So today we are looking at how to Gain Engagement using your wonderful cooking in the kitchen. Of course if you are looking for the recipes then check out the following: Soups & Light Bites | Mains | Desserts | Guest Recipes So if you want to gain some engagement on Instagram, bake yourself a sweet treat like this yummy banana bread and let’s get stuck in.
We have all been there, You have cooked your heart out, styled the plate all fancy and grabbed the phone ready for that money shot. But the food isn’t playing ball! What can we do to make sure we are getting that perfect insta like inducing shot to get that all important Gain in Engagement.
I sat down and thought what are the basic steps and tips to help deliver that perfect shot each time! Lets dive into the list and see what you can do to improve your Instagram food pictures.
1) Set your Scene for Max Engagement Gain
Having your food area ready for the picture is a great way to ensure you are not racing at the last min trying to make everything perfect. If you have an area in the kitchen you can designate for your food pictures it will help to give you consistency on your posts and also a great way to work out your lighting and staging area.
If you can have a set space where all your food photos are taken then have this scene set with the plates and any extra props you have planned. Use all the space well, If you can add some cutlery or maybe a lovely glass of wine this helps to make the post feel more natural.
2) Lightening & The Elusive shadows
Natural lighting always works wonders with food. If you have access to a natural light source then when the weather is warm you should try harness the suns natural power. Artificial light will ruin the colours in the food which you have worked so hard to create.
Shadows are also a common fault that I see time and time again on Instagram. If I catch my shadow on my plate I am not a happy bunny. Keep the light source in front of you and keep your shadow of the plate! It really does ruin some amazing food pictures.
3) Keep your surroundings in mind
So you’ve got that crazy patterned table cloth that totally goes with the kitchen? That’s great but will it help your food pictures? Probably not! You need to be thinking about neutral backgrounds. While I choose white for a clean cut image there is a dark pattern and the famous wooden boards make an appearance.
If you can keep your photos all within a similar environment can help keep your page looking uniform and make getting each shot perfect. If you can add some props to your pictures here then that’s great! The key is to let the food do the talking so as pretty as a glass of wine is make sure your food is singing at the top note!
4) Angles Are Everything
This might sound simple but spend time working out what angle works for the food you are taking is super important. If I am shooting a bowl shot I like to go for over head shot. If you are looking to highlight the layers in a cake then its a side shot.
Finally the diagonal shot. This is by far my most favourite angle which gives the food a more 3 dimensional aspect and which I personally prefer. Play about with angles and notice just how different it can make your food appear.
5) Review Your Shots
Don’t wait until you’ve finished the meal or told everyone that dinners ready check your work! If your family are like mine you will have a hard time getting them to bring the plates back so you can retake photos. Things that look right in real life sometimes show up differently on a phone.
The number of times I have taken 20 pics of food and thought all will be fine only to notice the same out of place item in all 20 shots! Check after the first couple of shots and correct as needed. You might think ah I have taken loads of pics at least one will be fine? Well that is not always the case!
6) Run through at least 1 photo editing app
When that scrolling through the pictures you have taken favourite your best pictures and open them up in a photo editing app. My favourite by far is Photoshop cc. I avoid adding filters to my food pictures but will make sure the lighting is as best it can be. When on Instagram make sure you check out the different settings for your pictures rather than heading straight to the filters.
You might find that just turning the brightness up a touch can make the world of difference or increasing the contrast can to help add a lovely shine to that gravy or sauce. without picking something that will give you an orange tint on all your photos. There are of course some benefits to using filters and they are a great way to jazz up a photo quickly.
7) Captions Count Big Time To Gain Engagement
Everyone Loves a story right? I see so many pictures on Instagram that are breathtakingly good yet have almost no engagement. The picture is perfect you can tell its tasty but then they haven’t thought about the story behind the food. Remember captions are your chance to get your message across. Write in clear short sentences and use the full stop to create spaces between the sentences. This makes reading so much easier and will get more people reading and ultimately talking which is going to Gain Engagement ratings like crazy.
Now I am not saying we all need to be experts in creative writing but a little story goes along way! You have to think what value are you adding? Have you included a recipe? If so this is wonderful but if your relying on the picture alone then do some talking to help it along. A question at the end will always help give the readers a reason to follow up.
8) Hash Tags
So in the battle to be heard Instagram gives you the power of the hashtag! There is so many articles on the world of hash tagging and theory that I am only going to touch briefly into this and to be honest I think it can get more technical than it really needs here. Hashtags work best when we keep them neat and tidy. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags and we know the best engagement happens when we get past 11.
For all my posts I will work out the 10 best hash tags that fit the food and keep them in the caption box. When working out what hash tags to use as you type on Instagram it will show you hashtags and also the amount used. Keep a mix of high and med high hashtags here! That leaves you 20 hashtags. For this I will use an app to generate me 20 popular tags and then once I post I immediately comment on that post with the 20 remaining tags.
9) Let’s Give That Post A Helping Hand
So we have got that perfect meal, the shot is golden, caption on fire and hash tags researched and ready to go shall we just leave it and see what happens? ABSOLUTELY NOT!! One of the golden rules of Instagram is to keep on top of your incoming comments. I always make sure to reply back to every comment. Not only will the readers love to engage with you but this will help to tell the Instagram Algorithms that hey this post is super engaging show it to more people.
Remember if 10 people comment and you reply back to 10 people now your post has 20 comments! see how you’ve increased the engagement simply by engaging back! Its a sure fire way to see your reach go through the roof and also connect with your audience. Make sure to notice who is commenting and check out their profile too and show some love. The key to any social media app is to engage and Instagram will reward you for it.
So What More Can I do to Gain Engagement
Well the only thing left now is to engage, engage and you guessed it engage. Do you think people are just going to come and shower you with love if you give nothing in return? You have to make sure your keeping on top of your timeline and working out who is engaging on your posts and give that love back! Its all one big circle really you put the love out and the love finds it way back to you!
If you follow the top tips above and make sure your content is great then you will be soon be on the road to super hot Instagram love and hey we all love getting the attention right. Good luck on growing your accounts and don’t forget to say hey to me on Instagram.
👨🍳Homecooking | Baking | Recipe Sharing
🧔Dad to 3
📍 N.Wales UK 🇬🇧🏴
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