If there’s one question I get all the time, it’s: “Cynthia, how do you take your food pics??”

So today’s the day I share all my tips and tricks.

And contrary to popular belief… you don’t need a fancy camera to take good photos. All you need is a smartphone, the right lighting, the right composition, and a great edit.

(video by: Daniel Fabio)

Side: 90% of my Instagram photos are taken through my iphone 6 and every photo below is also taken with my iphone.

Tip #1: Use your hands

Sometimes food looks better when it’s not sitting down on the table. I like to play with different angles, especially when it comes to desserts, burgers and bagels .

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Tip #2: Find the right lighting & never ever use flash!

Whenever I go to a restaurant, I’ll ALWAYS look for a seat with the best natural lighting.

For example, both these photos are unedited. One was taken in bad lighting, the other was taken facing the light.

PS: I also turned this burger around to its most photogenic side lol.

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Q&A: @siecy7 asked “How you always seem to catch the light is ah-mah-zing! Teach us! :)”

To be 100% honest… I’m a total pain in the butt when it comes to lighting. I’ll totally move the food over to another table if I HAVE to. And when making ressies, a convo will typically go like this “Hi, can I make a reservation for 6pm, preferably at a table with GREAT lighting!” <– lol, I know… I’m a pain.

Tip #3: Find the right background

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My fav backgrounds are usually white spaces and marble tops (it just makes the picture look cleaner). White is right.

+ white sheets, white walls, marble tables

+ wooden tables

+ scenery pics (ie: holding out ice cream in front of the sunset or a cool backdrop of the city)

Tip #4: Arm swag

I’m a total fan of arm swag. I like to incorporate finger jewelry, watches, and bracelets to coffee & dessert pics. The top left photo and bottom right photo are pics I took of Katey Yurko of Yurkstyle.com during our coffee dates!

PS: Add your sunglasses, clutch, hat, etc to show off your own style.

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Tip #5: Composition

+ Make sure everything fits into a square. Sometimes less is more.

+ If you can’t fit everything into your picture, stand up!

+ Move things around (this can be kinda annoying to other people when you move their napkin or fork out of the way lol). So ask nicely.

+ Try different angles (my favorite is birds eye view, which is from directly above)

Now moving on to editing…

Q&A: @lovelylyfestyle asked “Maybe share apps you use for editing photos for blog/Instagram?”

I like to keep things simple. My two favorite apps for editing is through Instagram and Vsco.

First, I’ll show you how I would edit this photo only using IG: before & after

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1. increase brightness (b/c I love bright/white photos)

2. increase contrast to make the colors pop

3. decrease warmth to get rid of the “yellowish” color

… and voila! That’s a typical edit.

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Now here’s another example where I held up this bagel against a white wall (except, the wall looked 50 shades of gray). Edit: Using only Instagram… increase the exposure & highlights & contrast. Looks much better, right?

Using VSCO

Now here, I’m using the Vsco app. I’m a huge fan of the “C1” filter.

Sometimes, I’ll just use that filter and call it a day. (It’s my lazy girl edit)

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And yes, for those of you wondering… I am THAT asian girl taking a bunch of food pics. #noshame

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And now you guys all know how I take and edit my photos!

Hope this helped!