iPhone Food Photography Tips for Instagram

Food photography can be pretty challenging especially when you have no idea what you’re doing. When I first started my blog, it was a food and fashion blog so I had to teach myself how to shoot food. It’s actually pretty amazing to see how far I’ve come (basically I ignored all of these food photography tips and posted really ugly food photos) over the past few years and how much better my food photos look now. It’s not difficult to learn as long as you set yourself up for success. These iPhone food photography tips work just as well with a DSLR camera but are specifically geared toward those who want to take better food photos for their Instagram feeds. Hopefully these 8 iPhone food photography tips help you as much as they’ve helped me improve my food photo game!

iPhone food photography tips

Sit in an area that has natural lighting – I’d love to say you can make any lighting look good but that’s simply not true. Yellow or fluorescent lighting is super hard to work with even if you’re great at editing so if you have the option to choose natural over artificial lighting, always opt for the table outside or the one by the window.

iPhone food photography tips

If you can, choose a table with a light color (marble, light wood) – Dark tables, especially cherry or walnut wood, do not make great photos. The reds and browns turn your photo into all sorts of colors that are difficult to edit. Also, it’s pretty hard to photograph food on a table that is dark unless your style of editing is moody and desaturated. But if not, and you are a color lover, then dark tables are generally your enemy. If you can’t find a light table, then use white napkins under your plates or stack empty plates underneath food plates to create more of a colorful background and textured background.

iPhone food photography tips

Photograph only food that looks appetizing – Don’t feel like you have to photograph everything you’ve ordered to eat. I always remove anything that might look unappetizing (even if I know it’s good). This includes meat (ribs with bbq sauce), saucy food, runny eggs etc. Burgers are generally ok if the photo is taken from above. Fruit, salad, smoothie bowls and dessert all look gorgeous in photographs.

iPhone food photography tips

Use hands in frame – I love adding a human element to my photos and so I always try to incorporate my hands into a photos. Grab  your cup or silverware or reach across the table for some bread. Just remember to keep your hands relaxed and soft; otherwise they may look clubby and stiff.

iPhone food photography tips

Take a test shot and then fill in gaps on the table – Test shots are key to achieving that picture food photography photo. If there are gaps in your table, rearrange your plates to balance out the empty spaces. You can also use accessories to fill overly large gaps in your table or if your table is still too big, you can crop it to include other elements like cool chairs or distressed hardwood flooring.

iPhone food photography tips

Choose symmetry when possible – Symmetrical layouts tend to look best so make sure your cups mirror each other and your plates are balanced on either side of the photo.

iPhone food photography tips

Keep an eye out for background texture – If your table or floor has some awesome texture, don’t be afraid to show it . Sometimes textures add so much to a photo and make it even better (think colorful floor tile or light hardwood floors).

iPhone food photography tips

Play with angles – While I love flatlays food, sometimes angled shots are even more dramatic. Look at your surroundings and if it tells a story, then don’t be afraid to angle your shot and show where it is you’re enjoying your food!



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  1. Great tips! What do you use for editing your iPhone photos? Please tell me its an app cause taking the photos off the phone, editing them, and putting them back on the phone for instagram is much too hard for me.

    1. I use Lightroom on my laptop 🙂 BUT Lightroom does have an app and you can upload your presets from your laptop to it (through syncing I believe). Hope that helps!

  2. These are such fun tips. My husband is a great photographer and uses his DSLR everywhere we go, but we have found that food photography is much easier with the iPhone. I like to “stage” the shot and use the portrait mode as well :).

  3. This is great! I use my iphone for all my photography. I would like to upgrade though to get slightly nicer photos. It’s amazing how well these phones can photograph!

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