Lulu Guinness

So you’ve mastered the art of food making, but now it’s time for the all-important obligatory Instagram shot. Do you take from above, or from the side? In Ludwig or Perpetua? Don’t panic! We’ve cornered London based freelance cook and up and coming food stylist Iona Blackshaw to get the lowdown on how to make your food look more than good enough to eat.

As well as working with Waitrose, The Guardian and on various soon-to-be published cookbooks she takes heaps of her own delectable snaps. Here is Iona’s step-by-step guide on how to achieve social food styling greatness, plus four of her most mouth-watering and web-worthy Instagram pictures.

Follow @Lulu_Guinness on Instagram and stay tuned for an exclusive styled shot created for us by Iona.

  • Wherever possible use natural light - it will make your food look so much more delectable and you will avoid harsh shadows.
  • Don’t over filter - less is more! Smartphones these days have pretty good cameras and you shouldn’t need to mess about with the image too much.
  • Shots from above look very clean and modern, if you are shooting from the side then think about your background, keep it simple, a kitchen cabinet or painted brick wall looks clean and fresh.
  • Think about props (spare ingredients scattered haphazardly, a used kitchen utensil etc) you could add into the shot to tell a story.
  • Invest in some beautiful ceramics for enviable foodie photos at home!
  • This sinful snap was taken whilst shooting recipe cards for a well known supermarket, we had been attempting to make the ‘perfect’ millionaires’ shortbread all morning and this was our rejects pile. For a rustic picture effect they’ve been stacked and I’ve let them topple over for a naturally styled photo finish. Rest assured they didn’t go to waste!
  • This experiment was the result of a little weekend baking session back at my family farm, my mum has a gorgeous kitchen so I try to make the most of it when I visit for the weekend. I’ve honed in here on the delicate pastry detailing and also focused on the area where the tart was cut and the light is catching it.
  • This close up is of one of the many elements that went into making my sisters surprise wedding cake back in August, I slightly underestimated the challenge, and spent four days in the kitchen looking like a frenzied Bake Off contestant! The beauty of this picture is the colour and texture of the bark so I’ve let the surface take up the whole frame of the photo.
  • This is a shot of the finished cake, my sister is not a fan of traditional wedding cakes so I knew it had to be different, the whole day had a very relaxed boho vibe and I’m told the cake fitted perfectly, it didn’t taste too bad either! This creation deserved a portrait shot, to show off the layers in all their glory.

Photo credits: Iona Blackshaw – Hotel Chocolat – thetrishaw.com