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How to Take Food Photos for Social Media

The digital realm is a visual space, and for food businesses, the aesthetic appeal of your dishes can make or break your social media success. With the majority of consumers scrolling through their feeds, only pausing for content that genuinely grabs their attention, the presentation of your food on platforms like Facebook and Instagram is crucial. In this guide, we’ll walk through how to take mouth-watering food photos tailored for social media, even if you’re not a professional photographer.

Understanding the Importance of Food Photography

According to a survey, 69% of millennials have taken a picture or video of their food to post on social media. This showcases a clear trend: food is not just to satisfy hunger; it’s an experience, a shareable moment. For food businesses, this means an opportunity to connect with a vast audience and turn them into potential customers.

Lighting is Key

Natural light is the way to go when capturing food. Try to shoot near a window or an open space where soft, diffused light can illuminate your dish. Avoid using direct artificial lights or flash, as they can create harsh shadows or make the food look unappetising.

If shooting outdoors, opt for a cloudy day or shoot during the golden hour for best results. The soft light during these times will highlight the textures and colours of your dish without overpowering them.

Play with Angles

Different dishes look better from different angles. While overhead shots work great for flat-lays or dishes with interesting components on top, side angles can be perfect for burgers or stacked dishes.

If you’re showcasing a layered dessert, a side angle would emphasise its layers, giving viewers a “slice” of the experience.

Use the Right Background

Your background should complement, not compete with your dish. Use neutral colours like whites, greys, or light browns. Wooden tables, marble slabs, or plain-coloured tablecloths can be great choices.

Keep it simple. A cluttered background distracts from the dish. If adding props, ensure they’re relevant to the dish and don’t steal its spotlight.

Embrace Instagram and Facebook Features

Both Instagram and Facebook offer features that can enhance the look of your photos.

  • Filters and Editing Tools: While it’s essential to get the original photo right, these platforms offer tools that can enhance colours, adjust brightness and contrast, or add a certain mood to your photos.
  • Stories and Highlights: Showcase behind-the-scenes shots of the process of creating a dish. It adds authenticity and can engage viewers by showing the journey of a dish.

Presentation Matters

Before even picking up the camera, ensure the food looks presentable. Garnish appropriately, wipe off any stray splatters on the plate, and arrange the food to showcase its best side.

If your dish includes a sauce or a dip, consider placing it in a small bowl on the side rather than pouring it all over. It gives an organised look and offers a pop of colour.

Keep It Real

While you want your dishes to look their best, it’s essential they remain authentic to what you serve. Over-editing or using too many digital enhancements can lead to disappointment when customers come to taste the real thing.

Showcase dishes that are freshly made. The natural steam or the glisten of fresh ingredients can add an authentic touch to your photos.


Mastering food photography for social media is a mix of understanding your dish, knowing a bit about photography, and leveraging the tools at your disposal. And remember, while these tips will set you on the right path, consistency is key. The more you practice, the better you’ll get.

If you find yourself needing assistance in this realm, look no further! At Metric Connect, a leading digital marketing agency in Leicestershire, our team specialises in both photo and video content tailored for food businesses just like yours.