Christmas food photography will undoubtedly be one of the most popular themes across social media this holiday season.

To help you improve your images, Jessops has served up its best advice for capturing the spirit of the season in your Christmas food photography.

01 Shoot while it’s fresh

Take the pictures whilst the food is fresh to ensure the glossy tones and texture aren’t missed. This means speed is of the essence.

02 Pick the right surface

First, pick the surface you’re going to shoot on, or find somewhere to move your plate for a more beautiful shot. Some food photographers refer to this area as the “deck” – the space where you’re positioning your subject – and it’s important to make sure it’s the right sort of colour, styling and texture so as not to distract from the dish itself.

03 Plan for the light

With food photography, lighting is absolutely crucial. Too much and it’ll look fake – too little and you won’t be able to see the detail of your dish.

A festive breakfast might need soft, sideways, natural-looking light, while Christmas dinner might benefit from a few candles in the shot to add a festive glow.

Natural light’s hard to come by at this time of year: planning ahead to find a suitable window frame and deck will definitely help you.

04 Get the right props

A quick Google search for food photography inspiration will reveal that the very best shots don’t just have the dish in view.

Photographs are enhanced by the clever placement of other suitable accessories, such as napkins, tea towels, knives and forks – or even portions of ingredients, if you’re going for a more behind-the-scenes look.

Of course, they mustn’t detract from the food itself, so select them carefully!

05 Select your settings

Great food photography allows your eyes to feast on the scene – so when creating a stunning picture of a dish, a good place to start is thinking about how a diner would view your food.

If you’re shooting top-down in a lay flat scene, a shallow depth of field will work to get everything in focus, presuming that your food isn’t stacked tall – but if you’re shooting through a scene with depth, think about whether you want the whole scene in focus or just a detail such as a specific ingredient or decorative flourish.

06 Add context

You might have left the Christmas table and made it to the sofa to recover, but the photographic opportunities don’t end just because the meal has!

Try an environmental shot showing a steaming cup of hot chocolate on the coffee table in front of your tree, with the twinkling fairy lights blurred out in the background – or get up close with macro shots of the edible decorations on the tree itself.

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