Let’s face it: we’re all pretty much chefs at this point. I don’t know about you, but the past few months of isolation during COVID-19 has really brought out my cooking skills, and we’ve spent a good amount of our time in the kitchen. But the most satisfying part of cooking isn’t actually eating it, it’s taking pictures of your work. Nothing makes us smile more than capturing the perfect photo of the hard work and sending it to all my friends and family, showing off new chef skills.

Whether you have a food Instagram, post your food on your social media, or just take pictures of it- there’s a particular art to food photography. The right photo will make your food look significantly better, so if you’re really trying to impress people will your newly learned cooking expertise, follow these food photo tips:

Use natural light
First things first- you need good lighting. None of that overhead light stuff. And in no circumstance should you use flash. To get the cleanest and most professional looking food photos, you need good natural light right from the sun.

Play around with angles
Just like how we take multiple photos of ourselves to get the right one, we need to do the same with food. Some food looks better from above, but other food looks better from the side. To get the perfect photo, you’ll want to try many different angles to capture your masterpiece in its best way possible.

Use a plain background
Your food should be the star of the show- not the background. The best photos use a neutral-colored, plain background so that the food really pops. Go for something like a clean white table or a crisp black countertop for the background.

Make sure the food is neat and clean
If you’re taking a picture of the salad you just spent an hour putting together, make sure there’s no dressing dripping onto the side. Taking a picture of your homemade burger? Make sure the lettuce and tomato are perfectly stacked. Nothing makes a food photo look less professional than when the food is dripping all over the place. You want it to be neat and clean.

Limit what’s in the background
Some food photos look super cool with bits of the ingredients placed carefully in the background. If you think it adds to the photo, keep it. But remove unnecessary items like napkins and utensils. That just takes away from the focal point of the photo, which should be the food.

Keep it simple
When it doubt, keep your food photos simple. At the end of the day, we want to see what the food looks like, so don’t stress about having the perfect background or extra components to the photo. Sometimes, the most professional food photos are just your food in front of a simple background.