Styling Food for Pinterest - Do's and Don'ts


Just because a picture is super successful on Instagram doesn't mean it will be engaging on Pinterest, and just because a picture is really pretty doesn't mean that it will be clicked on. When creating content for the web you always have to keep in mind a couple of things: 1) Where is this content going to live? 2) Will people click on the image? We ultimately want to capture viewers so that our voices can be heard above the noise, but too often I see people creating pretty things thinking that's enough to engage views. The reality is there's a lot of pretty out there to compete with, and not all of it gets the views it may deserve.

I think many people have the taste level and eye to style a pretty photo, but knowing what's pretty and what drives traffic are two different things. I see many photos on Pinterest that are drop dead gorgeous, but will I repin all of them? No. And will I click to view the photo on a blog? An even slimmer chance, unfortunately. So, what makes an image on Pinterest engaging and/or clickable? That's the big question! In order to answer this big question we need to break things down by subject. Let's start with food. (I'll tackle fashion next!)

Pinterest Food Styling Comparison
Pinterest Food Styling Comparison

I did a little experiment for you guys and styled the same latte recipe three different ways. I kept certain elements the same, however.

Controls: Latte recipe Light Location Pinned to the same board

Variables: Cups Placement Text placement Font Pin description

Can you guess which photo performed the best? The answer surprised me at first, but it makes sense as to why. Latte A received the least amount of traffic with only 39,000+ impressions and only 127 clicks. Latte B received 58,000+ impressions with 197 clicks, and lastly, Latte C (the winner) received 63,000+ impressions with 213 clicks.

Why is this the case? When styling food people want to be up close and personal with the subject. Being able to see the drink through the glass matters. Photo C also has the best view of the donut even though that is not the star of the show. The donut adds an additional enticing factor for sure, so think about what complementary foods or ingredients can be added to your shots. Also, the text on this pin is the most readable, and I have the color black to thank for that.

Are all of these photos pretty? Yes, you an even view more photos from this post here to see what I mean. Readable text and being SUPER close to the subject your shooting so you can almost taste the latte matters as much as good light and photography.

For more Pinterest advice, check out these posts:

Under the Radar Pinners

How to Use Group Boards Effectively

How to Brand Your Business on Pinterest