Lifestyle

How to take better food photos with your phone

5 tips from food stylists and photographers

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Taking photos is more than just about getting likes on Instagram or filling up your feed with a certain aesthetic; it’s about telling a story in a visual way. It may be inanimate, but there are many ways you can capture and show happy memories from foodstagrams.

A slice of cake can transport you back in time when your friends surprised you on your 22nd birthday, the same way your family’s Chinese New Year spread can remind you of the time everyone gathered around during the festivities.

Here are five easy tips from professional food stylists and photographers Diona Lee and Sean Ashley on how you can take better food photos using an iPhone.

1. Create a narrative

Shot on an iPhone XS

Good photos are able communicate beyond what’s obvious and the same applies to food. A photo of char siew can be just that — a sumptuous plate of pork — but it can be so much more. If styled and captured with intent, it can convey a festive celebration, an emotional homecoming, or even a set of parents’ labor of love.

2. Add a human element

Shot on an iPhone XS

One way to help create a narrative is by adding a human element or two. A hand with chopsticks reaching out for a piece of roast duck can make a world of difference. Human elements add emotions and warmth to photos and make them feel more real.

3. Inject color

There’s a reason chefs garnish their food after plating. Dishes in a food spread sometimes tend to look alike, so adding props or even adding different colored food to the table can help break the monotony and bring your photo to life. Just make sure to not overdo props; styling is done best within the context of a narrative.

4. Angle your food

Here’s a quick one most of us don’t normally do: You can use napkins to prop up your food and add depth to your photo. This especially works for round items like fruits.

5. Find soft lighting

Shot on an iPhone XS with Portrait Mode

Food is always best captured with natural light, but if that’s not available, your next best option is to find soft lighting and take the photo away from harsh kitchen lights. Most people’s tendency is to put the food right under harsh light fixtures, but if you haven’t noticed by now, that actually adds unnecessary shadows to your photo and some areas may simply end up overexposed.

Need more inspiration? Watch our food photography tips made specifically for iPhones here.

WATCH: 5 iPhone Food Photography Tips

Accessories

PhoneSoap Go: A portable device that will sanitize your smartphone

It isn’t called PhoneSoap for nothing!

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That smartphone in your purse can do so much but it also has 18 times more bacteria than the average public toilet. Before we continue, let that sink in.

Before you drop that phone you’re probably reading this article on, know that there’s a way to clean your handset and it doesn’t involve soap and water. Introducing: PhoneSoap.

PhoneSoap Go is the brand’s latest release. It’s a tiny chest that will literally clean your smartphone. It uses UV-C light to kill bacteria on your device. All you do is put your smartphone inside, tap the lightning button, wait 10 minutes for one cleaning cycle, and your phone should be germ-free.

The inside compartment can house your phone, no matter what size. It’s pretty spacious so it can even fit small everyday stuff like keys or wallets. Despite all that space, the PhoneSoap Go is designed for portability. This is PhoneSoap’s smallest device — something you can bring along on trips to make sure your handset is sanitized anywhere you go.

On the back of the chest is a USB-A and a USB-C port. This is because the PhoneSoap Go has a 7000mAh battery built into it. That’s enough for 45 cleaning cycles, or four phone charging cycles.

Yes, I said phone charging cycles. That’s because you can actually use it as a power bank. There’s even a slot for your charging cable so you can charge as you sanitize your phone. That means even if the whole cleaning cycle is just 10 minutes, you can leave your phone plugged in longer. There’s even “acoustic outlets” at the bottom so you can hear phone notifications.

Of course, unless I have a petri dish and some phone swabs, I won’t be able to say definitively that this thing can clean 99.99 percent of bacteria on your phone, as the brand claims. But, I will say that if it does end up sanitizing your phone in any capacity, that’s already a good enough deal considering how dirty these things supposedly are, and how much we’re holding on to them on a daily basis.

But really, more than phone cleaning, what you get is peace of mind. Honestly, my own (many, rotating) devices have been chilling a lot in my PhoneSoap ever since I got it.

The PhoneSoap Go retails for US$ 79.95 and you can get it from their website.

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Cameras

Fujifilm Instax SQ20 hands-on: How good is it?

Trying out the new Motion Mode on doggies!

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Fujifilm’s sequel to their first ever digital/analog hybrid is here and it’s looking better than ever. The Instax SQ20 is one classy-looking instant camera but what can it do? With a set of built-in filters and new features like the Motion Mode, it looks like a promising device.

I finally try it out, with help from some doggies, on our hands-on video.

The SQ20 retails for US$ 199 in the US, PhP 12,999 in the Philippines, and SG$ 299 in Singapore.

In case you’re having trouble viewing, watch HERE.

READ ALSO: Fujifilm Instax SQ10 review

READ ALSO: Prynt Pocket unboxing and review: A printer that prints videos?

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Her GadgetMatch

WATCH: Frozen 2 released its first trailer and it’s awesome

But we also have so many questions!

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I just can’t let go!

Disney’s Frozen has just released a trailer for the upcoming Frozen 2 and it looks all sorts of awesome. Starting with an intense scene with Elsa trying to get through an ocean with her powers, to Anna grabbing Kristoff’s sword… it gets pretty intense!

The trailer also features Sven, their trusty reindeer and, of course, Olaf the snowman. Starring Idina Menzel as Elsa, Kirsten Bell as Anna, and Josh Gad as Olaf in the double Oscar-winning original and bringing back directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, the sequel is expected to be even bigger and more action-packed. Frozen 2 is set to come out in theaters on November 22.

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