Create a mood for the festive season with your own photography, just follow our handy tips for your food and environment pictures.
Festive rooms and exteriors
- Consider using the available light in your room (so no flash), fixing your camera to a tripod or still surface so not to get camera shake. By using the tripod it’s easier to compose your shot and the exposure can be controlled.
- Exposing for a more ‘warmer feel’ to your room which includes Christmas bulbs/ candles / decorations etc it maybe best shot in the evening / at dusk, so not getting too much bright daylight through the windows.
- Exposing for a more ‘cooler feel’ to your room, still including your Christmas decorations etc may mean shooting during the daylight hours with your main warm room lighting switched oﬀ (so all room only lit by daylight lighting only, except the decorations)
- Mix closeup detail shots with the overall room shot room. Find a nice cosy corner and just photograph a Christmas tree branch with decorations on close up for example or the Christmas menu (maybe with a fire lit in the backdrop).
- Trust your manual setting on the camera (Use a higher ISO setting on your camera ISO 800 for example, but not too high as the quality of the image will be reduced, f number can be low if a wide lens eg f5.6 and if on a tripod you can shoot below a 60th of a second shutter speed avoiding camera shake).
- Outside shots again maybe better in the evening / at dusk with all your interior lighting switched on across the building (lighting decorations placed in windows etc) Tripod again would help for longer exposures that will not have camera shake. Of course, if it snows take pictures – will look great next year if it’s too late to use this year!
Your Christmas menu
- When photographing your food and drink for the festive season we recommend using a tripod for composure assistance and exposure control.
- With food, find a window for your natural lighting (and use a large white card/sheet to bounce light back into the food (note – turn oﬀ any warm overhead room lighting as this will discolour the food).
- Your ‘on camera’ flash will not be good enough so just use the natural daylight. (unless you have an ‘oﬀ camera’ flash – if so, use it like a window on one side and bounce light back in with white material)
- If there is Christmas lighting in the room keep them switched on and experiment with diﬀerent exposures. Candles on the tables often works well or a fireplace lit behind.
- Drinks can be treated diﬀerently – festive cocktails etc, bar top shots with festive decorations/ lighting blurred behind creating that sparkle (to get a blurred backdrop use a longer lens, say 80mm and above, with a short focus/depth of field, eg f4 setting). This blur application works well for bottles of wine on a table in front of fire and again blurred backdrop of Christmas tree/ decorations.
Kindly contributed by: Hylton Photography, advertising and commercial photographer studio based in Yorkshire. Providing imagery for local, national and international clients. www.hyltonphotography.co.uk