Gorgeous photo tips from Hawaii foodstagrammers

Taking your Instagram food pics from drab to fab is easier than you think
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Ever want to dive into your phone and devour dishes you see on Instagram? Ever try to replicate those pics, but to no avail? We asked some of Hawaii's top food Instagrammers to share their best tips to elevate your foodstagrams from OK to onolicious.


Tip 1: Blur it up

Whether you are using a photo-editing app like Snapseed, Adobe Lightroom or the Instagram editing tools, or if you're using a camera, a slight blur of the background can do so much to enhance your photos. We use a shallow depth of field (low f-stop) to focus what is important in the photo or to simply create a pleasing blurred background.

Rowena Salanga and Allen Deguia, @RAgrinds


My boyfriend, Allen, came up with the idea: The R is for Rowena, the A is for Allen, and grinds because we love to eat. RAgrinds for us is something more personal, something fun, and something we can look back on and be proud of. Every photo posted is well thought out. I use a Sony a6000 camera.






Tip 2: Tell a story

Regardless of whether you use a DSLR (fancy camera) or an iPhone, challenge yourself to go beyond the food itself. Including environment, people and the emotion of the experience can help you to capture the perfect shot. Try adventuring into family kitchens, farmer's markets, restaurants and street stalls to uncover vibrant stories that can become the best subjects for your photographs.


Seth Buckley, @MusingsByTheGlass


I am a photojournalist and wine blogger in Honolulu. My blog, Musings by the Glass, explores food, wine and culture in the Pacific Rim. I also recommend bargain wines available in Hawaii as a fun and tasty method to explore interesting wines and food pairings. I use an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II; my primary lens is the M.Zuiko 25mm f1.2 PRO.




Tip 3: Experiment with angles and editing

Experimentation is the key to the best shot. If you're an emerging foodstagrammer, try using the editing functions on Instagram, as opposed to the preset filters. By playing around with various photo editing tools, you can produce a unique style of ultra-sharp, colorful and droolworthy pics.


Wina Kim, @Wina_Wina


Food is my passion: I love to eat, cook and try new restaurants. I often dine out looking for new dishes to recreate at home and share with my followers. I use an IPhone 6 camera.






Tip 4: Use a compact light

When taking pictures at night or in dark restaurants, bring a compact light. Even better, bring a friend to hold the light! There are several pocket spotlights available online, but if you are in a pinch, ask your friend to shine their phone light. Watch out for shadows and if the light is too bright, you can diffuse it with a napkin!

Yuko Provenzano, @HungryVoyager

I started Hungry Voyager as a way to share my love of food and traveling with the world, and it has developed into a space where I've made new friends and discovered new dishes. Living in Hawaii has allowed me to experience many different cultures through their cuisines. I try to incorporate this melting pot of decadence into my photography. I use a Sony a6000 camera.



PHOTO BY ERIK CHING, @eatinghawaii

Tip 5: When possible, choose natural light

Be as natural as possible. Utilize natural lighting so daytime shoots are ideal. Edit minimally and use a tripod if you have unsteady hands.

— Erik Ching, @EatingHawaii

I’m a passionate foodie who loves to explore the world of different ethnic cuisines. I strongly believe in unity through food. I was using my iPhone for the longest time, but recently upgraded to a Sony A6000.