Food photography tips from Instagram pro Clerkenwell Boy

He’s photographed every London restaurant worth going to. Now, Clerkenwell Boy gives you his tips for perfect Instagram food shots

Photographs via @clerkenwellboyec1

If you've not heard of Clerkenwell Boy, we've got one question for you: where have you been? For your info, his perfectly composed shots of where to eat and drink in London have shot him to the heady heights of Instagram celebrity. Here, he shares his tips for creating beautiful pictures of your favourite dishes.


I shoot all my pics on my phone, so I prefer to take pictures in natural light (ask for a table by the window if possible). Avoid direct sunlight or artificial light, as the contrast can be too sharp. Never use a flash – not only do the photos look worse, it annoys other diners.


Find a style that suits you such as 'top-down' or super close-ups (try a 45-degree angle). Use the grids within Instagram to guide how you frame and crop an image (the 'rule of thirds' is usually helpful). Play with negative space, or style up your shots with props that convey the atmosphere of where you are.


Don't overuse in-built filters – try to keep your shots as natural as possible. However, if editing, try to do it manually by playing around with the brightness, structure and sharpness tools. Sometimes it helps to blur or darken the background if you want a sharper central focal point.

Find Your Niche

Post what you love and what you're passionate about, whether it be burgers, desserts or home cooking. Share insights into your thinking by adding comments, helpful tips or stories to your posts.

Clerkenwell Boy's food shots – in pictures:


Add relevant hashtags so your photos come up in related searches, and geotags so that people can easily find the location of where you're dining. (Tip: don't geotag the location of your home or office!)


Post photos when people are in the mood for that type of food: pancakes at breakfast, a doughnut in the afternoon, cocktails after work, or an epic feast on the weekend.


Get involved: take the time to reply to people's comments. Follow people who inspire you. Meet up with other foodies via various events, pop-ups and supper clubs. Most importantly, have fun.

Follow Clerkenwell Boy on Instagram at @clerkenwellboyec1, and keep your eyes peeled on @foodismuk for an exclusive takeover soon.