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How To Photograph Christmas Food

If you want to capture some stunning shots of food this Christmas, have a look at this.

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Christmas is a time for luxurious food galore, so why not capture some great foodie shots over the festive season? Here are our top festive food photography tips.


As always, preparing the shot is a vital part of photography and food photography is no different. Use a tripod wherever you can, it maybe a little cramped getting it around the extended table and chairs but in low, indoor light conditions it'll make all the difference. It also means your hands are free to move and adjust the food in your shot.

Be it the Christmas turkey, festive vegetables, or the Christmas pudding, you need to make sure your food looks its very best for it to make a good photo. You need to choose the very best of the bunch if you're shooting veg or a group of mince pies, and present it well.


Photo by ePHOTOzine member ninjaoncoffee

Light And White Balance

The best light for food photography is natural light, so if you have the opportunity, try to shoot in daylight conditions as near to a window as you can. It's best to have a play around with your white balance too so you can see what works for you. Take a few test images of the dressed table before the food arrives to make sure your set-up is OK.

Setting The Scene

When you start to set the scene, it's worth considering the background. You want to avoid similar shades to the food otherwise it will blend together. Use contrasting colours to really make the image 'pop'. Keep the scene clean and uncluttered. If you're unsure, you can always use a plain white background until you build your confidence, then start to experiment.

It's always good to remember that the smallest details can really count, so spend some time setting up. You can bring a new dimension to the image by using a fancy plate, elegant cutlery or pretty a tablecloth.

In addition to detailing, try adding a festive prop or two to give your shot a narrative. If you dress the plate with a sprig of holly, a dash of mistletoe or decorative baubles, it will really shout 'Christmas' and make all the difference to your shot. Be careful not to overdo it though, otherwise you will clutter the scene and take focus from the subject itself.

Finally, don't feel that you have to capture the whole Scene. By zooming in on someone cutting through the steaming roast potatoes, taking out a slice of Christmas cake or pouring cream over the crumbling Christmas pudding, you can add warmth and texture to the photo and bring some Christmas magic to the whole image.


Before you take the shot, spend a few minutes on composition. You want to fill the frame so get in close to your subject. Take photos from all angles and keep moving around to optimise the end result. You might even get something better than you anticipated. To start you off, think about the rule of thirds or triangles if it helps.

Even though you eat looking down at your plate this doesn't mean you have to take your photos from this angle. However, sometimes, if your food is on a particularly nice plate, or is set out in a pattern, it may be beneficial to shoot from high up.

And finally, to capture the best shot of the roast turkey, make sure you take it when it's fresh out of the oven and be as quick as possible. If you wait and take the pictures after a few minutes then the turkey has a tendency to get a waxy looking texture, so it's best to get in while it's still fresh and whole!

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