Posted by - November 18, 2017 - Uncategorized

Last Friday night, I was sitting in bed… editing a bunch of client photos, eating a box of Mymo mochi ice cream, while binge watching Stranger Things and scrolling through my Instagram feed. Typical.

After 15 minutes of mindless scrolling in the explore section… I noticed a pattern with foodie pics on Instagram.

I saw about 20-30 pics from different people/accounts that looked EXACTLY the same. From the style of the photo, to the colors, to the editing- I couldn’t tell anyone apart. And when I clicked onto their profiles… behold! They also looked IDENTICAL.

I thought to myself… that’s a little odd? What happened to originality?

I immediately felt compelled to write a blog post about this topic.

For me, as a full-time food & lifestyle photographer, I’m tired of seeing the SAME type of pics over and over again all over my feed.

You know… the over edited, over saturated pics.

Then we also have the basic overhead shots with zero personality. Yaawwnnnnn.

It’s boring.

I encourage you guys to all get out of your comfort zones. Because that equals growth. Why be in the crowd when you can lead the crowd??

Let’s get a little creative.

Let’s think outside the box.

Let’s play with shadows and really tell a story with photography.

Now here are some tips to help take your game to the next level:

Tip # 1:

Find cool backgrounds, not just a table. Use the restaurant as a backdrop so that your viewers get a sense of the ambiance. And if you’re like me… don’t be afraid to take the food OUTSIDE onto the streets. Just please don’t get run over!

Sun, sand and pineapple in hand 🍍💁🏻#paradise

A post shared by San Francisco Foodie (@cyneats) on

Tip #2:

Stop shooting in the dark. Let’s be real. No one wants to see shitty dark photos of your food. Believe me, I’ve made that mistake many times before when I was just starting out. If you can, always shoot in natural light (not to be mistaken with direct sunlight- which often times can blow out your photo.)

For this shot below, I intentionally moved my pizza next to a window seat because the restaurant was extremely dark. See how it looks so much better in the light?

Tip #3:

Find your food’s most photogenic side. No matter what you’re shooting: pasta, cupcake, burger or sandwich. There’s always going to be a side that looks better than the other.

Go ahead, pull that piece of bacon out so that its hanging off and looks delicious AF. Get that drip on the egg yolk!

Does BAE = bacon and eggs? Cuz I love BAE 😍 🥓🍳@kitchenstorysf #millionairesbacon

A post shared by San Francisco Foodie (@cyneats) on

Tip #4:

Be mindful. When shooting food, make sure your bowls and plates are clean AND take away any stray pieces of food.

One time… I did an entire shoot with this damn piece of lettuce hanging off the burger. I was PISSED.

Tip #5:

Tell a story. Try to showcase where you are and who you’re with. Add a bit of lifestyle into your photo. Are you wearing any accessories? Do you have cool shoes, bags, laptop, books, etc? All these tiny details can really help tell a story. For more tips on storying telling, read THIS.

Alright guys, now go crush it and tag me in your photos! Let me know if this article helped <3


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  • Alex Cordell January 3, 2018 - 7:27 pm Reply

    Great Read! This was very helpful esp the tip on taking pics in the dark. Can’t lie- I’ve done it before too.

    • CynEats February 5, 2018 - 7:28 pm Reply

      Thanks Alex!! Glad we’ve both moved on from that phase haha

  • Jo December 20, 2017 - 1:01 am Reply

    BRB while I go apply your tips!! Watch out for my on Insta


    • CynEats February 5, 2018 - 7:27 pm Reply

      Tag me in your photos!!

  • Francis December 16, 2017 - 12:17 pm Reply

    Can you please tell me what kind of camera you use :) I’m just starting off and I really love the colors of your photos.

    • CynEats February 5, 2018 - 7:27 pm Reply

      Hi Francis, I use a FUJI XT2 :)

  • Mica November 19, 2017 - 8:41 pm Reply

    You literally just made my day. Thanks for the all the tips!

    • CynEats February 5, 2018 - 4:26 pm Reply

      You’re welcome! <3

  • Dana Ryan November 19, 2017 - 8:19 pm Reply

    I love these tips, but I also LOVE YOUR ROOM!! What color are your walls?

    • CynEats February 5, 2018 - 4:25 pm Reply

      Thank you! It’s a super dark blue :)

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