Edibles of Instagram OR The ABC’s of Edible Photography
Long before there was Instagram, there was the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Instagram, however, blew that phrase out of the water. Nowadays, pictures aren’t just worth a thousand words. They can be worth a thousand followers or, better yet, a thousand customers.
Perhaps no industry has benefited from the popularity of this social media platform more than the food industry. Photos of chef-created masterpieces have launched some restaurants into overnight celebrity status. The phrase #foodporn has worked its way into our lexicon with ease and surprising grace. Food photography has become its own cultural revolution.
But we got to wondering, why should restaurants reap most of the #foodporn glory? After all, our friends in the cannabis business are churning out all sorts of scrumptious treats that may also offer the benefits of a cool buzz. Many of these products are relatively new to market and could use the viral lift that a good Instagram campaign can provide.
Consequently, this article offers up the top 4 tips for making delicious #edibleporn photos from your edible creations.
#1: Backgrounds matter
When shooting Instagram photos of your edibles, it’s important to stage the product appropriately. Don’t just set a cookie on a random plate on a stack of boxes somewhere in your warehouse. Think about the color of the product. What colors compliment or contrast with that color?
A chocolate chip cookie, for example, tends to be a light tan color spotted with dark-brown spots. A brown backdrop might compliment the cookie, while a butcher-paper white would likely provide great contrast. Scatter a few walnuts, chocolate chips, and maybe a leaf or two to add context. Control lighting to avoid unintended shadows (like your own silhouette). Suddenly, you’ve ventured from #amateurhour to #edibleporn.
#2: Play with patterns
Have you come up with the world’s best gummy? That’s awesome! Now, what are you going to do to showcase that product that sets it apart from the other 50,000 edible gummies on the market? You might consider playing with patterns.
Again, start with a simple background that compliments the colors you’re shooting. Then start playing with patterns. Is Valentine’s Day coming up? Arrange a heart pattern. If that’s too predictable for your taste, do something else. Perhaps place them in the little paper wrappers within a traditional heart-shaped chocolate box. Place them between two “Be Mine” Valentine candies. Have fun. Be creative. Play around until you find something that is undeniably visually interesting.
#3: Use light and shadows to your advantage
We already reminded you not to have your own shadow in the photo of your edible products. There’s so much more to lighting and shadows than that, however. For example, you can light your product from the side to cast a long shadow out the other side. This can make the product looking towering, imposing, or larger than life.
Also, consider using natural lighting. The light provided on a cloudy day is particularly great if you want to avoid harsh shadows. If you do shoot on a sunny day, just make sure that you consider the placement of the sun relative to your product. Nine times out of ten, you’ll want to avoid lighting from the front. It may wash out your product and will also rob you of those great shadows you can use to add depth to the photo.
#4: Be mindful of angles
The first thing you learn in almost any photography class is to avoid shooting from the same vantage point as every other person on the planet … straight-on with the camera held at eye-level regardless of where the subject is. That is an especially annoying shot when you’re taking pictures of a product displayed on a table that is at hip-height.
Instead, get down in your product’s face. If you’re shooting a brownie, perhaps break it open to reveal all the gooey goodness on the inside. And make the shot directly in front of the brownie. Make us want to live inside the brownie.
Alternatively, if you’re shooting an entire tray of products, consider taking the shot from directly above the tray. Or take the shot from slightly above one end of a row of products … giving the effect of making the products look like a row of soldiers.
Whatever you end up doing, have fun and be creative. No one wants to look at the same old shots but they may want to gaze for hours at your #edibleporn. If you have questions regarding your own product shots, please reach out, we would be more than happy to help. And lastly, if you have any questions regarding how to grow an engaged and organic audience on Instagram, please don’t hesitate, that is our specialty!