Cooking Tips | 7 March 2016Instagram Made Easy Share article facebook twitter google pinterest What’s the first thing you do when your food hits the table in a café or restaurant? Thank the waiter, place your napkin on your lap and pick up your cutlery, or whip out your smartphone and start snapping? There’s no denying the power of Instagram. The photo-sharing app is more than a social media channel: it has launched careers and kick-started businesses, such as The Black Penny coffee house. But for those who simply want their shots to stand out from the crowd, here’s how to ‘gram like a pro. Instagram comes with a huge range of filters, each designed to alter or enhance your images. However, much like a dish drowning in sauce, it’s easy to overdo it – so use filters sparingly. Filter Fakers has an excellent guide to the most popular filters and how to use them. Nearly all food looks better shot from above (the exception being things like burgers, where all you’ll see is the bun), so position your phone directly over the plate. Watch out for any shadows cast by your arms and body, because the last thing you want is a shady plate. The next thing to think about is the background. If you regularly Instagram your home cooks and bakes, choose something consistent. Former Great British Bake Off contestant Flora Sheddon uses a combination of marble, white cloth, and white distressed wood to give her shots a classy, consistent feel. Here are two great examples: If you’re more of an out-and-about Instagram user, locate a neutral background and hold the dish or plate up against it. No matter where you are, defused natural lighting will have the best effect. This can be tricky in some of London’s cooler venues, which use low lighting to create ambience. You might also want to adjust the ingredients on your plate. If you’re captioning a photo as ‘avocado and chilli on toast’ but the chilli is hidden beneath the avocado, it’ll need a 60 second makeover. Don’t play with it too much, though, or you’ll leave telltale smears. If you do, run around the edge of the plate, carton or dish with a napkin to remove any drops of sauce or thumbprints and leave it looking clean and composed. So there you go: all you need to snap your food like a pro. But don’t take too long – you don’t want it to get cold! To create your own Instagram-worthy bakes, pick up a copy of Clean Cakes by Henrietta Inman. Be sure to follow her on Twitter @HensCleanCakes and Instagram @HensCleanCakes to see what’s going on in her kitchen. Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.