Unless you live under a social media rock, you know how the art of foodstagramming (i.e. putting pictures of food on Instagram) has become the new thing. My newsfeed is more often filled with what my “foodie” friends ate for brunch rather than pictures of actual people.
The posts are usually accompanied by hashtags such as #foodporn, #foodintheair or #eeeeeats in attempt to get attention from big accounts for the chance to become “insta-famous” (because we all know that’s the most important thing in life right now).
Those of you who truly identify with the “foodstagrammer” label know the struggle of trying to get that absolutely perfect shot of your meal. And no matter how messy, uncomfortable and time-consuming the process may be, the moment when you finally snap that perfect photo is pure bliss. This is what we endure for our art.
1. Your food almost always gets cold
The struggle is real. Every time you make something that is typically served hot, like a melty grilled cheese sandwich or some crispy waffles, it rarely stays that way. You end up with some hardened cheese or soggy waffles because once you finally finish your photoshoot from every angle, too much time has gone by. You get so swept up in capturing the beauty of the meal that you forget it was supposed to be eaten 15 minutes ago.
2. You have to get into extremely precarious positions
If anyone ever saw me while taking a foodstagram in private, they would look at me as if I were nuts. Have you ever tried to perfectly capture the light in a room with only one, small window? To avoid shadows and get the best angle for your pic, sometimes you have to contort your body into positions your yoga instructor never even taught you. You aren’t sure how long you can stay like this, but for the perfect picture it’s worth it.
3. Sometimes things get a little messy
You all know those posts of melting ice cream or peanut butter dripping down a person’s hand? These shots are always some of the greatest to look at, but no one thinks about the consequences of the sticky, sugary liquid that ends up all over you. After the picture, you have to wash up before you can even enjoy whatever you made, which often times is fully melted by the time you get back.
4. “Can I have the table next to the window, please?”
A common request among the truly serious foodstagrammers. There’s nothing more frustrating than knowing what a great picture a dish would make but being unable to capture the aesthetic beauty because of the dim lighting. Pro tip: if you can’t get this table, you can always get creative and use a friend’s iPhone flashlight—desperate times call for desperate measures.
5. Your friends know they can never eat before you take a picture
…and not just one picture—you need to make sure you get the right angle, lighting, composition and placement which can often take longer than most of your dining companions would prefer.
You always get yelled at for taking too long and are often told that you “probably have a good picture,” but you know that mediocre isn’t going to cut it. So make sure to tell your hangry friend Sally to have a snack before you leave the house next time.
6. Your photo stream is embarrassingly full of food photos and not friends
You cringe when someone asks you to look at the pictures on your phone—not because you have anything inappropriate but because you have about 52 pictures of the pancakes you ate this morning at slightly different angles in different areas of your apartment. When questioned about this, you respond defensively with something like “none of your business, I like food.”
7. You often get dirty looks and cause traffic jams
You’re out at a popular food market and find the most perfectly crafted homemade cookie ice cream sandwich, and since you are out in the sunlight with the proper background, you just have to take a picture of it then and there.
You stop dead in your tracks, disregarding all the people trying to walk behind and in front of you and focus only on your masterpiece in the making. It doesn’t matter that you may get all the evil eyes from others; you’ve got your perfect shot.
8. Sometimes you only have a few seconds to capture the moment
When taking a picture of some #yolkporn or dripping syrup, you often have only a small window of time to capture the perfect drop. This requires the utmost skill, precision and quick reflexes. You have to scope out the best angle, then set the ball rolling. Finally, as soon as the liquid begins to form little droplets and spill from the origin, you snap the perfect picture and hope for the best.
The next time you’re hungrily scrolling through your Instagram feed, stalking the latest food porn pics, keep in mind how much time and effort goes into each and every one of those beauties. Blood, sweat, tears and a lot of behind the scenes work that isn’t always publicly acceptable. But, gotta do it for the insta.
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