How to Take an Insta-worthy Food Photo Like a Total Pro

You know you’re a TIU girl when…you don’t want to dig in to your meal until you get the perfect checkin pic!  📸 Yea that happens to us all the time ;)

The Lean, Clean, ‘N Green philosophy of the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan means you’re eating beautiful and bright leafy greens, fresh fruit, and seasonal herbs and spice ~ and healthy pancakes, muffins, and even ice cream! Whatever you make, it’s bound to be gorgeous!! So of course you need to snap and share on Insta!

If you’ve always wondered how to take that perfect food photo, we gotchu! Today we’re sharing all the tips you’ll need to take pics like a total pro – from lighting to food styling to photo editing. This is what we personally do when we’re taking snaps at the HQ for our @ToneItUp Insta. Our fab art director Kelly (you know her as @kikitonesitup!) shared some of her secrets too! And if you follow her on IG…you know she takes the most GORG pics! 🙌🏻

Try these tips and then share your beautiful creations with the hashtag #TIUphototips! We can’t wait to see your pics!

Tip #1: It’s all about that (natural) lighting

Lighting is everything when it comes to taking an incredible food photo. Dark rooms or bright indoor lights can make your meal look dull, and direct sunlight can wash out your image or create harsh shadows. The best spot to shoot your smoothie bowl or colorful salad is a well lit room with indirect natural light. We love shooting in the TIU HQ Kitchen because of the big window!

Tip #2: Bright and colorful additions are key

Adding pretty veggies and fruits to your meal is super easy while following the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan! Especially during the summer with all of the amazing farmers’ market finds! Add some chopped radishes to your salad for a pop of pink, sprinkle a few pumpkin seeds on your smoothie bowl for a hint of bright green, and top your Protein Pancake with fresh blueberries for a blue hue. We also love adding flowers as props to brighten up any photo!

Tip #3: Neutral backgrounds make your food POP!

Shooting your food on a marble, light-colored wood, or grey countertop without too many embellishments helps to make your beautiful creation stand out! We’ve even been known to take pics of our food on the ground if it provides a better background! 😹 You can also use table cloths and fun table runners when taking pics of a picnic or dinner party scene with multiple plates. It can add a festive vibe… just like with our Nice Cream Party!

Tip #4: Show off the elements of your meal

If we’re making a smoothie, baked good, or smoothie bowl, we like to add whole ingredients that make up the recipe to the periphery of the photo. That way you get a sneak peek of the ingredients while still seeing the end product! The sliced lemons and fresh blueberries show you some of the flavors in these muffins.

Tip #5: Invite your girls over

One of our favorite ways to take a pic is with all of our accountability partners over! Invite your girlfriends over for a healthy dinner (or nice cream party!) and snap a few images of everyone digging in to their meals. It’s real, festive, and inviting! Plus, it’s the perfect excuse for a party ~ not that you need an excuse ;)

Bonus Editing Tips:

A few simple edits can really make your picture POP! We love using the app VSCO to make a few tweaks.

The VSCO app has tons of filters to add to your photos. We usually go for C1 or F2.

In order to increase the brightness, we up the exposure a few notches.

The contrast button is great for making the bright colors of your meal really stand out. Bump this up a bit.

The sharpening feature helps to show just how crisp your meal is! Turn this up a few notches as well.

Saturation is a great tool to boost color. Make sure to only turn this one up slightly.

You can use the temperature feature to make a photo warmer or cooler. Dropping the temperature of the photo is the best tool when taking pictures indoors!! Phone cameras and indoor lights give photos a yellow tint, so cooling the temperature down helps correct the lighting and gives your pics that professional look ;)

Voila! Just a few simple tweaks can totally transform your photo! Try these tricks on your next checkin and be sure to tag #TIUphototips so we can see your masterpiece!

Now your meal is ready for its closeup ;) Show us on Insta #TIUteam!

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  1. This is soo helpful and actually was thinking just yesterday how I was hoping to see yalll post on taking INSTA worthy pics!! By any chance y’all want to do a post on how to take the best INSTA worthy workout pics/post workout selfies!?:) 😘🙋

  2. Thank you so much ladies!! Super helpful, can’t wait to publish my first food pic soon that looks Instagram worthy;-)

  3. My number one tip is to take a dirty fork off the plate first. It’s crazy how distracting that can be from an otherwise great shot!

  4. Great tips! Maybe you can do one about how you ladies take the most flawless selfies.

  5. Such a color bomb, how can anyone eat something so beautiful, I made this recipe as a starter for my party to make my party snacks healthy and attractive. All my friends were impressed with the beautiful plates of this recipe, even my family loved it, though they don’t like fruits even then they finished their plates. I have created some such great recipes, try them here.

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