7 Pro Tips To Make Your Own Dishes Look Food-Blogger-Level Amazing
Scroll through Samira Kazan’s Instagram feed and your mouth will water. But only for a moment, because then you’ll be overwhelmed by the pretty vibes and the desperate need to know, “How did she do that?!” See, Kazan is the mastermind behind the Instagram account @alphafoodie, an account with more than 764,000 followers and nearly 1,500 enviable photos of sweet and bright food creations. Think flowers, berries, frosting, macarons and tiny little cookie cutters that can punch hearts into avocados, carrots or apples.
We chatted with Kazan at a Google Pixel event in New York, and she helped us learn how to style our dishes to look perfect enough to post. Here’s what we learned.
1. Don’t let anything clash.
Aesthetic is everything on Instagram. If you post a photo with a bright green avocado and bright purple beets, it might do okay. But Kazan told us that similar colors in matching hues always get a great reaction from her audience.
2. Texture is important.
You could make an avocado sandwich with solely avocado and bread; however, it’s better to add some extra visual interest. Whether you have the tools to make little stars out of avos or sprinkle some sesame seeds or black peppercorns on top, it’s all about creating dimension in your photo.
3. Use intentional messes.
A clean plate is not as interesting as a slightly messy one. But take the “slightly” seriously. You want to make a pretty mess — a little sprinkle of coconut flakes, an extra flower, some spirulina. But not an actual gross mess. P.S. Your followers don’t have to know how carefully you curate that mess, Kazan said.
4. People love a see-through effect.
Do you dig the transparent look? Well, Kazan’s Instagram audience does. The blogger says that anything see-through is a hit on the ‘gram. Stuff some spring rolls with bright ingredients (avocados, carrots and even mangoes), and you’re totally set.
5. Plan your vision ahead of time.
Don’t depend on what’s in your kitchen to be photogenic. The colors of the veggies in your fridge might not match, they might be wilted, you get the picture. This stuff takes planning. Kazan recommends sketching your ultimate vision for the most beautiful bowl ever before slicing and dicing any actual food.
6. Light gray backgrounds are a winner.
While any neutral background will allow your food creations to pop, Kazan uses lots of light grays for a soft pastel effect. She said her audience really responds to the gray, as well as white or rustic wood. And plain white plates? Those are often a no-go. (She definitely schooled us on this one when we tried to photograph a pink cheesecake on a white plate. The horror.)
7. Don’t be afraid to play around with things.
In the end, food photography is all about fun. And Kazan’s style, that golden Instagram whimsy, is totally playful. You can’t take yourself too seriously if you want to create stunning Insta fodder. Just get in the zone — the pink flowers and avocado stars zone.