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“Insta-worthy” Food Photo Hacks

Farmington Hills native provides four tips to taking “Insta-worthy” food photos.

22-year-old Farmington Hills native Rachel Meyerson is a senior at Columbia College Chicago, majoring in photography and minoring in social media and digital strategies. Although she typically gravitates toward portrait work, such as senior photos, fashion shoots and family portrait sessions, she decided at the start of the pandemic to learn how to take great pictures of food. 

“I just really fell in love with it and signed up for a commercial photo class where I focused on photographing food for the whole semester,” she explained. “Sometimes food looks so delicious in front of our eyes, but when we photograph it, it doesn’t really capture the beautiful cheese pull or the sticky cinnamon roll you made, which can be really frustrating.”

In order to get those “Insta-worthy” food shots, Meyerson suggested trying the following four hacks:

  • Find the light: “When you take a photo of your food in a dark restaurant with the flash on, it usually looks greasy and unappetizing. This is because you’re using a harsh light that creates unintentional shadows. If you're at home and want to take a killer photo of the cookies you just made, your best bet would be to move towards a window and let the natural light flood in.”

  • Create visual cues: “If you make a strawberry smoothie, place a strawberry on the rim of the glass to let the viewer know what it is. Or, if you made pizza, photograph it with a pizza cutter in the shot or with a slice taken out. These things help give your photo a story! Remember, though, that they should be there to enhance your photo, not take it over.”

  • Amp it up a bit: “If you made brownies, cut into them and stack them on some parchment paper, so we can see the gooey center. Or, if it’s a fun summer cocktail, spray the outside of the glass with a water and glycerin mixture to make it look nice and cold.”

  • Practice: “Your photos might not look like they came straight from a magazine the first time, and that’s OK! Don’t be afraid to get creative and play around with what you can create. I promise your Facebook friends will still want to see the banana bread you made, even if the photo isn’t the best the first time around!”

After graduation, Meyerson hopes to pursue a career in magazine photography. To see more of her work, visit or follow her on Instagram @remphotography__.