Crush: 6 tips from foodies to beat the Instagram algorithm

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Whether it’s a bánh mì to go or slow-cooked lasagne for Sunday lunch, it’s difficult to resist the temptation of immortalising your meal. Here are six tips (borrowed from pros) to take mouth-watering photos for your Instagram followers.

Cover photo: @agathewhatyouneed on Instagram


Focus on framing, like Géraldine Martens

Sometimes, the best way to create an appealing shot is to get some height and capture the entire essence of the dish. To do so, centre the plate and, if possible, raise it up a bit (on the middle of the counter or at the edge of a table) in the frame of your smartphone. That’s all there is to it.


Play with shadows and light, like Agathe Hernandez


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A post shared by Agathe Hernandez (@agathewhatyouneed)

Whether natural or artificial, lighting is extremely important when shooting your food. Play with proportions to create lovely delicate shadows and immortalise your dish during golden hour.


When it comes to presentation, pull out all the stops, like Émeline Ancel-Pirouelle (Britney Fierce)

If you’ve ever seen Top Chef, then you know how important it is to present a dish correctly. Take a page out of Britney Fierce’s book. Without overdoing it, she presents her dishes very gracefully in enamel bowls. Last but not least: don’t forget the sauce, both for texture and colour. 


Choose the right dishware, like Sabrina Sako (@IHaveThisThingWithEmptyPlates)

Whether vintage or absolutely modern, dishware plays a starring role in the art of staging. Opt for gorgeous colourful bowls or patterned soup plates, mixed or matched. In short, let your creativity run free.


Exaggerate the staging, like Émilie Franzo (@PlusUneMiette)


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A post shared by Emilie Franzo (@plus_une_miette)

While the dishes we’re about to eat are often enough, sometimes they can benefit from a little staging. Before taking your photo, scatter some seeds here and there, put some accessories in the corners and add a little life.


Compose with the landscape, like Melissa Hier (@GirlEatWorld) 

As you already know, street food is its own thing. Literally enjoyed in the street, this on-the-go food often truly represents a culture or place. In short: specialities or simply treats for your taste buds. In this context, focus on the landscape and setting for colourful shots.

AMV Journal is a space dedicated to encounters, discovery and travel. Every week, explore the musts, portraits and inspirations of American Vintage and its creation studio.