We have an obsession with food photography on Instagram. How many times have you liked an image of a beautiful plateful or a colorful drink? We eagerly await our food to arrive so we can document it with an aesthetically pleasing post. By the time we upload it with the perfect filter, our food is too cold to eat.
How much do we actually like food on Instagram?
The popular hashtags include #foodporn with over 134 million posts, #food with over 235 million posts, and #foodie with over 68 million posts. The popular Instagram account, @FoodInTheAir, is sitting at 384 thousand followers, with the most recent post of some bread basket gaining 5,689 likes. Food Network's account has almost five million followers with each post receiving thousands of likes. Buzzfeed's Tasty has 13.3 million followers and has gained worldwide attention not just on Instagram, but on Facebook as well. (Stats directly from Instagram at the time this post was written.)
These simple stats that anyone can find on Instagram show us that food photography is a very popular section of social media, especially on Instagram's platform, which was built for photo lovers.
Food is something we all know and love. It's a very common thing that people with different backgrounds can understand and appreciate. We really like food on our timelines and we love to share what we're eating so our friends can be jealous. When we visit new places, food is the most Instagram worthy thing we encounter. I remember in Japan, all of the themed cafes and sweet treats were what I was most attracted to.
Why are we so obsessed with food photography on Instagram?
I think the fact that we all have to eat is something that draws us to it. It's such a familiar part of life that can be given such distinct characteristics. When you make it look nice, it does more than serving its purpose to feed us; it entertains us. Eating is now an experience that must be exciting in order to attract us to a business.
Food photography is one of the biggest ways to draw customers. The experience of eating is normal, but when you enhance it with pretty food or unique food, it becomes something new. This is another reason why I think food photography is so popular.
@FoodInTheAir really highlights this by taking food from around the world and turning it into an experience. You're not just eating, you're eating in Italy, Greece, Japan, Paris, and more. It's the idea that you could share an experience with food that makes sharing it so appealing.
The best photos of food on Instagram are the ones that show people enjoying life somewhere in the world. We love food, but we really love when it's coupled with adventure and trying new things. It taps into our curious nature and makes us wish we were eating that cookie in Paris or trying pasta in Italy. It's no longer eating, it's experiencing.
We love the idea that memories can be made over food. When we ate that bagel in New York, it was over fond memories of chatting and laughter with our best friend. When we shared personal moments over a cup of coffee or warm tea, we created a lasting memory. Gathing over food has been a human tradition for as long as we can remember. Food creates experiences we like to hold onto.
We ultimately love food photography because it takes something boring and makes it unique. It turns an everyday activity into an extraordinary experience. We all crave adventure in our lives, and looking at food photography can dampen that drive for a short period of time. Eventually, we have to go out and eat those tasty treats ourselves to cure the cravings.