Ask Techland: How Can I Take Better Food Photos with My iPhone?

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Question: I recently upgraded to an iPhone. My friends are always posting pictures of their food on Facebook and Instagram, but mine always come out crappy. How can I take better food photos?

Answer: Ah, you’re friends with those people. I’m assuming they’re all Yelp! Elite, and snapping photos before a meal is their way of saying grace.

I mean that’s fine, and everyone does it. But first, a few important ground rules:

Rule 1: Don’t make a big production out of it

When you’re taking pictures of your food, the last thing you want to do is make a fuss — you want to get your shot and be done with it in as discreet a way as possible. You know that guy who tows around a big DSLR with a zoom lens and external flash to post Flickr pictures of fire hydrants? Yeah, no one likes that guy. The same idea applies when you’re taking pictures of food.

Rule 2: Resist the urge to use flash

This ties in with the previous rule. If the restaurant you’re dining at is too dark to begin with, it’s probably best to leave your phone at bay (unless there’s a candle or something on your table). Flash is annoying, especially to everyone else around you. Plus it doesn’t make for great food shots, anyway. Don’t use it.

(MORE: The 10 Best Camera Apps for the iPhone)

Now that we’ve gotten the rules out of the way, here are a few tips for how you can make your Instagram/Facebook folder/Yelp! contributions look better than all your friends’…

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