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10 in 10 // The Fit Foodie's guide to perfecting your Insta game!

The Fit Foodie's guide to perfecting your Instagram game!

Today, we have another awesome 10-in-10 segment from our beloved Sally O'Neill aka The Fit Foodie who is an absolute Instagrammette extraordinaire! Instagram is the place to be these days and growing your following can have enormous benefits for your business and profile (as Matcha Maiden knows all too well - the matcha mission would never have been possible without the powers of social media). Instagram has also played a crucial role in Sally growing her blog, The Fit Foodie blog, and her business, Fit Mixes (delicious DIY protein ball mixes). She has become such an expert that @thefitfoodieblog has now grown a following of over 50,000 FOLLOWERS!!!! So who better to teach us a thing or two about getting the perfect insta snapshot!?

Sally is a UK born Sydneysider who began a New Years Resolution to clean up her diet in 2013 - she's since lost 14 kilos, gained heaps of energy, and never looked back. She began taking snaps of her dinner and recording her recipes on a basic Wordpress site, with no knowledge that it was the humble beginnings of a health blog. Now she’s a freelance food photographer, recipe developer, magazine columnist and full time blogger at the-fit-foodie.com (can you tell we adore her?). She is also the proud author of Chocolate Everyday and owner of the amazing vegan and fructose-free Fit Mixes that we mentioned earlier - they're to die for! Check her out on InstagramFacebook Twitter or Pinterest. Enjoy her top 10 tips below! 

Image credit: Jac @insidethetreasurechest

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Top 10 tips for taking the perfect Insta snap

By Sally O'Neill

1. Just start

Don’t wait until you think you know what your doing. My instagram feed looks WAY different a year ago than what it’s developed into today. If I hadn’t had that practise, there’s no way I’d be shooting for magazines today. Just pick up your camera and play - you’ll learn what it’s capable of, how to style food and how to shoot in different light. Taking naff pictures of your sloppy dinner is all part of it!

2. Get inspired

Pinterest is your best friend when it comes to inspired food photography. Have a look at what others are doing - the eagles they’ve used, the type of backgrounds and any props that sit in the frame. Start to buildup an idea of what you’re favourite style of photography is and shoot for the stars.

3. Have a plan

Good food photos require a bit of planning to get it spot-on. Have a think about how the end product should look and whether you need to get anything in advance. I always have fresh citrus and herbs in the house to act as props or last-minute decoration on dishes. Think wedges of lemon and fresh mint. Make sure you get your hands on some white crockery too - it will make your ingredients shine!

4. Always shoot in natural light

It’s most likely that the perfect picture will come to you at the most inconvenient time #dang. Whether you’re out dining with friends or sipping a cocktail overlooking the Opera House, it’s guaranteed you won’t have that lovely DSLR strapped around your neck to capture the moment. Without the ability to control ISO and all those other (rather complicated) settings, the best thing you can do for a great image is to shoot in natural light. Your images will sharper and bursting with colour to draw more followers in. 

Accounts that do it well: @atdusk @changeroomfoods @jasminedowling

Natural light: Chocolate Superfood Breakfast Bowl

5. Shoot in ‘square’ mode

Instagram have recently allowed users to upload both landscape and portrait images without that awful white border nonsense (at last), but don’t forget your feed still displays in little squares. The best way to avoid any post-crop drama is to setting your phone camera to ‘square’ mode. That way you can ensure everything you want in the shot is right there in frame, without losing important detail. 

6. Take time to get the best angle

While your pizza may look delicious at eye height on that stand, your phone just won’t do it justice. Try to the capture every beautiful detail. Celebrate those olives and anchovies. Scale the table if you must - it's likely everyone around you will be doing the same. 

Try different angles: SALAD À LA TURKEY BOLOGNESE

7. Develop a theme

As creatures of habit, it’s no secret we like consistency. Be it consistency in colour, content or message, find your theme, and stick to it. Not only will people understand what you are about in just a few short seconds, but they can be assured they’ll be getting more of that same great content when they click the all-important ‘follow’ button. That means no dog snaps when you sell jewellery (unless your dog is modelling it, of course) and no baby pics in your food reel. If you just have to share these special moments, set up another account. 

Accounts that do it well: @countryroad , @elsas_wholesomelife@matcha_maiden (of course!)

8. Get appy

Editing apps are your best friend. They can transform one very average looking photo into a piece of art. The built-in instagram filters are all well and good, but don’t have the best customisation. I personally love PicTapGo and VSCO, as I lean more towards images with minimal shadow and vibrant whites (my theme). Once you find a filter that you love, you can return to it time and time again for consistency.

9. Consider the bigger picture

Sure, that bright pink smoothie image might look great on it’s own, but how does it look next to that pair of red Nikes you just posted? Your most recent images will be viewed side-by-side by potential followers, so it’s important to consider the ‘flow’ of images and how they will look to others overall. Try alternating textures and colours to keep it fresh. 

10. Optimize

There are lots of websites which look at the vital stats of your posts to Instagram. You might be thinking *arghhh data*, but it’s all laid out in simple infographics that are really user-friendly. Once you have a few images published, have a look at a these sites (I like Iconosquare), and use the information to your advantage. Find out when your community is most active, and schedule your images (try the ‘Latergram’ app) to be published at that time. You’ll get much more engagement and visibility from your target market.

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We hope you enjoyed! xo