In recent times, people have started to aggressively take photos of their meals and post them on Instagram. I’m sure that your newsfeeds have been flooded with ridiculous photos of overstuffed bagels, decadent cupcakes, slutty brownies, pizza straight from Rome, pasta and more pasta, bacon cheeseburgers, sushi from every city and more — you get my point.

While some people really appreciate a solid foodstagram, there are some haters out there. Let me say to those: I’ve been photographing my food before Instagram even existed and I could not care less what you have to say. If you can’t appreciate an aesthetically pleasing picture of my brunch or taco Tuesday, then I just don’t need that negativity in my life.

So, how do you make your food look as good as mine you ask? Let me give you a few tips and you’ll be well on your way to Instagram glory after your next meal.

A photo posted by Sara Kotcher (@skotchontherox) on

Step 1: Eat/cook/order something that you love. People ask me all the time — do you eat everything you Instagram or do you order things at restaurants just so you can Instagram them? The answers to those questions are yes, I actually did eat that and no, what is the point of that? Why would I order something I didn’t want? That makes no sense to me. So if you want a genuinely good foodstagram, it has to be something you’re into it and vibing with.

A photo posted by Sara Kotcher (@skotchontherox) on

Step 2: Get the best lighting possible.

Any photographer will tell you, lighting is everything. This is when natural night is extremely important.

Natural light can make the highlights of your food stand out and the shadows exaggerate the already good-looking dish you chose. Find a good natural light and it will help you with many of the next steps mentioned.

A photo posted by Sara Kotcher (@skotchontherox) on

Flash photography is out of the question. In restaurants at night, the lighting can suck. Dim, corner tables can really ruin a good food pic. However, that’s where your trusty iPhone camera light can come in. It helps if you have a willing friend to give you a hand and light your food from above at a distance while you get the perfect angle. Which brings me to my next step…

A photo posted by Sara Kotcher (@skotchontherox) on

Step 3: Give me an angle or don’t take the photo at all.

Know your food! Try out some different ways to take the photograph that will make whatever you got look amazing. You wouldn’t post an ugly photo of yourself on Instagram, so why do that to your meal?

A close up horizontal angle for food can be the equivalent of the skinny arm. My go-to is a close up of any kind, more specifically getting as low and parallel to the plate as possible. A top down works every time, especially for a large table spread or feast such as Thanksgiving or a brunch with your friends.

Step 4: Editing. The key is not to over-edit your food. Clarifying features on apps usually make the food look less appetizing. Try to stick to higher brightness, sometimes more or less contrast, but not much and a tad of saturation to give the natural color back to your food that the photo might’ve faded. Sharpness is key. Every food needs a boost of sharpness to really deliver. I’m partial to Afterlight and VSCOcam for editing purposes, and then finishing touches using the Instagram editing tools.

A photo posted by Sara Kotcher (@skotchontherox) on

Step 5: Caption.

I don’t usually give much thought to the caption, but people tend to respond well to puns and emojis. Keeping it simple is key, and if the photo is bomb, the caption will never take the spotlight anyway.

Follow these simple rules and the likes will flood in. Ready, set, POST!