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How to Instagram Your Food Without Looking Like an Asshole

Pictured: not you
Pictured: not you
Photo by Elke Wetzig

I literally take Instagrams for a living. Like, seriously, that's basically what people give me money to do. Now, I'm not claiming to be an expert, but I have learned a thing or two about IGing food in public places.

Beautiful food pictures are everything, but they're not worth looking like a douche over. Too often do people look like tools nowadays trying to get the perfect shot... that tend to look horrible anyway. Here are some tips of the trade to make sure you avoid being an ass the next time you eat out:

5. No flash. Ever.

Yeah, this is bad. Flash is worse
Yeah, this is bad. Flash is worse
Photo by Alpha

I don't care how great the plate looks; it's not worth blinding the two tables next to you and distracting the entire restaurant. Flash is never worth it.

The sad truth is that many restaurants (especially upscale ones) have dim lighting. If you accidentally have flash on, that's one thing. But to purposely leave it on is asking for dirty looks. Flash is disruptive and annoying. Also, it makes the photo look horrible anyway because the lighting's typically too harsh and the shadows just look tacky. Bottom line: There's no reason to use flash. Just don't do it.

4. Don't stand up.

What makes you think there's even room to stand for longer than a minute?
What makes you think there's even room to stand for longer than a minute?
Photo by Matt Biddluph

Overhead shots of plates are trendy, but you better hope you have long enough arms to get that framing right. There's definitely an art involved with holding your arms above your head to get the perfect picture, and it's very difficult to master. Once you get that down,. it's even more of an art to learn how to do it in a discrete manner. But no matter how hard it is, please don't be that person that stands up to take a picture of their food.

It's so embarrassing.

The jingle of your silverware is embarrassing. The screech of your chair is embarrassing. The fact that you literally stand out is embarrassing, and, worst of all it's embarrassing for your dining partner.   3. Don't ask for assistance.

Pictured: not your dining partner
Pictured: not your dining partner
Photo by emilyrides

Speaking of your dining partner: No, your friend sitting across from you doesn't want to hold that candle near your food so you get better lighting. No, that person sitting at the table next from you will not move because they're in your frame.

Simply, remember to be courteous of the people around you when you're IGing. I realize there's a lot already going on in your head to get a good shot, but don't forget about everyone else. Remember, most of them (all of them) are there to eat in peace, not be your PA.

2. Don't spend more than two minute trying to get a shot.

I mean, you've probably already waited in line
I mean, you've probably already waited in line
Photo by Ben+Sam

This one's pretty straightforward. Don't linger too long on one picture. Even if you're doing a good job being discrete, the longer it takes you to take a picture, the more awkward and indiscrete you get. Plus, do you really want to hold up your guests from eating just because you're still trying to get a shot?

1. Learn to let go.

Just eat already
Just eat already
Photo by Sam Howitz

It's OK to give up sometimes. Sometimes the lighting is too bad. Other times the food is melting too quickly. The list of things that can and probably will go wrong can go on forever. This tip alone could make the difference between posting a hideous IG and a gorgeous one. It's also the most important tip of them all because it takes a big person to know when it's time to call it quits and just enjoy your food.

Now let's get to eating already.

Follow Stick a Fork In It on Twitter @ocweeklyfood or on Facebook! And don't forget to download our free Best Of App here!

You can also follow Kiera's personal Instagram @kierawrr


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