Good Enough to Eat

— your expert guide to Insta-perfect food photography with Masterchef judge Melissa Leong

Whether it’s a plate of smashed avo on artisan sourdough toast, a bee pollen-speckled acai bowl, or a towering slab of decadent chocolate fudge cake; when it comes to taking an Insta-worthy, mouthwatering shot — one that’s good enough to make the likes of celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver, cry tears of joy — it’s easier said than done.

Scroll through any #foodie hashtag on your socials and you’ll be confronted with a barrage of flawless snaps of dishes, each drool-worthy and boasting thousands of likes, and each causing you to scratch your head and wonder ‘how did they get that shot?’

While food photography looks tricky on the surface, there are some closely guarded secrets nailing that hero shot that the pros don’t want you to know. First and foremost, it’s all about the right toolkit. Enter the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra.

Designed with great photography front and centre, this year’s flagship smartphone is one of the most versatile phone cameras on the market.

A built-in quad-camera allows for both epic stills and cinematic 8k video, then there’s 10x and 3x optical zoom levels (more than any other smartphone camera), plus and a raft of pro functions, including Single Take — a tap and snap feature allowing multiple images and video clips, each with differing effects — alongside, the fastest processing chip in the Galaxy series, and an all-day battery. In short, it’s the best smartphone camera around.

But while a killer camera is essential, the other ingredient (get it?) to great food photography is also some know-how. To get some foodie photographer hacks we’ve deferred to the experts, specifically to Masterchef judge, Melissa Leong.

The TV presenter, and all-round foodie superstar, offers up her food photography tips and tricks to allow you to tap and snap your way to stunning shots that are guaranteed to induce Insta-envy.


“First up, if you look at what’s on your plate and you think ‘that’s absolutely eye-catching’, then it’s worth taking the picture. If it’s just something delicious that doesn’t have that gravitas for your Instagram feed — then just eat the food!
A big component of any great restaurant meal is the aesthetic arrangement of food, or ‘plating’ in chef speak. Remember, we all ‘eat’ with our eyes first.”


“Start thinking like a food stylist and take a moment to frame the image. Wait for the ice cream to drip, leave the full fork on the plate, or crack open that poached egg to release the bright yellow yolk — spending time composing the shot before you reach for your phone will pay off in the snap stakes.
Also, turn on the grid lines on your phone so you have a positioning guide, which will make your photo more balanced and visually pleasing.”


“Artificial lighting can make your food look ugly, so it's best to shoot in natural light. The easiest way to do this is to move close to a window. Just set your food on a table shut off any lights in the room. It’ll make your photos turn out a 100 times better!
However, when you are in low-light conditions — such as a dimly lit restaurant — then the night mode on the S21 Ultra is an awesome way to get great foodie snaps without the daylight.”


“Experiment with the angle of your shot by moving around until you find the sweet spot. Whenever in doubt, shoot from above, as most food looks best from this view point.”


“Generally, if you want to get closer to your food, just move the camera. On most cameras — the S21 withstanding! — using the zoom lowers the quality of your photos.
When cropping and framing, I think the more pixels the better. You want to make sure your pictures are super-crisp and powerful. That’s what turns a good image into a great image.”


“Food starts to look tired pretty quickly, so you should work fast to get the most appetising image. Lay out your props before plating up and have a plan of action in place.
The Single Take function on the S21 Ultra is a great helper here as it allows the capturing of multiple images — while you move around and experiment with angles — with different effects applied to each. And all with one click. Afterwards, you can swipe through the different options and pick your fave to post on your socials.”


“A huge advantage of using the S21 are its lenses. You can, for example, switch to the wide lens to bring more of the surroundings into frame, while zooming out with the ultra wide lens brings more clarity, sharpness and detail to the shot.
If you’re in a hurry, or don’t want to get too tech-y, then Samsung’s food mode will automatically adjust the colouring to make whatever dish you’re snapping look even more delicious.”


“Make time to correct and tweak your image — from brightness and warmth, to colour and saturation. Again, the Galaxy S21 Ultra device functions come into play here. There’s an easy to use editing panel where you can crop, rotate, make tone adjustments, and apply a filter. But don’t go overboard with the post-production changes — the food should look edible, not like a fantastical creation of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory!”


“If you’re serious about becoming a great food photographer, then practice makes perfect. As you take more photos, you’ll become more comfortable with your phone’s camera features. The S21 even allows you to shoot in RAW and comes with a Pro Mode feature to adjust almost everything, from ISO and whit balance, to ISO and exposure.

The more you play, the more you’ll also come to understand which foods are photogenic and which ones are not, alongside styling and props. These are all skills that will help you craft beautiful images.”

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