Taking drool-worthy food photography for Instagram using your smart phone

Read Time:   |  28th August 2018

Sally FitzGerald heads to Demuths Cookery School to learn how to take drool-worthy food photos using just a smart phone. 

food photography using smart phone

Like to admit it or not, we’re a generation obsessed with taking photos of our food. Breakfast, lunch or dinner, you’ll know at least one friend who updates their Instagram feed with more photos of their perfectly piled plates than their family, holidays, or significant life moments. And although I might be a tiny bit biased, few feeds look as beautiful as the vegan ones!

So it’s no surprise that Demuths – one of the UK’s leading vegetarian and vegan cookery schools – has decided to add a new course to its repetoire in the form of Food Photography For Instagram. You can already learn how to create some of the most delicious vegan dishes at the school, but want to discover how to immortalise them forever on your feed? This is the class for you.

Taught by Rob Wicks from Eat Pictures, the class covers all the basics to turn your photos from dog’s dinner to works of art in just four short hours. And he even manages to fit in time for lunch at the end – after all, we wouldn’t want all that food going to waste!

food photography using smart phone

The course is split into seven parts and each covers the theory, followed by time to put it into practise behind the lens.

  1. What is the ‘wow’ factor and how do we create it?
  2. Light
  3. Composition
  4. Texture and contrast
  5. Simple food styling
  6. Cookery in action
  7. Instagram – the tricks behind the tool bar!

Throughout the morning, Rob guided us through the basics of each topic and had helpfully put together good (and bad) examples to bring each rule to life. Then we were let loose with our smart phones and the most colourful seasonal veg available to try out our newfound knowledge.

The main advantage to the course being based at a cookery school is that the school tutors were also on hand to act as models for our ‘photo shoot’, while simultaneously preparing our lunch – talk about multitasking! And we couldn’t have asked for a better model than Lydia rolling Vietnamese spring rolls over and over again so we could get just the right angle and perfect our timings. I can confirm that they tasted just as good as they looked too!

food photography using smart phone

After getting several shots that we were all happy with, Rob ran us through Instagram’s editing tools to share a few tips on how to make our photos really pop so no one would be able to believe we’d taken them using a phone and not an all-singing SLR.

I think every single student came away from the day not only with a stomach full of delicious vegan food, but a phone packed with photos full of potential, plus the newfound confidence to edit them and take even more. Instagram, I just hope you’re ready for us!

Top tips

Without giving away all the secrets from the course, here are a couple of things to consider when taking your own Insta-worthy photos…

Lighting is key – consider whether you’re going to use natural light or artificial light, and what angle it’s coming from

What story are you trying to tell? Do you want motion or simplicity? Do you need any props or special styling?

Find the best angle to tell your story – do you want to be in close to get the detail or do you want to shoot the scene from further away? Think about the height and depth within this too.

food photography using smart phone

Want to try it for yourself?

Demuths Food Photography For Instagram course lasts 4 hours and costs £90. To find out about this and any of the vegan cookery classes at the Bath-based school, head over to demuths.co.uk.

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Vegan Food & Living

Vegan Food & Living is a magazine dedicated to celebrating the vegan lifestyle. Every issue is packed with 75 tasty recipes, plus informative features.

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