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How to take Great Coffee Photos for Instagram

January 21, 2016 -

Instagram is no longer just a sea of selfies and kitten pics, but home of  truly gorgeous photos that are sharp, vibrant and look 100% pro.  When it comes to coffee images we are constantly amazed at what some of our MistoBox friends are able to bring to life through their photos.  So we asked them, what are some helpful pointers in taking great coffee photos?  Read on to get some ‘insta tips’ that we definitely recommend you try at home.  And be sure to check out their galleries for more caffeinated inspiration.  Cheers!

Nate Erickson – @nateerickson – “Depth of Field”

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

“I love using depth of field in my coffee photos. I’ll focus in on my favorite part and leave the rest slightly blurry. It lets me highlight the best part of the photo and bring the viewers attention straight there. But of course, it always helps to start with great coffee!”  Nate took the article header image you see above as well.  

Bryan Schiele – @letsbrew.coffee – “Shoot the Steam”

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 9.38.33 AM

“Looking to make your coffee photo stand out from the pack? Shoot it while it’s hot! Show off that steamy cup of coffee by using a little lighting trick that anyone can do. Grab a flashlight, the screen from a tablet or phone, or even position yourself strategically near a window in a café and let the light shine right through the steam coming out of your cup. This effect works best when you’re shooting against a darker background and when you position the light source just out of frame. It might take a few snaps to get it just right, but with a bit of patience and practice you’ll have a photo that’s as hot as the coffee you’re about to enjoy.”

Brian Beyke – @abandoncoffee – “Embrace Negative Space”

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 9.38.13 AM

“Don’t be afraid of negative space. Not everything has to seem artistic or special for that matter, but you should allow for content to be the focus, since that is generally the point: a focus. Let it pop by letting it stand out uncluttered or alone, then tell your audience why it matters.”

Will Fryar – @cityonfilm – “Setting the Scene”

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“When I am shooting something like coffee I like to make sure the brand and packaging are best represented in the image. On of the aspects of the image I focus on most is composition. I like to add elements to the photos that help tell the story of that particular coffee. I call it “setting the scene”. First find an interesting floor that has a pattern that is consistent ex: hardwood floors or patterned carpet. Then find a few coffee related objects like a hand grinder, coffee beans, Chemex, etc and build your composition from there. Remember to use symmetry in your composition, aligning objects in a way that appeals to you eye. And remember, It’s coffee so have fun!”

Savannah Kilpatrick – @bushelandpeck_ – “Utilize natural light (& free apps!)”

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“As earth dwellers, we all have access to natural sun light, so why not put it to good use!?  When capturing your best shot, natural light can be your best friend in so many ways. We suggest shooting your cup of Joe in the early morning, those early-hour rays shine ever so softly through the window, making your photos look effortless and bright. Make sure to position your “set” just outside of direct sunlight, so your photos won’t look too harsh and overexposed.

There are SO many free apps to use to make those small last-minute touchups so easy. We prefer to use “VSCO”. While the app and some of it’s filters are free, there are some filters and presets that you may want to consider purchasing for your own photo style. They offer so many options for filters that don’t make your photos grainy or washed out.  It’s pretty legit and we definitely give it two thumbs-up. “


Melissa Hall

Melissa Hall is equal parts hostess and culture queen. She knows how to throw a great party and is always up to date on her pop culture. Our resident coffee novice, she takes on the perspective of a coffee lover discovering new roasters and ways to brew. She loves sharing these discoveries, helping others become more coffee savvy (and caffeinated)!

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