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Instagram & Co.: The Mobile Era of Food Photography
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Instagram & Co.: The Mobile Era of Food Photography

From food apps to new blogs and chefs' profiles, a look at the rise of mobile food photography ahead of FDL's new series on how to take better mobile food pics

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These days, the culture surrounding food is that we no longer simply eat out of necessity -- we eat to enjoy, to savor, to experience food as an art, and not only an obligation to our bodies. It has naturally followed that we want photographic evidence of the food we enjoy. Since we rarely leave home without our smart phones and tablets, mobile technology is the way we’re sharing.

The mobile platform, Instagram seems to be taking up an ever-increasing space in the dialogue of where people share. At over 80 million users, with an average of 4 billion photos uploaded per day, 575 likes per second and 81 comments per second – Instagram is undeniably the king of mobile photography content.

The simple hashtag, ‘food’ on Instagram has almost 11 million images. Other popular culinary hashtags include 'foodporn', 'yummy', 'yumgasm' and 'dessert'. In the top tags, according to Webstagram which ranks Instagram images by popularity, food scores multiple times with multiple tag variations. Instagram is so popular, that chefs are turning to it over other social networks to engage and connect with fans in the same way only Hollywood actors used to do. Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Jamie Oliver, Matthew Jennings, Marcus Samuelsson, April Bloomfield, Sarah Simmons, and Tom Colicchio all have accounts worth following.

Although not included in the 15 Best Instagram Accounts for Food-Lovers list, Penny De Los Santos could be considered one of the most notable food photographers using a mobile device. Her images document her career and life as a food photographer. Beautiful black and white images from behind-the-scenes of food shoots as well as colorful still life images of lone ingredients whet the appetite and evoke a hunger that goes beyond what can be sated merely by one’s next meal. She says of the art, “You have to be engaged and in love with your subject. If you aren't you won't do it justice. Any photography, food, portraiture, photojournalism is about exploring the subject. You have to have an insatiable curiosity.”

Well known chef at the top of World's 50 Best Restaurants list, René Redzepi -- has the Saturday Night Project, in which he tweets his team’s creations from the Noma kitchen via a mobile device over twitter.

UK-based photographer David Griffen owns the blog Food Photography (With A Mobile Phone), and says “…if you can get the right lighting conditions to shoot the food, the type of camera you use to shoot for a blog / twitter / social media sharing does not really matter.” He fills his blog with tips for photographers who enjoy or prefer shooting food with their mobile devices and his site is its own wealth of inspiration and advice.

Over the course of the next few months FDL will be bringing you some top tips on Mobile Food Photography from the online blogger and photographer Kirsten Alana.  She'll be passing on her own career tips, photographers worth noting, app magic and lighting advice over the course of three posts on Fine Dining Lovers. Hopefully, we can help inspire you to the joy of eating through the sharing of delectable food photography. From angles, apps, add-ons and filters - FDL, along with Kirsten's help, will cover everything needed for you to become a great mobile food photographer!

To get started here's a gallery of Kirsten's top 10 favorite food photos from Instagram - a little something to inspire your imagination and appetite…

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