How to take bad-ass #foodpics using your phone

  Posted by - March 3, 2015 - CynEats Foodie Guide

If there’s one question I get all the time, it’s: “Cynthia, how do you take your food pics??”

So today’s the day I share all my tips and tricks.

And contrary to popular belief… you don’t need a fancy camera to take good photos. All you need is a smartphone, the right lighting, the right composition, and a great edit.

(video by: Daniel Fabio)

Side: 90% of my Instagram photos are taken through my iphone 6 and every photo below is also taken with my iphone.

Tip #1: Use your hands

Sometimes food looks better when it’s not sitting down on the table. I like to play with different angles, especially when it comes to desserts, burgers and bagels .

Tip #2: Find the right lighting & never ever use flash!

Whenever I go to a restaurant, I’ll ALWAYS look for a seat with the best natural lighting.

For example, both these photos are unedited. One was taken in bad lighting, the other was taken facing the light.

PS: I also turned this burger around to its most photogenic side lol.

 

Q&A: @siecy7 asked “How you always seem to catch the light is ah-mah-zing! Teach us! :)”

To be 100% honest… I’m a total pain in the butt when it comes to lighting. I’ll totally move the food over to another table if I HAVE to. And when making ressies, a convo will typically go like this “Hi, can I make a reservation for 6pm, preferably at a table with GREAT lighting!” <– lol, I know… I’m a pain.

Tip #3: Find the right background

My fav backgrounds are usually white spaces and marble tops (it just makes the picture look cleaner). White is right.

+ white sheets, white walls, marble tables

+ wooden tables

+ scenery pics (ie: holding out ice cream in front of the sunset or a cool backdrop of the city)

Tip #4: Arm swag

I’m a total fan of arm swag. I like to incorporate finger jewelry, watches, and bracelets to coffee & dessert pics. The top left photo and bottom right photo are pics I took of Katey Yurko of Yurkstyle.com during our coffee dates!

PS: Add your sunglasses, clutch, hat, etc to show off your own style.

Tip #5: Composition

+ Make sure everything fits into a square. Sometimes less is more.

+ If you can’t fit everything into your picture, stand up!

+ Move things around (this can be kinda annoying to other people when you move their napkin or fork out of the way lol). So ask nicely.

+ Try different angles (my favorite is birds eye view, which is from directly above)

Now moving on to editing…

Q&A: @lovelylyfestyle asked “Maybe share apps you use for editing photos for blog/Instagram?”

I like to keep things simple. My two favorite apps for editing is through Instagram and Vsco.

First, I’ll show you how I would edit this photo only using IG: before & after

 IMG_5671

   

1. increase brightness (b/c I love bright/white photos)

2. increase contrast to make the colors pop

3. decrease warmth to get rid of the “yellowish” color

… and voila! That’s a typical Cyn Eats edit.

 

Now here’s another example where I held up this bagel against a white wall (except, the wall looked 50 shades of gray). Edit: Using only Instagram… increase the exposure & highlights & contrast. Looks much better, right?

Using VSCO

Now here, I’m using the Vsco app. I’m a huge fan of the “C1” filter.

Sometimes, I’ll just use that filter and call it a day. (It’s my lazy girl edit)

 

If you want to see more Vsco edits, my entire trip to Japan was taken on my iphone 6. Then edited through this “c1 filter” aka… I was too lazy to edit everything.

Breakfast + Sunrise view from our hotel (Grand Hyatt in Roppongi)

Breakfast + Sunrise view from our hotel (Grand Hyatt in Roppongi)

And yes, I am THAT asian girl taking a bunch of food pics. #noshame

And now you guys all know how I take and edit my photos! Follow, tag, comment @cyneats if you have any questions.

PS: I just made a brand new Facebook account where I’ll be posting more tips and pics: www.facebook.com/cyneats

I only have 8 followers right now, so show me some love! lol.

Hope this helped!

