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How to run a foodstagram in college

Become an expert food influencer by following these simple steps

<p>In terms of actually taking pictures, one very important piece of advice I have is to either take them during the day or have a good lighting source for your food at night.</p>

In terms of actually taking pictures, one very important piece of advice I have is to either take them during the day or have a good lighting source for your food at night.

It was a day just like any other when my housemates and I sat around our dining table talking about how classes were going and discussing spring break plans. One of my housemates showed us a picture of her meal from the other day, and we all agreed that the picture was worthy of a front cover page in a food magazine. Suddenly, the idea hit us — we should start our very own food Instagram dedicated to documenting the delicious meals our apartment makes. Immediately, we all agreed that this was the best idea we had ever heard, and we created the account seconds later.

While I am by no means an expert on the art of being a food Instagram influencer, with our very humble follower count of 24, I can provide a few pieces of advice to anyone looking to start a food Instagram of their own.

Before you begin, it’s important to remember to not stress about making each and every dish picture-worthy. As every college kid knows, some days your lunch can consist of microwavable chicken nuggets, Doritos and a single clementine that was added just to make the meal feel at least a little bit healthy. When these days inevitably come, your followers are sure to relate. Sometimes being real with the world and your followers is a great way to make your account more personal and genuine.

Now it’s time to choose a handle name for your account. This name should incorporate something food related, but also make it unique to you. My housemates and I combined our last names — two of us have the same last name Kim, and the other two people also share a last name Choi — hence came the handle name kimchoimeals

Next, I will touch on how to perfectly plate your food on a dish. Plating is a very important part of making your pictures the most visually appealing that they can be. While every creative eye is different, I generally like to make my plates colorful and either geometrically even or symmetrical. For example, if my meal has rice, I will pack the rice into a circular shape and place my proteins and veggies around it. 

Employing a theme can also increase the cohesiveness of the account as a whole. For my housemates and my foodstagram, most of our pictures use the black background of our coffee table to contrast our plates, which provides our account visual consistency. 

Now you’re finally ready to snap the picture. In terms of actually taking pictures, one very important piece of advice I have is to either take them during the day or have a good lighting source for your food at night. Those perfect, shining rays of sun can help accentuate the colors of your plate and bring warmth to your picture, but artificial light can also work. If you wish to take a picture of your yummy dinner, make sure to have ample lighting from a lamp or any other light source. 

In terms of your plate placement, it is all up to preference. While you can never go wrong with having the plate in the center of your photo, you can also take pictures from other angles. You can try a close up on the food, placing the plate slightly in a corner or even taking a video. My housemates and I like to take multiple pictures or videos and post them all together.

After you take the perfect picture of your food, it’s time to start editing. As I said above, having a theme is helpful for making your account look appealing. This can also be applied to editing. Depending on your chosen theme, or if you choose to have no theme at all, you can edit your picture to contain more saturated and brighter colors. You can also blur the background to spotlight your plate more or even add a fade to the entire picture, allowing for a lighter and less contrasted feel. Use your own judgment with each picture and, most importantly, have fun and be creative with your editing.

Lastly, choose a fun and engaging caption to describe your food in detail and provide many creative adjectives to detail the taste of your meal. Before you post, remember to also add hashtags at the bottom of the caption that relate to your post and can generate more engagement with your post and account.

Creating our food Instagram has inspired my housemates and I to eat consistently. We even find ourselves getting excited to make, plate and snap a picture of the delicious meals that could potentially inspire others to get creative with their meals.

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