A Pizzarova pizza shot courtesy of Rosie Reynolds' Instagram (@rrfoodstyle)
A Pizzarova pizza shot courtesy of Rosie Reynolds' Instagram (@rrfoodstyle)

10 quick tips for brilliant Instagram food shots

The Kitchen Shelf authors Eve O’Sullivan and Rosie Reynolds have some great style advice for home cooks

Our new book The Kitchen Shelf takes the pain out of shopping for, cooking and enjoying great food. Take a few pantry essentials, add two ingredients from the store, and, with this book, you can make everyday eating extraordinary.

However The Kitchen Shelf authors aren’t just recipe mavens, Rosie and Eve are also professional food stylists, and have contributed regularly to such titles as the Guardian and BBC Good Food.

The authors are hosting a food-styling master class at London’s OXO restaurant on 5 June. Tickets, on sale here, include the cost of their new book. However, if you want to shoot better food shots right now, then follow Eve and Rosie’s simple tips. 

 
 

Fresh lemons, courtesy of Rosie Reynolds' Instagram (@rrfoodstyle)
Fresh lemons, courtesy of Rosie Reynolds' Instagram (@rrfoodstyle)

1 Get good ingredients Always buy the best quality food that you can afford,” say Rosie and Eve. “Beautiful artisan bread & fresh produce from farmers markets or specialist shops is so much prettier than supermarket counterparts.”

 

An almost symmetrical lunch set up, with props. Image courtesy of Eve O'Sullivan's Instagram (eve_osullivan)
An almost symmetrical lunch set up, with props. Image courtesy of Eve O'Sullivan's Instagram (eve_osullivan)

2 Select props  “If you want to tell a story with your photograph choose props such as background, plates, glasses and napkins that help to convey your message,” the authors advise.

 

Those lemons again, before the food arrives. Image courtesy of Rosie Reynolds' Instagram (@rrfoodstyle)
Those lemons again, before the food arrives. Image courtesy of Rosie Reynolds' Instagram (@rrfoodstyle)

3 Arrange the shot, then cook “Set up your shot before you start preparing your food,” they say.

 

A flourless chocolate cake, with perfectly gooey icing. Image courtesy of Eve O'Sullivan's Instagram (eve_osullivan)
A flourless chocolate cake, with perfectly gooey icing. Image courtesy of Eve O'Sullivan's Instagram (eve_osullivan)

4 Seize the moment  “Take the picture of your food as soon as possible so it still looks perfectly hot, cold, gooey or frozen,” they advise.

 

Beetroots plus a little oil.  Image courtesy of Rosie Reynolds' Instagram (@rrfoodstyle)
Beetroots plus a little oil. Image courtesy of Rosie Reynolds' Instagram (@rrfoodstyle)

5 Try a little oil painting  “A slick of light coloured oil can bring cuts of meat to life,” say Rosie and Eve. “While a spritz of water will reinvigorate salad leaves.” 

 

Poached eggs, smoked salmon, sourdough bread, and a sprinkling of fresh herbs. Image courtesy of Eve O'Sullivan's Instagram (eve_osullivan)
Poached eggs, smoked salmon, sourdough bread, and a sprinkling of fresh herbs. Image courtesy of Eve O'Sullivan's Instagram (eve_osullivan)

6 Hold on to the herbs  “Add fresh herbs to dishes right at the last minute to stop them wilting,” they counsel.

 

Fresh carrots. Image courtesy of Rosie Reynolds' Instagram (@rrfoodstyle)
Fresh carrots. Image courtesy of Rosie Reynolds' Instagram (@rrfoodstyle)

7 Chill the vegetables  “Vegetables are often undercooked and kept in ice cold water before being photographed to keep their vibrancy,” the cooks reveal.

 

A Napoleon cake, at just the right angle. Image courtesy of Eve O'Sullivan's Instagram (eve_osullivan)
A Napoleon cake, at just the right angle. Image courtesy of Eve O'Sullivan's Instagram (eve_osullivan)

8 Work the angles “Look at the food and see if there are any characteristics that are unique to the recipe or dish that you really need to see,” Eve and Rosie say. “Move around the food and decide where and how it looks most interesting.”

 
 

A scrumptious looking breakfast.  Image courtesy of Eve O'Sullivan's Instagram (eve_osullivan)
A scrumptious looking breakfast. Image courtesy of Eve O'Sullivan's Instagram (eve_osullivan)

9 Ask yourself “would I like that?”  “You should always ask yourself 'do I want to eat this?'” they say. “If the answer is NO then don't post the picture!”

 

Rosie and Eve with their new book at the Phaidon offices. Image courtesy of Eve O'Sullivan's Instagram (eve_osullivan)
Rosie and Eve with their new book at the Phaidon offices. Image courtesy of Eve O'Sullivan's Instagram (eve_osullivan)

 

10 Buy the book and meet the authors You can book tickets to Rosie and Eve’s OXO talk here, and buy a copy of their wonderful book here.