Aside from thirst-baiting selfies and photos of cats, there’s surely nothing more popular on Instagram than food. Indeed, snapping photos at the table has become such an epidemic that some restaurants have even taken measures to ban cellphones.

We have mixed feelings about the impulse to document every dish set in front of us, but we’re not going to front like we don’t love some good food porn. Furthermore, Instagram allows us to keep tabs on where—and what—friends are eating in a way that’s a lot more engaging than 140-character Twitter reviews. The real problem, though, is that a huge amount of the food captured on Instagram looks horrible because people have no idea what they’re doing with their iPhones.

To help raise the bar, we called up our friend Jolie Ruben—photo editor at Spin, and a very talented food photographer—to share her tips on how to make grub looks delicious on Instagram. After a couple nights on the town experimenting, we were able to come up with some examples of what works, what doesn’t, and how you should think about Instagram etiquette in restaurants.



So before you snap that next double cheeseburger, imagine Ruben swooping into your view-finder and reminding you of these rules. Class is in session…