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Tips & Tricks

Food Photography Tips For Instagram From Alexa Mehraban Of EatingNYC

By Hanssie on May 22nd 2016

Food is a universal language, and so it’s no surprise to see the rise in popularity og food photography – both professionally and amateurs. After all, who doesn’t love food and want to show off the delectable meal you’re about to consume?

We all know and follow that one person on Instagram that insists on posting a picture of each meal, coffee, dessert or snack. Admit it, you do it to from time to time yourself, So why not make that image of your mouth-watering dinner look as good as it tastes?


B&H Photo spent a day with popular foodie Alexa Mehraban (@EatingNYC) as she eats her way through New York City, giving us some food photography tips for Instagram and beyond.  In the last two in and half years, Alexa has amassed 189k followers by posting all her toothsome food adventures. When she started, she wasn’t even a photographer, but  along the way (and as seen in the progression of her Instagram photos) she’s learned some tweaks to make food photographs look appealing.


Currently obsessing over the new @glossier X @morgensternsnyc collab | available through the end of May. ?? #EATINGNYC

A photo posted by #EatingNYC: NYC Food & Travel (@eatingnyc) on

The first thing Alexa talks about is the most important in any genre of photography and that is lighting. She tries to use natural light as much as possible by sitting by a window, but, she mentions in this interview, if she must use an additional light source she will use the light from a friend’s phone or create a scrim on her own phone’s flash by using a napkin. Clever.

The remainder of the 3-minute video shows her traipsing through more of NYC’s trendiest food establishments giving tips on composition, perspective and more, to make your food images more tantalizing.

For those that may be wondering what Alexa uses to edit her food images in as shown at the end of the video, it is the very popular and versatile app, SnapSeed – and it’s free.

Do you take pictures of your food? Comment below with your favorite food photography tip.


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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Kevin Steenkamp

    Granted the article is quick and simple – but it’s not a bad thing. My mom is an excellent cook, we’ve been trying to get her to do something for ages but webpages, blogs, facebook just don’t suit her busy lifestyle – So an article like this may be helpful for someone just wanting to start with food photography, perhaps tagging the page as “basics” or something would be beneficial?

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  2. Daniel Thullen

    My food generally does not stay around long enough to be photographed. Not where my photography interests lie.

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  3. Scott Spellman

    Restaurant marketing and good food photography are just not the same thing. These photos are simply average and not representative of thoughtful food photography. Any cell phone camera use is strictly for amateurs, especially at a time when DSLRs have WiFi for quick transfer to a smart phone. B&H and SLRLounge can do much better.

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  4. Paul Wynn

    Seems there are food programmes all over the TV schedules these days, driving people’s interest in all things culinary. I can fully understand why natural light from a window works well for food, but there are times when nice window light just isn’t available. In my wedding work I have found a decent LED works really well, and does not need any special set up, but I do still like using flash to help keep ISO’s low.

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