Top tips for inspirational Instagram foodie pics
They have followers in the thousands and an Instagram feed that will make your mouth water. But while cookbook authors Robert Carmack and Morrison Polkinghorne of Globetrotting Gourmet get plenty of great subject matter when they host food tours to Southeast Asia, there is more to taking a great food pic than choosing the right filter.
We ask the cookbook authors for their top hints on how to gain followers and capture your best foodie moments on Instagram.
Keep it simple, stupid
Graphic, clean images read best in such a small format. And ensure your plates are clean.
Nothing detracts more than a wayward leaf or carless garnish — the viewer’s eye invariably goes to the dag. Or as the old adage goes, not seeing the forest for the trees.
Don’t be afraid to tilt your camera
Use the old fashioned Dutch tilt, or shoot directly overhead for even more graphic strength.
And look at the screen, adjusting the angle before shooting. It rarely works to shoot food as if you are shooting a selfie of yourself.
Use the filters
Both standard IG offerings, and download other apps filters to make your image stand out.
We regularly use either light or dark options, less often softening filter; and most all of the time the standard filters. (When we don’t, we specifically note “no filter” in our comments.) Apps like BeFunky and PhotoFilter can bring vivid colour to your shots.
Shoot on your SmartPhone camera, then download to IG
Instagram can be extremely frustrating when it crashes in the middle of your posting a picture. Avoid this, by safely recording your image first on your Camera Roll or Photo Steam.
As a matter of principle, we don’t use a commercial camera to shoot our IG shots — as we like the guerrilla discipline and restrictions of a Smart Phone. That being said, we follow a few commercial photographers who use a digital camera to capture extreme slow motion, such as, say, flapping butterfly wings, or a micro shot of bee pollen.
Shoot it fresh and hot
Appetite appeal is first and foremost; so shoot it fresh and hot, still most and delicious looking.
But we are not actually food styling these shots, as if on a commercial shoot. Instead, Robert quickly takes the pic just before eating the dish. Nothing artifice about that, and no waiting around, or fussing about.
But conversely, when on a professional photo shoot, we will pull back and photograph the session in action. That makes for fun IG action pix.
Social media does not mean social isolation
When you’re dining with friends, shoot the food quickly, put the phone down promptly, then upload at a later stage.
Share precious time with your friends as your focus, not your phone ruling the roost.
Be honest when hashtaging
Hashtags are important, especially when wanting to share your pictures to a broader viewership. Hashtagging can be a great way of gaining new followers, so do some research on what is trending, and include these. But make sure they’re relevant, and don’t go overboard.
But don’t hashtag on the first picture ID, as it makes for clumsy reading. Instead, wait a day or so then upload a slew of pertinent hashtag subjects.
Think about your description
Don’t just shoot, leaving no explanation. While we do have many world followers who cannot read or write English, it is still important to identify the when, what and where for those who do.
Follow other instagramers
Search for users that have similar interest to you. Comment on their photos. Not just afacile ‘yummy’ comment, write something that has substance and is engaging to their followers.
Create a discussion. If you love making dumplings, search hashtags for dumpling buzzwords. If you’re a baker, search for pics of someone’s latest baking conquest.
Following a few people with sincerity is more effective than following the multitudes.
If you have nothing to say, be free and generous with your “likes.” Make fellow IG followers numbers jump!
Add to photomap
We travel a lot, and we often eat in obscure locations.
When we visit these locations a year down the line, and want to go back to these spots, it’s so easy to re-locate it this way. Typically, we’ll show the image on our instagram map to a local taxi driver, and off we go!
Don’t forget the cardinal rule
Post no more than three shots a day, and preferably staggered times.
Nothing is more infuriating than seeing a stunning picture, only to discover that it is old, retained from a past trip, or taken without credit. Keep them fresh and spontaneous, and let people share your contemporary daily life — not old history.
For more info….
Robert Carmack and Morrison Polkingorne of Globetrotting Gourmet host food tours to Southeast Asia. Their latest project, The Burma Cookbook, premiers next February. Available from Peribo distributors in Australia $49.99, River Books Publishers.
For more information on the release of The Burma Cookbook or the next Southeast Asia food tour, visit www.GlobetrottingGourmet.com
@globetrottingGourmet #tgtg #burmacookbook IG @morrison_polkinghorne #morrigami #mp_ikat #mp_sea_markets