How To Create Hipster Looking Food Photograph

You know those super polished, beautifully lit, totally Instagrammable food photographs? I know I should not join those hipster crowd but being Asian myself sometimes I just could not help it. I too, take plenty of food photographs at cafes and restaurants. So, in this blog entry, I will show you how I do it, in step by step instructions.

Image was taken by Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II and M.Zuiko 12-40mm F2.8 PRO lens

1. Find a few friends to go along to a restaurant. It is better than going alone, so you can have more food orders, more variety to photograph. 

2. Make sure the restaurant has large, transparent window panels for that awesome side lighting. If the restaurant has crappy light, go to the one next door that has ample ambient light. Light is king. Even for food photography. 

3. Choose your seats next to the large window. MUST get your seat next to the window, anywhere far from the window will be suicidal. If you cannot find a seat next to a window, go to the next restaurant that you can. Window seats are crucial. 

4. Make sure everyone orders different food, no repeats. The more variety the better. 

5. When food arrives, arrange the food in symmetrical layout, or make it completely out of order, it does not really matter, as long as it looks good in photographs. 

6. Do the Flat Lay, place the camera directly on top of the food. If your camera is as awesome as mine, it should come with a flip out screen that helps with this difficult composition. If you are using some dinosaur DSLR that does not have live view or tiltable screen, then stand on the chair if you must to compose your shot through the optical viewfinder. 

7. Take as many shots, as many variations of the same food, as you can. When you review the food, if you cannot smell the aroma of the food out of your camera screen, you are not doing it tight. Try again. 

8. If you are pretty, take a selfie with your food. If you are ugly looking like me, then skip this step. 

9. Enable Wi-Fi and transfer your images to your phone or tablet or if you have a laptop standby that could work too. Open up your favourite photo editing software and process the images away. Add saturation, boost the contrast, straighten the composition, do the best fitting crop, all the necessary adjustments to finish up that perfect shot. 

10. If you managed to get all the above steps right, you should be receiving floods of likes and comments on your social media. Make sure you add in the most inappropriate hashtags ever to accompany your perfect shot. Like #yummilicious which is totally bull because your food has gone completely cold and tastes like crap after all the photo shooting process. 


  1. Take a selfie, unless you are ugly made me laugh ��

  2. A very good structured guide, Robin!
    After point 10 it becomes somehow difficult to find someone for point 1 ;)
    What with the 12-40mm everything is possible ... I think I keep it.

  3. Hipster use vscocam and buy loads of presets. You forgot that.

  4. I have never done step 8...
    Never :)


  5. Hahaha... love the last sentence. :-)

  6. Nice, but you missed a point between 8 and 9: Enjoy your meal.

    1. That's covered in point 10: enjoying your (now cold and unenjoyable) meal :)

  7. Luckily my camera is as awesome as yours, it comes with a flip out screen.

  8. There is a remedy...
    Book a window table.
    Invite your friends.
    Arrive one hour early.

    >>Enjoy *your* food and be sure to eat almost your fill, but not more - you want to stay photo-hungry!

    When your friends arrive, order a salad or cold dessert (but, of course, not icecream!)...
    ...and get your camera ready!