Eat Empowered, For the Pro

How to Take Pictures of Food for Instagram

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By Carla Contreras, NLC, Nutritious Life Ambassador. Follow her @chefcarla_c.

If you’re a food professional, your Instagram feed is just as important as your website. The look and feel can connect people (and clients) with you right away…or they can keep on scrollin.’ Hey, there are a lot of photos to look at on the internet!

I know, because I work in the industry as a food stylist, chef, and health coach. Here are the Insta tips I always keep in mind—feel free to use ‘em for your own pics!

Pick a cohesive style for your feed.

This applies to your feed photos, Stories, and IGTV highlights. Think: light and bright, moody, colorful…This will determine what surface you place your food on, what props you decide to use, and even the type of food you choose to photograph. If you’re not sure of your style just yet, create a Pinterest board and play with different pictures you love. My feed is light with pops of color. 

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NEW RECIPE🌿Kale Pepita Pesto. This recipe is the PERFECT winter pesto. You can toss it with pasta, like I did, spread it on sandwiches, toss a dollop on your eggs + MORE🙌 ⁣⁣ If you want MORE tips on this recipe, I have an IGTV about it. Leave a comment below and I will DM you the link🙋🏻‍♀️⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ 1 large bunch Tuscan kale, ribs and stems removed, blanched*⁣⁣ ⅓ cup roasted and salted pepitas ⁣⁣ 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil + more if too thick* ⁣⁣ 1 garlic clove⁣⁣ Juice of 1 lemon ⁣⁣ 3-4 cranks ground black pepper⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ 1. Blend all this in a high speed blender👇⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Chef Carla Notes:⁣⁣ 1. Blanching means tossing the kale in a large pot of boiling water with 1 tsp of salt. Think pasta pot. Then drain and place into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Then wring our the kale like a wet towel. Can you skip this step — you sure can. You just won’t get the beautiful green color. ⁣⁣ 2. The deal with the olive oil. All kale bunches are NOT the same. Some are big, some are small. You may need to add a tablespoon or more of oil of the sauce is too think. Don’t know why that means? If the blender won’t blend — add more oil⚡️⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ xo Chef Carla💋⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ PS: I haven’t been able to post a static post in my feed since Wednesday. I am re-starting my newsletter. Get recipes like this + SO much MORE to your inbox! Leave a comment below and I will send you my FREE More Than Salad mini course (worth $25) for signing up✌️ ⁣⁣ 📷This is my KALE photo for the @thelittleplantation + @eatcaptureshare_ Photo Challenge. The avocado is UNEDITED. I really loved photo 3. Couldn’t decide🙈⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ #eatcaptureshare #ecsw20 #cookingisthenewhealthy #moveandmeditate #iinhealthcoach #wellandgoodeats #thechalkboardeats #goopmake #bonappetitmag #rslove #nlcertified #madeformore #mindbodygram #eatingwelleats #bhgfood #feedfeed #iinhealthcoach #wellandgoodeats #livinganutritiouslife #mindbodygram #makesmewhole #iamwellandgood #bombesquad #sharetheeverymom ⁣⁣#f52grams ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣

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Edit. Edit. Edit. 

Unedited photos are great for Stories, and you can simply slap a filter on there if you want. But it’s worth taking some time to edit the photos you post on your feed using a free tool like Adobe Lightroom. Many photographers sell presets for food, but again, make sure it works with your cohesive style!

Use a natural or artificial light source. 

I love natural light for my photos. This may not be possible with your work schedule or kitchen, but try taking a bunch of photos at once if you can (say, on a nice, bright Saturday). Oh, and if you’re cooking a ton of food at once, make sure to freeze any leftovers!

