The art of setting the table with photogenic dishes

Food compositions are successful in culinary meetings at home. Once assembled, the images become popular on Instagram and other social media thanks to the appeal of photogenic meals. This foodie trend is a new sensation: preparing still-life photos with visually pleasing light, color and staging arrangements.


Image source: Sophie Allport


A feast of color


Image source: Sophie Allport


Having dinner parties at home featuring culinary arrangements presented with excellent taste is in vogue. Creating photogenic meals that seem to be part of real interior design and gastronomy magazine articles is the new way to amaze guests. However, these arrangements are not only to be admired, they are meant to be delicious. They are also looking to be successful in social media and to amaze with the image and careful organization, worthy of the most professional styling.

When preparing informal gatherings, these photogenic meals tend to be multicolored platters that are a real treat when set on the table. Created to munch and carry on conversations at the same time, these aptly named food boards provide an assortment of salty ingredients, from cheese to cold cuts, vegetables, crackers, seasonal fresh fruit, etc.

There are no limits or rules, even sweet food boards —made with candy— are possible. When considering presentation, connoisseurs state that we must think of the assortment as painting on an expressionist canvas. We must introduce a variety of textures and bright colors. Wooden boards in different shapes and sizes create the perfect canvas to add strokes of color.

However, these photogenic dishes require a creative and careful preparation. In order to create a perfect harmony, invisible shapes and compositions must be drawn with the ingredients, to generate dynamism. These will become a burst of color and volume that invite guests to relish the food before tasting it.

Tactics for dressing the table


Image source: Levantina


If the plan is to enjoy dinner around a table, creating a menu will involve a trendy mise en scene following the latest decorative fashion. Photogenic dishes tend to be more complex recipes. Contemporary cuisine can become a meeting point, and natural stone and porcelain countertops can be the perfect improvised dinner table to showcase these delicious culinary scenes. It is important not to cover the veins, tones and textures with a tablecloth.

It is also possible to dress the table casually, with linen table runners or individual place mats in natural fibers. These are perfect choices for minimalist, clean and elegant compositions. In these still-life compositions, each element and accessory should ideally have a specific location, without this becoming a burden and overloading the piece. Everything will revolve around these dazzling recipes. Photogenic dishes are the stars of the table.

The photographic moment


Image source: Levantina


The final touch for these photogenic dishes takes place when they become immortalized in an image, proof of their beauty, which translates into hundreds of likes on social media. These images extol the full arrangement. The photos should have natural light nearby to increase realism and authenticity. It is better if the light is coming from the side, as it gives food texture and defines its contour.

Lastly, the images should use the trendiest viewpoint on Instagram to achieve the most success: birds-eye or zenithal. The goal? Wide, visually attractive, unusual and more human perspectives of the food and its surroundings. Just as a professional photographer would do in the culinary and decoration publishing world.


Image source: Garden Trading

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