How to Instagram Your Food Without Looking Like an Asshole

Photo by Elke Wetzig
Pictured: not you

I literally take Instagrams for a living. Like, seriously, that's basically what people give me money to do. Now, I'm not claiming to be an expert, but I have learned a thing or two about IGing food in public places.

Beautiful food pictures are everything, but they're not worth looking like a douche over. Too often do people look like tools nowadays trying to get the perfect shot... that tend to look horrible anyway. Here are some tips of the trade to make sure you avoid being an ass the next time you eat out:

5. No flash. Ever.

Photo by Alpha
Yeah, this is bad. Flash is worse

I don't care how great the plate looks; it's not worth blinding the two tables next to you and distracting the entire restaurant. Flash is never worth it.

The sad truth is that many restaurants (especially upscale ones) have dim lighting. If you accidentally have flash on, that's one thing. But to purposely leave it on is asking for dirty looks. Flash is disruptive and annoying. Also, it makes the photo look horrible anyway because the lighting's typically too harsh and the shadows just look tacky. Bottom line: There's no reason to use flash. Just don't do it.

4. Don't stand up.

Photo by Matt Biddluph
What makes you think there's even room to stand for longer than a minute?

Overhead shots of plates are trendy, but you better hope you have long enough arms to get that framing right. There's definitely an art involved with holding your arms above your head to get the perfect picture, and it's very difficult to master. Once you get that down,. it's even more of an art to learn how to do it in a discrete manner. But no matter how hard it is, please don't be that person that stands up to take a picture of their food.

It's so embarrassing.

The jingle of your silverware is embarrassing. The screech of your chair is embarrassing. The fact that you literally stand out is embarrassing, and, worst of all it's embarrassing for your dining partner.

My Voice Nation Help

I will take picture only after I finish the dish.  If the food was good, the plate will look clean, but if not, there would be some left over on it.


Checked out the author's Instagram page... lots of food shots. Did you follow your own advice???

Jessica Ancira
Jessica Ancira

That was one of.the lamest articles ive read. I hope the author wasn't serious

JGlanton topcommenter

I will often take a few bites, realize how great it tastes, then decide that this wonderful dish deserves a photo to capture it's memory for all eternity. Except that then it looks more like gross used food with bites taken out of it framed by a dirty knife and fork and a wine glass with fingerprints on it.

Mike Muñoz
Mike Muñoz

Great advice for those annoying people insisting on using a damn flash for food pics.

Antonio Maldonado
Antonio Maldonado

Facebook it Defriend them Instagram it the sign o' the times (= and yes, any stock flash is the absolute worse flash to use.

Roderick Conwi
Roderick Conwi

Really? Is Instagram an actual verb now? Or have the OC Weekly staff forgotten how to use proper English?

Josh English
Josh English

LMAO :v I think these rules can be adapted, universally.


Yes, it is. Just like Facebook....and Twitter...and every other social media outlet.

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