October 12, 2017

The age of social media has created its own digital celebrities. People often post photos of their meals to Instagram as a means to show off their creations or food that looks particularly good. But how can you take that perfect picture to make sure that followers take notice? Here are a few tips to help you create Instagram-worthy plates that aren’t staged or flavorless:

1. Add some color

Pops of color can break up an otherwise static plate. If you have a salad with a lot of greens, for example, tomatoes, peppers, almonds and other toppings display a wider variety of colors. For some creations, adding too much color or too many elements can create a more confusing plate as well as throw off the harmony of the flavors. The Restaurant Expert suggested instead to get creative with garnishes. This could include adding fruit to a dessert dish, drizzling condiments or adding fresh herbs for a more rustic detail. Use the versatility of ingredients and your meal to your advantage to strike the right balance and create a truly scrumptious photo.

Plating is everything for an Instagram-worthy photo. Plating is everything for an Instagram-worthy photo.

2. Focus on plating

For any aspiring cook, how you plate your meal is everything, particularly when serving it to others or trying to deliver that Instagram-worthy creation. The plate and presentation are the first impression that someone has before they dig in, so getting the plating right is essential to an overall satisfying experience. All Recipes suggested using a clean and simple look for meals that have bright garnishes or a lot of small shapes. A plate with a pattern or a painted dish can be better for serving something more homey to give it a regal, photogenic feel. Some items could even be placed on a wooden cutting board or against your restaurant’s branding elements.

Customers might even want to take photos of their Instagram-worthy dish for themselves and making the most of that chance can be beneficial to your culinary career. Israel’s Carmel Winery teamed up with Catit, a Tel Aviv restaurant, to offer special Instagrammable meals through an experience called Foodography. Elite Daily noted that the plates are created to allow the ideal positioning of your phone and the perfect picture of your food. Something as simple as a plate can totally change the perception of the dish and make for an Instagram-worthy post without compromising on the taste and texture of the food.

“Plates that seem staged or too precious can damper the eating experience.”

3. Keep it real

A meal should look effortless and natural. Plates that seem staged or too precious can damper the eating experience, even if it does make for a pretty photo. Chefs need to strike a balance between realistic creations and clean presentation. Approach the plate from the perspective of making the dish pleasant to eat. This will help it look authentic. If it looks like garnishes were placed with tweezers or elements are too precise, try taking a bite of the creation before taking the photo. This can end up creating a more interesting and dynamic photo. Creating an authentic feel will take practice, but ultimately result in a more satisfying experience.

Taking photos of meals and food creations has become a pastime for Instagram users. Culinary students can use Instagram-worthy meals as a means to show off their skills and enjoy great food. By following these tips, cooks can create a balanced plate that’s photo ready and authentic. To learn more about the fine art of plating and food presentation, consider culinary academy training to prepare you for a career in making amazing dishes.