No matter if food creation is a fun hobby or a full-time career, no one wants to see their hard work go “un-clicked.” After going to all the work preparing a culinary creation, you hope to receive visits, likes, and shares from fellow foodies in search of inspiration and guidance. Food is meant to be shared and enjoyed – and hopefully they’re sharing and enjoying yours! Intentionally photographing food for Pinterest & Instagram is key.
When it comes to Pinterest and Instagram (social media in general), it’s all about the presentation. Even if you can whip up a mean soufflé, only a picture-perfect demonstration will entice viewers to stay.
Follow these steps in photographing food for Pinterest & Instagram, and you’ll be on your way to a steady stream of followers!
Research the most popular subjects within your specialty. In the food realm, seasons often drive trends. For instance, in summer people primarily search for light and fresh recipes (i.e. not a good time to showcase your signature butternut squash soup). As you’re looking, take note of photo angles, color temperature, and lighting used in the most frequently viewed pins. I often check trending topics under the advertising menu in Pinterest (which usually translates well to Instagram, too).
Personalize & Adapt Popular Recipes
While researching, identify commonalities in the most popular recipes. For example, this summer, whipped beverages and foods were all the rage. Last fall, it was pumpkin spice everything. Find a few trending recipes within your specialty and personalize them.
*Note: I am not condoning plagiarism. Use popular recipes as inspiration, but appropriately transform them into different dishes. I often choose to make mine vegan or grain-free. Play with the flavors, ingredients, and textures. Make a hot dish cold – or vice versa. Make it distinctly yours. Utilize your own unique creativity to photograph food on Instagram or Pinterest!
Set the Stage for Good Photos/Video
Showcase How-To Pins & Tutorials
Instead of only posting a photo of the finished product, video record or take photos throughout the process. Arrange your media into a format that is visually appealing and easy to follow for your viewers. Incorporate eye-catching videos into your post. Or, create step-by-step tutorial with photos using Photoshop or Canva!
*Note: If you’re using video, don’t forget to speed it up. The video should last just a minute or two – no one will sit there for an hour as you prep and cook.
Pair Text with Photo and Video
Utilize all your options! Some people prefer lists and words they can easily refer back to, while others prefer the photos or video. Use it all. Add text on top of your media using Photoshop or Canva to make your tutorial extra simple and helpful for viewers.
Most of all, have fun while you photograph food for Pinterest & Instagram. Let your passion show.
Lindsay is a Los Angeles-based food, product, and commercial photographer. She specializes in Still Product & Food Photography, Lifestyle & Portrait Photography, Stop Motion, and Food Styling. Connect with her HERE for product marketing!