Tips for Instagramming the perfect table setting

As time goes on people are getting more and more creative when it comes to culinary expression. After all, when you spend so much time in the kitchen, why wouldn’t you want to make your dishes look pretty? And with the rise of social media, one of the most popular trends is photographing your food—especially on Instagram.

But how do you ensure that your food is “Instagrammable” and doesn’t end up looking like a flat plate of blah? Well, we’ve got the tips to take your dinnerware photos from drab to fab—so stay tuned for our guide on photographing the perfect table setting!

#1: Plan Your Base

When planning which crockery you will use when photographing your table setting, you should always keep contrast in mind. Both in terms of the table settings themselves, and the meals you’ll be serving on your dinnerware. For example; light-coloured plates work better if you’re using dark tablecloths, or serving foods which have darker hues. Whereas dark-coloured dinnerware should be used for meals that have lighter colours, such as rice, pasta and desserts, as it provides a high-contrast backdrop for the food to stand out against, enabling the camera to pick up the smaller details.


#2: Choose Your Weapon Crockery

Once you have planned which foods you’ll be serving, it’s time to pick out your crockery! It’s always best to plan which dinnerware you’ll be using in advance so that you can coordinate the decor around it. 

Whether you prefer to keep your place settings uniform, or go for an eclectic mix and match approach, ensure that some of the colours featured on your crockery, are used on the table. Whether that’s by using serving dishes, napkins or flowers. Having that common thread of colour running through your table setting helps to create a polished finish which ties everything together elegantly.

#3: Style Your Food

Slopping your food onto a plate is great when you’re in a rush and you want to delve straight into your meal. But when you’re planning to photograph your meal, taking the time to style your dishes will make all the difference in how appetising it looks.

Food styling involves emphasising the natural beauty of different foods, so make sure your dish showcases your meals individual components. The best way to do this is to build the dishes up slowly, using slightly smaller servings than you would usually go for to ensure there’s plenty of white space left on the plate.


#4: Find The Best Light

As all photographers will tell you, light matters. Making sure your table and place settings are appropriately illuminated can help make your photos truly pop. Natural light always works best as it provides natural highlights and shadows, but if you’re planning to photograph your table setting during the evening, then experiment with the placement of artificial light. Overhead lights can often make items look shadowy and distorted, so adding candles or tealights to naturally illuminate certain elements of the table, can help prevent that from happening.


#5: Experiment With Angles

There are various ways you can capture your place settings, and the method you choose will depend upon the feel you want your photos to have. For example; if you’re trying to capture the entire table to showcase the magnitude of an event, then capturing the entire table can show off the grandeur. Whereas if you’d like to focus on certain elements, such as the details involved in individual place settings, then macro shots work best.

The same goes for your culinary creations.

The angle you should photograph your food from will vary based upon which food it is you’re photographing. For example, dishes such as curries or sauce-based meals, tend to photograph best from above, as this captures both the dish and any white space left on the dinnerware. Whereas stacked desserts, such as Mille-feuille, will photograph better from the side, as this enables you to capture each of the layers. But whether you’re shooting from above, below or in front of—don’t be afraid to experiment with different angles.


#6: Take Inspiration From Our Instagramº

As I’m sure you can expect from a dinnerware company, we love to show off our crockery combinations. Because whether your style is classic, contemporary or quirky, we want to ensure that our images speak to you and inspire you to get creative with your own dinnerware! As such our design team are always experimenting with different styles and colour combinations, so if you’re looking for some inspiration, head over to our Instagrams account @CorelleUk @CorelleArabia