dineL.A. is back with its Summer Road Trip edition, July 14-28. To give you the best opportunity to win our "Dine. Snap. Win." contest, acclaimed Los Angeles photographer Bonnie Tsang shares a few secrets on how to take gorgeous food photos to share on Instagram.
Bonnie's work has been featured in magazines such as Time, The Atlantic, Bon Appétit and InStyle. She has been a keynote speaker at conferences such as Alt Summit and SXSW. In April 2015, recognition of Bonnie's photography led to an invitation from First Lady Michelle Obama to preview the release of the official China service in the Red Room of The White House.
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1. Allow movement for a more natural photo.
Naturally, friends will want to pause what they're doing to let you take the picture. Instead, tell them not to worry and keep doing what they're doing. The picture will come out more natural-looking when there's movement.
2. A full table of food is a feast for the eyes.
"Please have everything come out at the same time." Visually, a full table of food is a feast to the eye. And your friends will only have to wait once for you to snap the picture.
3. Use different surfaces.
When the tabletop at the restaurant isn't making a good background, try taking the dish to another surface, such as the floor or the bar. Note: I normally do that when the restaurant isn't busy - you don't want to bother other customers and the waitstaff. Also, if you choose the floor make sure you know the restaurant is clean.
4. Move things around.
The best styling is when it doesn't look like it's been styled. Move things around to create different angles and heights.
5. Try close ups.
Not all dishes look great from a wide angle. Try close ups to let the audience get a closer look.
6. Use a retouching app.
To keep the integrity of a great photo, use a retouching app like TouchRetouch for a clean image.
7. Bring down the yellow tone.
That dreaded fluorescent light when you eat out at night? Try using blue tone filters from image processing apps such as VSCOCam to bring down the yellow tone.