XOXO,

Cyn

 

 

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24 Comments

  • Tamika February 12, 2017 - 11:30 pm Reply

    Thanks doll. You just made my blogging life 100% easier. Your amazing.

  • […] a shitty photographer (I was terrible- story HERE)…and you have time to learn- then research photography tips, watch YouTube videos, and practice practice […]

  • […] Read THIS article on “How To Take Bad Ass Food Pics With Your iPhone” <— good starter […]

  • […] Foodie photo tip: you always want to face the light! […]

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      A close friend of mine is testing out his airsoft business on the convention circuit, and I think he picked Miami because he wanted to make a vacation of it, too. >_< He offered to pay for both my flight and my hotel, so I couldn't really refuse. *^-^* Plus, I get free space at his booth to market my wares and pimp my manga in return for helping him out. I’m actually planning on going to other conventions across if things turn out alright. Do you have any recommendations?

  • Christina Lam March 18, 2015 - 2:47 pm Reply

    This is such a great post!!! You have such an awesome blog and I love that you’re teaching us your secrets!

    • CynEats March 18, 2015 - 4:04 pm Reply

      Thank you! :)

  • […] cares so much about her readers. She’s killin’ it. And she deserves it. Her recent post on taking good food pictures really blew me away. She half asses […]

  • Kara March 5, 2015 - 11:20 pm Reply

    Cooool! For some reason, I’ve never played with the instagram settings and only use the filters. Thanks for the inspo!

    • CynEats March 11, 2015 - 9:04 am Reply

      You’re welcome! Glad you enjoyed this post :)

  • Angelo March 5, 2015 - 3:45 pm Reply

    Are all your blog photos also taken with your iphone?

    • CynEats March 11, 2015 - 9:03 am Reply

      90% of my blog photos are taken with my iphone. I recently got a new camera (fuji x100s), so you’ll be seeing a lot more professional looking photos :)

  • Diane R. March 5, 2015 - 1:22 pm Reply

    Your pics and videos are sooo cute!!! I also use vsco, but have overlooked the C1 filter. I didn’t realize it makes such a huge difference in your photos.

    • CynEats March 11, 2015 - 9:02 am Reply

      Thank you! Isn’t that the filter amaz? I feel like it makes anything look good!

  • Lauren March 5, 2015 - 12:46 pm Reply

    I love how you’re so open to sharing your tips! I know that theres a lot of other bloggers out there who don’t like to give away their secrets. Thanks for being awesome!

    • CynEats March 11, 2015 - 9:01 am Reply

      Of course! I hate it when other bloggers are shady!

  • Sam March 4, 2015 - 4:35 am Reply

    love this! :) I cannot agree better that — GOOD LIGHTING is everything!!!
    Oh and after this post, I’ll probably have to game up my arm swag, cos I rarely wear accessories :p

    • CynEats March 5, 2015 - 9:38 pm Reply

      Good lighting + arm swag= food pic heaven lol! Go to forever 21 and grab a set of midi rings for like 5 bucks!

  • Kelly - A Side of Sweet March 4, 2015 - 4:08 am Reply

    Awesome post! I need to step up my hand bling game, obviously! Also, we should photogenically brunch sometime – I’ve also been known to wait up to 45 minutes for a table to open up with better lighting! :)

    • CynEats March 5, 2015 - 9:35 pm Reply

      LOL yes i’m soooo down for that! Would love to get together, email me: cyneats@gmail.com

  • Stacey L March 3, 2015 - 12:08 pm Reply

    Been obsessed with your insta feed! Thanks for all the suggestions… this is so awesome.

    • CynEats March 5, 2015 - 9:34 pm Reply

      You’re welcome! Glad you like it:)

  • Julia March 3, 2015 - 11:16 am Reply

    I’m loving that tutorial you did! and your videos are so cute!!! Going to apply some of your hand tricks to my ice cream pic haha

    • CynEats March 3, 2015 - 11:35 am Reply

      yay! don’t forget to tag me so I can see! :)

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