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2020 VISION BOARD🍫I see CHOCOLATE in my FUTURE. Ok, maybe, it’s just a KILLER smoothie. Real deal, I have a lot of smoothies for dinner. I chatted with my friend Anne about this not too long ago😆⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ I COOK + RECIPE TEST + SHOOT (read EAT) for a living. Lunch is usually my biggest meal. And, if you have been around here awhile you KNOW I love my BIG Salads🌿⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ BTW I brought the free MORE Than Salad Course back. I also am GIVING away a FREE month of UNFOLD @chefcarla_c⚡️⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ PS: Want this recipe for the Black & White Cookie Smoothie (plus homemade chocolate sauce + truffles) featured on justBobbi.com @evolution_18 drop a comment below and I will send you it🙋🏻‍♀️⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ #eatcaptureshare #ecsw20 #cookingisthenewhealthy #moveandmeditate #iinhealthcoach #wellandgoodeats #thechalkboardeats #goopmake #bonappetitmag #rslove #nlcertified #madeformore #mindbodygram #eatingwelleats #bhgfood #feedfeed #iinhealthcoach #wellandgoodeats #livinganutritiouslife #mindbodygram #makesmewhole #iamwellandgood #bombesquad #sharetheeverymom ⁣⁣#f52grams #iinhealthcoach #ww #bombesquad #apronsquad ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ 📷Today was “in a glass” for the @thelittleplantation + @eatcaptureshare_ Photo Challenge. I totally couldn’t decide🙈 Which one do you like? 1, 2 or 3🍫

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Use a scheduling app to see how your photos look together. 

You should be telling a story with your photos, and ideally, treating your grid like your own magazine. A scheduling app like Plann will help you see how it all comes together before you post, so you can change the order if you need to. It’s much easier for people to know what you’re about when your feed makes sense.

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Show your face. 

I know—isn’t this about food?! Yes, but people are part of your community because of YOU. If you seriously don’t want to show your face, I get it, but I urge you to get out of your comfort zone. Don’t believe me? A study by the Georgia Institute of Technology and Yahoo Labs found that photos with faces in them are 38 percent more likely to get likes on Instagram. Don’t be shy!

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What if you SURRENDERED💆🏻‍♀️ and LET things happen? Yes, THAT thing. I am not taking about not doing the work. I am saying releasing the expectation of the outcome🤔⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ I am in the middle of launching my UNFOLD monthly membership. I have launched so many projects in the last few years. They usually end in daily panic attacks and me NOT being able to work at all😢⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ If you have been part of this COMMUNITY you KNOW. I talk about my business + anxiety a LOT👇⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Last January, I made a commitment to myself to CHANGE that. I chose the words REST and DEEP NOURISHMENT to get myself out of the hell I created👇⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ REST and DEEP NOURISHMENT have been my NORTH STARS. They have guided me to some amazing friends, coaches, books, podcasts, and healers. These women have LIFTED me up!! I created UNFOLD so they could life you up too🙌⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ I want YOU to experience the RADICAL SHIFTS that I created in my life by cooking REAL FOOD + GETTING REST + Working W AMAZING WOMEN COACHES⚡️⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ UNFOLD starts this Saturday 2/1. We focus on Health + Work + LIFE in actionable tips that fit into your REAL LIFE. I would love for you to JOIN US!! Sign up @chefcarla_c or leave a comment below and I will send you the link🙋🏻‍♀️⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ xo Chef Carla💋⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ PS: These are some of my workout selfies. I LOVE posting these in my stories. They motivate me to SHOW UP because YOU cheer me on. Thank you for being part of this COMMUNITY❤️⁣⁣ ⁣ BONUS: I just added FREE access to UNFOLD for your first month. I know CRAZY. That’s how much I want to have you EXPERIENCE this work. Yay!! Visit @chefcarla_c and sign up NOW😆⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ #cookingisthenewhealthy #goop #moveandmeditate #iinhealthcoach #everythingisfigureoutable #superattractor #planneraddict #fearlesslaunching #spiritjunkie #rslove #nlcertified #momboss #mompreneur #mindbodygram #superattractor #sharetheeverymom #iinhealthcoach #livinganutritiouslife #mindbodygram #iamwellandgood #januarychallenge #theuniversehasyourback #madeformore

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(Photo: Carla Contreras)

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