How to shoot for instagram & Giveaway session with me for Charity

orange pumpkin soup with vagan bacon

If you want to apply for the contest and win a 1-2-1 session with me go to the end of this post! To know where the money will go, visit mommastery.

I receive lots of questions about how to photograph for Instagram. So thought would be useful for you if I brake down some basics for you.

Few things you want to avoid on Instagram are cluttered photos with not a clear intention. Photos that are not crispy. Photos that are too dark or too light that makes the subject dull.  Photos with a yellowish hue.
Instagram promotes quick swiping and only the shots that stand out can catch the attention.

Portrait vs landscape

This is not even arguable, if you want to kill ( I mean dead kill) your food photos please go ahead and use landscape orientation (meaning horizontal). I am joking of course. But seriously food doesn't really benefit from the landscape.
And there are a few reasons why the portrait orientations work better on Instagram.
Phones are vertical. It's just more natural to look at something square or vertical on a vertical screen. And in fact, we turn our phones to see a horizontal photo better.
Instagram crops your images squares (1:1 RATIO) for the grid, making landscapes very small. Which makes very difficult for the image to catch the eye.
Only a very few travel feeds have landscapes images and are successful with this format.
And on a more personal level, I feel the portrait orientation gives more air to the subject while the landscape feels almost suffocating compared to it.

However I have used a landscape to start this blog post. It works better for my blog format . You can see the full picture without having to scroll down the post.

leek pie with rustic crust
leek pie with rustic crust

Recognisable subject

Either your subject is clearly in the middle of the photo or slightly moved to a side, it's important that stands out. This is because the eye can quickly catch the meaning of your shot before diving in into the details of the photo or the beautiful caption you wrote. Use colours, shapes and interesting textures that attract the attention of the users while quickly swiping down the application.

The subject has been photographed close enough and not cluttered. It's clearly distinguishable to be the protagonist, either if it's just an ingredient or a finished recipe. Is crispy, detailed and clear.

ribbon zucchini- vegan quiche making
chocolate raspberry cake with beetroot frosting

When the rule of three doesn't work and why.

When I build a visual storytelling of a recipe I know I will need to have few shots that fit well on Instagram in terms of proportions. For these shots I consider the followings:
-Instagram will crops the photo square (1:1 ratio) when showing them in your grid. So whatever subject is placed high up or lower down won't be visible. This means that if you have some relevant subjects in the lower third or upper third there is a good chance they will be cut out.
-The DLRS camera ratio is 3:2 that simulate the former film camera ratio, and Instagram is 4:5 which is more square. When I am shooting a recipe I consider this difference of proportions for the photos I know will work for Instagram and I arrange my styling a bit more square.
- As Instagram crops the phots to 1:1 ratio for the grid I don't want any subject too high or low in the photo frame.
But watch how this photo below becomes from not-Instagrammable to Instagrammable as the main focus change with the addition of the human element and a better framing of the image.

vegan tarts with plums and berries
vegan tarts with plums and berries

Motion shots and Human element

A way to add interest to your photos is definitely adding the human element and the motion element. These add variety and interest and are crucial for a good storytelling. I know is not easy for everybody to capture motion or include the human element correctly. That is why I always teach these two techniques in my workshops.
Action make ingredient shots, that would otherwise be visually unappealing for Instagram, stand out like no others.

vegan tarts with plums and berries
vegan tarts with plums and berries

Editing for Instagram

I edit all my photos in Lightroom and they are all edited the same for all my socials. But for Instagram, I make some minor changes.
I don't want the very same photo to bee totally different from platform to platform. But over the time I recognised that Instagram needs an extra kick. I often use Snapseed to brush my main subject (usually) with a dodge & burn brush to make it more crisp and bright.



Instagram edited

Instagram edited

1-2-1 tailored workshop giveaway

I have been blown away from your interest and your response to my workshops. The passion my student brought to my studio and the happiness that teaching gives me are immense.

For these reasons, I decided to give back to you and giveaway a 1-2-1 tailored session with me at half price.
To apply for the contest just comment below telling me what would you like to learn the most out of my 1-2-1 workshop! The time to apply to this contest is very very short due the urgency of the charity call and will end this Monday 4th of June.

All the money (minus the only core expenses) will all go to to pay for the lawyers that will try to give back 60 children taken away from their mothers at the US borders. Guilty of not being US citizens, children as young as 12 months have been dragged in a detention camp away from their parents.

There  are a number of emergencies around the globe.
But this particular one kicked me hard, as mother of two little children my heart breaks thinking those 60 children, all under 10.  Alone, scared and unaware of their faith.
Half of my family lives in US, and they were only poor Italian immigrant at the time of the SWW, they were just hoping for a better future. For these reasons I feel profoundly touched from what is happening.

I literally couldn't  sleep over the news, so I decided to take action. Me and my partner already donated. And I really hope together we can make a difference.

Once selected you need to pay in full ( possibly on my Paypal account ). I will give you back all the info necessary so you know the money has been sent to via Paypal. You can take the lesson any time, even next year.

If you are not selected you can still make your own donation if you feel like. You can donate and learn more here
If you cannot donate may you talk about it, share on social media, whatever. Silence kills more than a bullet I am afraid.


To know more go to mommastery

Good luck on the contest.

silvia bifaro