Feasting: Pizza Beach Teaches How to Take the Best Food Photos

Food photo
Feasting is a column dedicated to cooking, grilling, eating and discovering what’s on the menu across America and the world.

We’ve all been there. You’re eating an amazing meal and want to document the deliciousness on social media, but your phone camera just isn’t doing it any justice. No one wants the bright light of a flash going off at their table or making friends wait for you to frame the perfect shot while their food gets cold. But one of the best parts of eating is sharing the meal with others, even if they can’t be sitting right next to you. So we brought in Rosa, the Instagrammer extraordinaire of Pizza Beach in NYC, to give us a few tips on getting the best shots.

Pizza Beach opened in New York City’s Upper East Side neighborhood this past winter, bringing much needed laid-back surf vibes when everybody was freezing. The menu features everything from both traditional and modern pies, baked in their wood-fired oven, to fresh pastas, seafood and seasonal salads. The wine list is extensive and there’s no shortage of tropical cocktails if you’re looking to get your buzz on. But our favorite part of Pizza Beach is their amazing Instagram. With a mix of mouth-watering food photos and wanderlust-inducing beach shots, it keeps us coming back for more on the daily. So we asked the brains behind it for five expert tips on taking the best food photos. Check out Rosa’s recommendations below.

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1. Natural light. I always snap photos either outside in our outdoors seating area or on the tables by the big window of our french doors. Nothing brings out the colours and textures of the food more beautifully than natural light.

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2. Be quick! When taking food photos, time is of the essence. Salads can wilt, cheese loses its yummy, stringy gooyness and basil leaves get soggy. So the quicker you snap, the better.

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3. Proportions. Even when I snap just half of a dish or a quarter of a pizza, I choose the yummiest looking part but keep in mind the proportions of the image. The eye loves symmetry and I adhere to that when taking food photos as closely as possible.

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4. Feast photos. Some dishes, no matter how delicious, don’t photograph as well as others – take scrambled eggs, for example. A little trick I have is to arrange less photogenic dishes in an aerial ‘feast’ photo as I like to call it. This way you also show off an array of other menu items.

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5. Variation. In my opinion, there’s nothing more boring than an Insta with food photos only. That’s why I like to mix it up. I incorporate photos of our exterior art by Nick Walker, merchandise, beach pics, interior photos and trips to Union Square Greenmarket. I think these lifestyle shots give depth and life to an Instagram account.

Follow @pizzabeach on Instagram 

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