Just recently, O’Brien et al. had a shoot with one of our favorite local restaurants, Chick’s Oyster Bar. Our crew spent a good part of the day staging, photographing, and maybe even sampling, some of the amazing food and drinks that the restaurant offers.

Fish tacos?

Fresh Shucked Oysters?

Cold Beer?

Sounds great to me.

When you see the professionals taking these pictures, it looks pretty effortless. They’re trained, experienced, they have great equipment… They get high quality shots that are appealing and extremely appetizing.

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Aleks and Ken hard at work.

If you are anything like a good percentage of the general American public, you have taken a #foodpic while out at dinner… or brunch… or while getting coffee.  Most of us do it, and more often than not, it’s a bit of a struggle to get the pictures to look as great as the food does in person. Not many people keep tripods and lighting rigs at the ready, and not everyone is a professional photographer or art director. Most of us just carry our phones to use as cameras.

That doesn’t mean you can’t take amazing pics of your grub, though!

Today, we will give you 3 things to consider that will help you take great looking, Instagram-worthy pics every time.

First, you need to be aware of your lighting.

While you may not be able to carry around professional-grade equipment like the OEA crew, natural light will never disappoint.

Position your meal in a well-lit location (a window seat would be ideal) and take the shot so that you avoid creating a phone-shaped shadow over your food. Soft, diffused lighting is flattering and will give you true-to-life color. Avoid direct sun and your camera’s flash if possible, as they may be too harsh.

Tacos from Chick's Oyster Bar

Chick’s Oyster Bar’s Costa Rica Soft Tacos. Photo taken with an iPhone.

Second, be conscious of your composition.

If you’ve ever taken an Intro to Art class, you may already know the Rule of Thirds.

Go ahead and turn on the viewfinder in your camera app. The Rule of Thirds suggests that you’ll get the most interesting photos when you align the subject (i.e your food) along one of these lines.

Basically, if you offset your image it will add interest to your photo. You can also play around with zoom and cropping to create an image that showcases the best features of your meal.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with your angles! Overhead shots look great when showing off your whole meal or table(see below)-and you can let your friends eat and use their hands to fill the frame while snapping the pic for a more natural shot.

A nice, well-rounded spread. Photo taken with an iPhone.

Finally, play around with styling. Garnishes add interest and color, a crisp napkin or clean spoon will add contrast in texture, and a simple background can provide a clean slate to showcase your subject. If you’re having a beverage, let that be part of the image as well.

Since there are so many photo editing apps available, you may even find that you like to play around with saturation, brightness, and filters.

All this to be said, have fun and enjoy your meal- and if you haven’t yet, go check out Chick’s Oyster Bar! It’s located at 2143 Vista Circle, Virginia Beach, VA 23451.

 

 

 

 

 

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