When Instagram first launched, it started the trend of everybody taking photos of everything. From blurry urban nature photos taken while out on a walk to that horror movie lighting style photo of what is apparently the best burger and fries you’ve ever tasted. But as camera phone technology and people’s amateur photography skills have improved, so has the content on Instagram.
Food photography is still one of the most popular uses for the platform, and it has literally changed the way we eat. Restaurants are changing their décor so guests have beautiful backgrounds for their photos, and chefs are designing dishes that are unique, unusual and pop with contrasting colours.
So as a chef, how can you boost your career using Instagram?
Step 1: Take Better Photos
This seems like an obvious tip, but it is honestly the best thing you can do. Your food can look amazing in person, but if you can’t capture that aesthetic in a photo, then no one will ever know. There are tons of free tutorials about everything from lighting hacks to special effects, so take advantage of them. And with the multitude of free image editing apps out there, you don’t even need to invest in fancy software!
Step 2: Find Your Style
With literally millions of food photos on Instagram and thousands being added every day, the way to stand out is to find a style that suits your voice. For some, this will mean brightly coloured fusion food with stark white backgrounds. For others, it will be health-focused dishes with natural backgrounds, and for someone else, it will be traditional comfort food on patterned plates in homey settings. It’s your voice – but you need to find it and stick to it!
Step 3: Add Personal Touches
If there’s one thing that social distancing has made very clear, it’s that humans want to connect with each other. And the way they do this is by sharing a little bit of their personal lives and challenges. For chefs, this can be sharing kitchen disasters, the childhood story behind that dish you just created, cooking with friends and family, a cause you’re passionate about or even your love for cute cat videos!
Step 4: Leverage #Hashtags
Posts with at least one hashtag gain 12.5 per cent more engagement. With many people following a specific hashtag rather than a particular user, they’re a great way to expand your reach, find new followers and possibly catch the eye of someone who could benefit your career.
The most popular #Hashtags for food pictures include: #food #foodporn #foodie #instafood #foodphotography #yummy #foodstagram #delicious #instagood #foodblogger #love #foodlover #like #follow #foodgasm #healthyfood #dinner #foodies #tasty #restaurant #lunch #eat #photooftheday #homemade #healthy #chef #picoftheday #cooking #instagram
Step 5: Use Insta Stories
There has been a recent explosion of people using Instagram Stories, in fact 500 million accounts use stories every day. Instagram Stories have prime realty right at the top of every feed. And, because they disappear in 24 hours, people gravitate towards them because they don’t want to miss out.
Whether you want to get more guests at your restaurant, more visitors to your website/blog or are aiming to become an influencer, Instagram is one of the best tools you can use to do all that and more.
It’s best to balance quality and quantity, so don’t be afraid if the behind the scenes photos of the kitchen are perfectly styled, your followers are going to appreciate the pictures of the food, your commitment to your culinary craft as well as getting a glimpse of the life as a chef… follow us on Instagram (@LifeonthePass) and tag us to share your posts!