It’s no secret that Instagram is my holy grail and go to choice for photo sharing and social sharing in general. I’ve always loved Instagram and I don’t ever see it becoming less than my favorite app (though that re-design was absurd, I think I’ve semi gotten over it now *sigh*). Since I love photographing coffee shops and my cappuccinos, I wanted to share a few tips with you on how I get those perfectly instagrammed coffee shots! This is of course my opinion and you could totally hate my photos! In which case, move along Yvonne…
First things first. Lighting is your everything. Without good lighting, I wouldn’t recommend posting that photo of your coffee. This is primarily why I only go to coffee shops that are bright and modern, and are not in some sort of 18th century underground dungeon. If I was sipping on a cappuccino at bloody Hogwarts I probably wouldn’t post it (have you seen The Great Hall’s lighting?). Only grab photos when you have good natural lighting. Also, that’s an exaggerated lie. I would totally post that…
Clutter sucks. We hate it in our lives and I hate seeing it even more in coffee shops. Maybe hate is a strong word, but I do try to seek out coffee shops that provide minimal distractions. You want the focus of that photo to be your coffee. If there are distracting things around the table, move them out of the way. Some coffee shops are also very eclectic which carries distractions in its entire decor. Try to avoid these places and stick with minimal clean lines so you can really highlight your beautiful coffee art!
The flat lay is most often the type of coffee shots you’ll see on Instagram. It’s when you snap a photo of your coffee by standing above everything and hanging your phone out over the table. I mean, you’ve seen people do this at restaurants probably a million times, and there’s good reason for that. This is a super flattering angle for a photo and it’s the best way to incorporate the coveted latte art in to your photo. By standing over your items and taking a photo, you’re able to capture a lot in just one snap.
When I got to a coffee shop I either always try to bring a few props to lay around my shots, or I just use what’s in my bag already (I am pretty much Marry Poppins status at this point anyway). It’s rare people will go to great lengths to bring props from home, and if you’re not super serious about coffee, there’s probably no reason to. If you have a pair of sunglasses in your bag, those usually work well. Other things that can be used are wallets, cosmetics, other foods (an obvious good reason to order a donut), a planner, a cell phone, reading glasses, a newspaper, book, or magazine, etc.. I personally like using a food such as a pastry, or using some sunnies or a wallet. These small props help bring life to your photo without taking too much away from the coffee. 1 – 3 props is the perfect ratio of props to coffee, so don’t get too carried away!
Be aware of the tones that you are working with in the coffee shop. You want to make your coffee stand out. If you have a black table with a black coffee cup, chances are your photo isn’t going to turn out very well. Look for major contrast in your coffee photos like a white table with a black cup. Marble flat lays are what tends to do best on Instagram. Everyone is after the marble table these days, so keep that in mind next time you choose a coffee shop! If you’re going to work with wood tones make sure you have GREAT natural lighting, or else your photo will appear quite orange.
Order For Here
The best coffee shots are going to be the ones you order ‘for here’. To go cups generally don’t make for great photos, but there are a few exceptions like Alfred Coffee because they just have really great to go cups. As an American, I am very very used to the idea of taking your coffee to go and I definitely prefer it. But if I’m looking for that perfect photo, I typically order a cappuccino or latte to drink there. Either one usually makes for a great photo! If you do want to grab something to go, try getting something iced and then removing the lid for a nice photo. The straw also adds a nice touch.
Lastly, try adding a little bit of you in to the photos you take. Hands are always great to incorporate in to your coffee photos especially if you have a friend with you. If I am wearing something cute that day, I’ll make sure to take a photo incorporating either my shoes or my jacket, or maybe a few accessories I am wearing like a watch or ring. There is a whole Instagram dedicated to coffee and clothes!
These are great places to start if you’re wanting to diversify your feed with some coffee shots. Whatever you do, never ever feel stupid for taking photos. People will stare and ask you things like “are you ever going to drink that?” Yes that has happened. But we all have passions for different things and whether we want to admit it or not, we’ve all snapped a photo of our coffee at least once. I hope these tips help!
What is your favorite thing to post to your Instagram? Leave me a comment below!