Instagram is changing the way we eat.

10 tips to improve your #foodporn

There are nearly 200 million photos on Instagram tagged #food, and millions more under food-related tags like #eeeeeats.

We eat with our eyes all day long, scroll through our Instagram and Pinterest feeds and when we finally sit down at the table, we take out our phones before picking up our forks. Instagram has changed the way we eat.

Instagram and the passion for food trends has also encouraged people to step up their game in their own kitchens, experiment with new ingredients and plate our food as if we’re cooking for the Queen. And posting it, of course.
Instagram also leveled up the expectations we have to restaurants and the creativity of dishes they serve.

For restaurants this means that they have to keep up with food trends and creativity and “instagram-ability” of the dishes they serve. Many chefs have their own Instagram accounts, which they use to keep an eye on the competition and check up on the latest foodie trends — because more than ever, the public has the power to decide what’s hot.
Our opinions on restaurants are no longer based on newspaper reviews from critics, but on their social media presence and the photos people post at places.
First thing I do before going to a restaurant is to check the restaurant (via the explore feature for places or hashtags) on Instagram.

In order to catch the right shot for Instagram, whether you’re a restaurant ownder or a foodie who wants to level up his/her Instagram food game, here are 10 tips for you:

#1 Try not messing up your food before you take the picture
Sometimes this might mean waiting until everyone has got their plates — yes, quite annoying sometimes. Some even bring it so far that they’re not touching their coffee before the food arrives. Which often means drinking cold coffee. I’m not perfectionistic enough for that, or am simply loving a nice warm coffee too much for that. Maybe order cold brew coffee if you want your pictures to be perfect ;)

#2 Stand on a chair to take foodie ‘grams.
Some are still embarrassed about this, but if you don’t care if other’s think you’re slightly obsessed with food, go for it. You can fit more of those amazing brunch plates in the shot and rest assured your photos won’t come out like a mess.

#3 Tap on the area you want to be in focus.
Once you’re happy with it, scroll up and down to change the brightness. This will prove useful in dark restaurants and bars.

#4 Square
If you only post your Instagram shots in squares, make sure you’re shooting the picture as a square, so you don’t have to crop the photo later to fit nicely on Instagram.

#5 Don’t zoom in using your iPhone
It decreases the image quality. If you can, get closer to your subject physically.

#6 Lighting
Make use of natural light whenever possible. Window light is ideal, but try to avoid harsh direct sunlight that will blow out the tones in the photo.

#7 Add Space
Try to avoid filling the frame with too many elements, otherwise it looks too messy.

#8 Use a photo editing app
You don’t need to use Instagram filters. Instead, try other photo editing apps. I typically use VSCO or ColourStory. Try to use the same filter for all your pictures so they keep a unique look and don’t alter colors and tones too much with food, otherwise the picture looks fake and food looks weird.
Once I’m in there I adjust my exposure, clarity, sharpen, contrast & saturation.

#9 Post your style
Post photos on Instagram that represent your style, with a variety of angles and subjects that stay within your personal “theme.” I think what makes an Instagram account interesting is when someone shows their photography skills while taking risks and staying away from perfection. Not every photo needs to be perfectly styled.

#10 Hashtags
Use hashtags that represent where you are, what you are doing, have — for restaurants especially local — relevance and let other people find your pictures. If you’re in a restaurant, use the hashtag of the restaurant, or local food related hashtags.
For events, there are often event related hashtags too.

Now it’s time to practice!

If you’re in Vienna this weekend, this is your chance to catch some nice shots of Instagram-able food: I’m hosting a brunch event — The Brunch Club Vienna, where you can make use of all these tips and show us your Instagram game! The event hashtag is #BrunchClubVienna. Here are all the event details like time, location and what to expect:
You can also follow us on Instagram here:

Curious optimist currently designing culture and community programs + tools at Dropbox. Writing about community, future of work and out of office culture.