13 May 2016

That 1st cup of #coffee

The simple pleasures of coffee and a pastry in the morning. They fill our taste buds with joy, our minds with sugar-spiked clarity, and our Instagram feeds with a barrage of nearly identical latte art.

The trouble with this is not so much the abundance, but rather the often-lackluster execution. After all, the only thing worse than looking at several similar photos of morning coffees is looking at several bad photos in a row.

Love it or loathe it, this curated sharing of life’s lovely little moments is the new normal. As with any trend, the best way to avoid being the same is to simply go that extra mile and incorporate a dash of artistry.

Here are 10 simple styles for masterfully rendering a tiny café tableau and standing out from the overcaffeinated masses...

Geometry 101

From the stacked circles of a cup and its saucer to the crisp triangular folds of a napkin, the coffee table provides infinite opportunities to get inventive with shape. So get a geometric pattern going!
Crop It Like It’s Hot

We may never fully understand why the simple act of shearing the edges off of a plate or table makes such a difference in visual impact, but the results are undeniable. Zoom in, turn on, crop out. Less can be so much more.

Elements of Design

A lone latte close-up makes for a fairly yawn-inducing visual. However, playing up other elements invokes layer upon layer of visual intrigue.

The World Is a Stage

“Sneaking” a snap so as not to draw attention to yourself will not do the photo any favors. It’s actually better to simply own the absurdity of the moment and do some minimal prop styling to get your best shot.

Department of the Interior

Try taking several steps back and incorporating some interior details for an infinitely more dynamic vignette.

Curb Your Appetite

Capture confections when they are at their perfectly untainted best.

Shadow Play

Coffee shots are best matched with oversaturated daylight and apps such as Afterlight and VSCO. Even Instagram’s basic set of built-in editing tools can work wonders in making things appear a touch fresher and brighter.

Hit the Road

Disposable cups are somewhat unremarkable content for sharing via any platform. However, exceptions can and should be made for chic packaging in which the impeccable branding is the focal point of the ’gram. Bear in mind that background and perspective can breathe new life into this somewhat tired capture.

Word to the Wise

As with all Instagram copy, be brief and witty and to the point—and when at a loss for words, a creatively curated slew of emojis works best. For this scene, however, it’s wise to steer clear of any commentary that makes it come off as though you are an “influencer”.

That’s What Friends Are For

Bring along a friend or two. Then not only do you have a subject should you wish for one, but you also have a friendly buffer for your #shameless behavior. And furthermore, happiness of the espresso variety or otherwise is only real when shared, mais oui.



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