How to take Great #Coffee Photos for Instagram

Snip20180305_7.pngPhoto: @tanitotoro via @peoplebrewcoffee

[Editor’s note: The NCA Next Generation Council is leading an NCA Instagram photo contest! Follow the National Coffee Association at @nationalcoffeeusa and tag us in your coffee photos with #NCAUSA for a chance to win agreat prize donated by Bunn. Deadline: March 15]

Instagram is a powerful platform for coffee businesses of sizes: the platform has a community of 800 million, with 500 users million using it every day (second only to Facebook, via Hootsuite). And with 80% of Instagrammers follow at least one business, it’s a great way to engage consumers.

There are a lot of great ways to use Instagram to showcase your brand, from promoting new products to sharing a glimpse into your company culture. And fortunately for our industry, coffee is particularly photogenic. But getting that perfect shot (espresso or otherwise) requires more effort behind the scenes than you think.

Over on the MistoBox blog, Melissa Hall reached out to some of the most talented coffee photographers for their top insta-tips on bringing out your coffee’s best side. (Be sure to check out their feeds for even more caffeinated inspiration – and follow the NCA at @nationalcoffeeusa.)

Snip20180305_4.pngPhoto: @nateerickson

“Depth of Field” – Nate Erickson (@nateerickson)

I love using depth of field in my coffee photos. I’ll focus on my favorite part and leave the rest slightly blurry. It lets me highlight the best part of the photo and brung the viewer’s attention straight there. But of course, it always helps to start with great coffee!


“Shoot the Steam” – Bryan Schiele (

“Looking to make your coffee photo stand out from the pack? Shoot 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 rhine 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 right, but with a but of patience and practice you’ll have a photo that’s as hot as the coffee you’re about to enjoy.”

Snip20180305_6.pngPhoto:  @abandoncoffee

“Embrace negative space” – Brian Beyke (@abandoncoffee)

“Don’t be afraid of negative space. Not everything has to seem artistic of special for that matter, but your 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.”

Snip20180305_1.pngPhoto: @cityonfilm

“Setting the Scene” – Will Fryar (@cityonfilm)

“When I am shooting something like coffee, I like to make sure the brand and packaging are best represented in the image. One of the aspects I focus most on 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 Fine an interesting floor that has a pattern that is consistent, [like] hard woord 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, aligning objects in a way that appeals to your eye. And remember – it’s coffee, so have fun!”


Read the full post at MistoBox’s The Fix

Share some of your favorite coffee Instagram accounts and photography tips in the comments below!


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