Have you ever looked at pictures of food on Instagram and wondered how it could look so good? Believe it or not, the Instagram users who post almost impossibly appetizing images of food probably aren’t eating all that much different than you are. The secret is in the photography techniques used, rather than in the food itself. Here are three tips that will help you take killer Instagram-worthy food photos.

Shoot From Directly Overhead and Make Sure Your Shot Is Level
When taking pictures of food, angles are everything. While you can get creative with different angles, the best perspective for photographing food is usually from directly overhead. This downward perspective will give viewers a direct look at your meal without a cluttered background to distract from what you’re eating. To further enhance your photos, turn on your phone’s grid to make sure your shot is centered and level. The more symmetrical the photograph is, the more appealing it will be to the viewer.

Take Advantage of Editing Apps
The best food photos on Instagram are rarely raw images taken straight from a phone’s camera. Top food photographers usually take advantage of mobile editing applications like Afterlight and Snapseed to improve their pictures before posting them. These apps let you adjust settings such as brightness and saturation without requiring the in-depth editing skill of more advanced software. These apps are why most Instagram food photos have deeper, more vibrant colors than you’d ever see on a plate in real life.

Get Your Lighting Right
Like angle, lighting is a critical element of a great photograph. To take the best possible picture of your food, try shooting in natural but indirect light. Artificial light will tend to add an unpleasant tint to your photos, while direct sunlight produces glare and can wash out your pictures. If you need a bit of extra light on your plate, try using a white napkin as a reflector. In some cases, you may need to move your plate around to find the best lighting for your picture.

If you follow these basic rules, you will quickly improve your Instagram food photography skills. Before you know it, you’ll be able to impress your friends and family with pictures of the meals you’re cooking and eating.