and myself (@APOElise) so we can see the Instagram magic you come up with. If fashion is your thing, be sure to check out my blog at www.apieceofelise.com.
Catch you next time!
P.S. This next photo is to highlight that it’s not only the food at Rocket which is Instagram worthy.
7 Tips: Food Instagrams – By Elise Purdon The lovely talent behind “A Piece of Elise”.