Natural lighting is best.
When in doubt, find a large window with some strong natural light. When it comes to achieving a natural looking Instagram, avoid studio or overhead lights — through the window or a skylight is always going to yield the better photo. Pro tip: arrange your spread near a large window or in your backyard — the lighting will be perfect. But watch for shadows!
Composition is key.
Pay attention to things like the spacing in between different dishes and stay consistent with plating, napkins, or props you are using. Grab a recent magazine, a simple throw pillow, and the succulent on your window sill and arrange accordingly. Filling spaces in the tablescape with things like flowers, silverware, and other add-ons makes for a full-looking photo. Balancing the frame like this will help the photo feel clean and crisp.
Plate it as your own.
When delivery arrives at the door, that doesn’t mean you have to eat out of the container it comes in. To really nail the Instagram, unpack your food and arrange it on plates or serving boards — all of a sudden you’ve got a gourmet spread that looks stunning through your camera or phone lens.
Play with different textures.
If you’re eating on a marble tabletop, try placing your food on a wood cutting board, with a side dish on a glass plate. This creates various levels and makes for a more dynamic shot. Also on that note, don’t be afraid to go a little overboard on your sandwich toppings — the different textures and layers and slightly “over-the-top” commitment adds depth and substance once you snap the image.
Colorful is always better.
On food feeds, the more color the better. People eat with their eyes first, so always err on the side of colorful and bright when it comes to your order and your props. Be careful not to get over saturated, though!