Before you post yet another picture of your dinner, check it out: We spoke with New York Times food photographer Andrew Scrivani, who gave us some practical, useful rules for sprucing up your Instagram feed like a pro without annoying the other restaurant-goers around you.
- Don’t be a jerk. Don’t make a production out of it. Be as discreet as possible. Don’t stretch across the table. Try not to stand. And don’t, under any circumstances, use flash. Even for professional food photographers, “shooting in the murky weirdness of restaurants is torture,” says Scrivani, which means you have to pick your spots. If the restaurant is well-lit, that’s fine — take a few snaps and move on with your meal. If it’s dark, keep your iPhone tucked away. It’s that simple. “Flashing your food is bad for aesthetic reasons,” he says. “And the fact that you’re annoying all the diners around you.”
- Be selective. You don’t have to photograph everything you eat. Limit yourself to plates that are “funky looking or in some weird lighting,” he says. “Instagram has become overloaded with pictures of what people are eating or what their cat is doing. It gets tedious because people are not selective.” That’s really the key to any good photograph: Be a discerning editor. “If you’re just snapping away and posting everything, you might as well be taking vacation photos,” Scrivani says. And if you try putting only your best foot forward, you may even get a like or two.