DIY Workshop: Food photos with Ophelie’s Kitchen Book

Not long returned from a trip to India, Ophelie from the blog Ophelie’s Kitchen Book recently visited us to host a workshop with lessons on turning a plate of food into beautiful Instagram photos.

What food (or dish) is the most photogenic?
Desserts, breakfasts and cakes… I find that sweet foods are generally easier to stage and photograph.

What is the faux pas to not commit when you want to take a nice food photo?
That would definitely have to be to not mix all of the food into the same dish. We must be able to see all that the plate is composed of so that it’s easier to read the photo. Also keep in mind that the food or the dish is the star of the photo… so be sure to not have too many co-stars!

What’s your favourite type of food in the world, that you could eat every single day without getting bored?
It’s not very glamorous, but definitely a very good coffee with milk and cheese.

So, now that you know how to judge the basic potential of your dishes, you’re off to a good start. But thanks to the advice of Ophelie, you’ll soon be able to ace your next foodie photos and make your Instagram followers drool.

To make the best #foodporn quality photos, you will need:

📱 A smartphone or camera (not disposable – you may need a few test runs!)
🍴 Nice clean dishes (preferably uncracked)
🍩 The models: cakes, fruits, veggies, burgers, etc…
☀️ Natural light
🌸 Accessories to spruce up your scene, like flowers, marble tables, condiments, etc


Without further ado, here are Ophelie’s tips for a successful foodie photoshoot.

1.Forget artificial light 💡
Stop using your camera’s flash or that bright kitchen light! The most beautiful photos come from natural light, so make sure to be outdoors or near an open window when taking your photos for the best effect.


2. Wait for the “Golden Hour” 🌞
The best time to shoot is early in the morning or late in the afternoon, when the sun becomes a soft, warm glow. Avoid taking photos between these times… and if you can’t, try to use a veil to filter the harsh rays of the sun.

3. Become a director 🎭
Imagine your table as a scene where your foods are the actors, and the extras are the towels, cutlery, flowers and other various accessories that help to bring life to the photo. Just be careful not to overdo it – it needs to be clear who the main characters are.


4. Balance your food 🍉
We’re not talking about nutrition… try to use an odd number of elements in your scene to create a sense of balance between the main props and the extras. Don’t be afraid to include empty space in your image to bring even more attention to the main elements.


5. Sink your teeth into it 🗻
If using vegetables in your photo, add some herbs or spices to liven up the party. Feel free to even bite into the stars of your show to emphasise that they don’t just look good… they taste good too!


6. Get seasonal ❄️
Use elements from the current season to add timeliness to your photo and get creative. For example, in summer, think colourful fruits and water drops.

7. Observe all angles 🔍
Depending on the light of the layout of your decorations, your photo can tell a completely different story. Don’t forget to turn your models around to show off their best sides.

8. Get your hands dirty ✋🏻
If you have a hand model available, add them into the mix! You can also personalise the model by adding jewellery or a cute cardi. This helps to make your photo more human.

9. Take to the skies 🚠
Whether you’re at home or in a restaurant, don’t be afraid to stand on a chair or stool to get the height you need for a bird’s-eye view. People might look at you strangely… but once they see your photo on Instagram, they’ll understand.


10. Eat in bed 💤
White sheets are a must in the world of photogenic food… they make the food stand out in the best way possible. But if you want to avoid getting crumbs in the bed (like your mum always warned you about), use a nice tray underneath your dish… or use a white tablecloth instead.

11. #NoFilter🙅🏼
Try to avoid using filters where possible. Instead, play with the brightness, contrast and saturation options in Instagram to make an even prettier photo. If you can’t get the brightness to pop, stick to a black and white filter. Some useful editing apps for photo retouching: Snapseed, VSCO, Afterlight.


Some useful apps to improve your photos : snapseed, vsco, afterlight

12. Have fun! 🎉
If you start taking foodie photos, so id for you and your love of food before anything else. Spoil yourself and try everything to find the style that suits you!


Now, you have all of the keys to creating the most delicious-looking Instagram feed out there – bon appetit!

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