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Five tips for improving your food porn photos

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By Jackie Doran, Yelp Community Manager

Admit it. You’re that person who must frame up and shoot their food before tucking in. We hear your booming voice from across the restaurant yell “Get your paws off it!” before snapping an artsy, angled photo of that delicious bowl of nachos. Thankfully you’re not alone and the trend of sharing visually stunning brunch or burgers on social media isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.

We’re in the midst of Melbourne’s first ever Food Porn Festival and if you’re keen to be a part of the top photos featured in an exhibition dedicated to food, you might need some pointers! Here Yelp Community Manager Jackie, one of the festival judges, takes you through how to maximise your food porn shots.

1: Natural lighting is the best lighting!

Ideally, when you’re noshing down on that Pea and Mint Pannacotta from Kitty Burns or are about to launch into that drippy burger from 8Bit, you really want to be sitting in some natural lighting. Artificial lights tend to flatten your food and create weird and unappealing shadows.

Make sure you consider the strength of your light. Ideally you want to be shooting in bright early afternoon sun on a slightly overcast day. Yes this can be annoying when your tummy is grumbling and your food is getting cold but that is the price you pay for the ultimate food porn shot!

2: The flash is not your friend

Do you have the auto-flash turned on? You do? Stop reading and turn it off now. The flash on your phone produces a harsh light that’s rarely flattering – whether that be on people, puppies or FOOD. Nothing looks good under that flash.

Oh, and you want another reason to turn it off? Subtlety. Don’t be that person distracting other diners when you’re snapping away at those hot cakes and flat white.

3: Know when it’s not appealing

Yep. That chicken and mushroom risotto is delicious – I know! I believe you! But does the big bowl of brown rice actually look good when someone is scrolling through their instagram feed? Hmm… well, not really.

Just because you’re eating it, doesn’t make it food porn. Look for foods with bright or varying colours, interesting textures and ultimately food items that are going to make a person go “Holy bananas, gimme that.”

4: Focus on the focus

If you’re like me, you’re taking most of your photos on your iPhone, however this does make the focus a lot more challenging – we tend to not have quite as much control on a phone as we would with an actual camera.

Make sure you are adjusting the focus of your image to a certain degree by tapping on the screen on the area you’d like the focus – maybe it’s on the cheese of that pizza or on that incredible rose petal atop your granola.

5: What are you eating that with?

Of course, the focus of your photo is on the food – duh, we’re talking food porn here. However, props will add an extra awesome element to your images and create important context. There’s a delicate balance here – don’t bombard the photo with a full table setting and completely detract from the focus of your food. One or two extra elements such as a wine glass, a long black or a simple knife and fork in a secondary position will really add to your photo.

So, how do you feel? More equipped to tackle your food and be in with a chance to win the ultimate foodie prize? Head out now, grab those snaps and upload them to Melbourne Food Porn Festival.With any luck, your shot will be included in our exhibition!

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