There is more to being a successful foodie Influencer on Instagram than just posting photos of your dinner every day. Photos of food are arguably one of the hardest to capture well, bad lighting can make a delicious feast look like something a toddler mashed up on the floor. Here are five hacks to quickly boost the quality of your foodie photos and get your more likes and followers on Instagram.

Hack #1 – Let There Be Light

This one applies to almost every single Instagram niche out there – use natural light. If natural light isn’t available, move the food! Take it to a window, a door or even put it on the floor, whatever works. If it’s the middle of the day and the sun is too bright, take a white gauzy scarf or shower curtain and drape it across the window for a makeshift filter.

Hack #2 – Makeshift Studio Lights

If you really can’t find any natural light, for example, if you’re eating a candlelit dinner at night, create your own studio light with your dining partner’s phone. Taking a photo with your flash will make the food look unappealing, but if you ask your friend/s to point their phone lights at your food while you snap a flash-less photo will give you a more professional result.

Hack #3 – Focus

This one is very important when it comes to photos of food, because no one wants to see what’s going on in the background. Foodie photos are literally all about the food. Ensure the food takes up most of the screen, and that your camera is properly focused. Nothing says ‘unfollow’ like an unfocused foodie photo.

Hack #4 – Style the Food

Styling isn’t just for fashion. Before you photograph your fresh food, take a moment to look and see if it could be styled any differently. This can include adding props or utensils or taking a scoop out of that peach cobbler and letting the juices ooze out. It can also be the difference in a photo of a perfect ice cream scoop or one that is gloriously melting down the sides of the cone; a neat hot chocolate and a gluttonous one with so many marshmallows and so much whipped cream the drink is spilling out over the sides. Don’t go overboard and make it messy, just enough to tickle taste buds or incite that feeling of whimsy or nostalgia.

Hack #5 – Act Fast

Preparation is key because food starts to change shape quickly, fresh herbs wilt, sauces run, drizzles absorb, so prep your plates and props before your food is ready. This way you can start snapping straight away, and it also gives you time to alter the food as mentioned in hack four. If you want your ice cream melted a little, but not a lot, have everything else prepared so when it reaches that perfect melted moment you are ready to capture it.

These five hacks should help you transform your foodie photos in a matter of minutes, quick tricks you’ll always have up your sleeve if something isn’t working quite right. Better photos mean more likes and more engagement, don’t forget to respond to all the comments on your newly amazing posts to continue to grow your followers on Instagram.