After looking so forward to getting 2020 being behind us, somehow 2021 has flown by and now the holidays are almost upon us. Although it’s fun to share photos of our Thanksgiving table, getting a good photo with all the plates, glasses, food and decorations, can be daunting. Here are seven smartphone photography tips for stunning Thanksgiving table photos.
1. Time your shoot
When photographing your table, it’s best to choose a time of day when the table looks evenly lit. You don’t want to have harsh sunlight streaming through the window casting bright hot spots and dark shadows across your table and decor.
2. Vary your perspective
Getting the whole table in one photo can be busy and distracting. Instead, focus on one section of the table and vary your angle. Try shooting straight-on down the table but also try a three quarter view. Experiment too with shooting both from a low and high angle.
3. Use your grid
Your in-camera grid is a great aid for helping you keep those lines straight. When shooting straight down like in the photo above, the grid lines will help you know when your shot is straight.
To turn on the grid, go into Settings…Camera…Grid. Once the grid is turned on, line up one of the grid lines to something in your scene that you know is horizontal or vertical.
In the photo above the runner is something straight that could be used as a guide.
4. Shoot in Portrait mode
If you have a smartphone that is less than a couple years old then you most likely have portrait mode as an option. Shooting in portrait mode will blur the background and make the photo appear as if it was taken with a digital camera with a long lens.
5. Fill the Frame
Social media viewers LOVE clear and easily identified images. When you consider that most people are looking at your photos on their phone, a busy photo with a lot going on (like a Thanksgiving table) will be much more difficult to see then a few impactful close ups.
6. Set the focus manually
Locking in the focus, especially with a close up, allows you to show off the chosen subject and not some random item that the camera chose as the subject.
To set the focus manually, tap your finger on the camera screen on the spot that you want in focus. With an iPhone, a yellow box will appear. Android users will see a circle where they tapped. This indicates that the focus is now locked on that exact spot.
7. Highlight the Turkey
For a true Thanksgiving story, don’t forget the Turkey. After all, it takes so much work preparing it, why not celebrate it. Place some herbs, greens, veggies or fruits around the turkey platter and chanel your Martha Stewart styling skills.
Tip: A large turkey will look best photographed from the side rather than straight on.
Would you like more smartphone photography tips? Be sure to download my FREE guide “Five Smartphone photography tips for magazine worthy interior photos” HERE
Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Carla Aston says
These are great tips, Linda! I always forget about Portrait mode. I just want to say I loved your course! I took the whole thing and learned a lot to help me create even more imagery for Instagram and other social media and my blog. I especially enjoyed seeing you edit photos in the videos. Very helpful! Thanks!
Leslie Carothers says
Hi Linda ~ What great tips! I always forget to turn on my GRID lines, and I will try to remember to do that from now on.
Thanks for always giving out such great FREE info.. I can only imagine how much more I could learn if I were to sign up for your PAID class….and if I were an interior designer, I would do it in a heartbeat!
Fantastic advice, Linda, and gorgeous photos (of course!! I especially appreciate the reminder to pay attention to the timing – I am impatient and waiting for the right light is hard 🙂 – but so critical!
Samantha Regan says
Great tips! I could have used them last week lol when I was shooting my table. The above the table ones are always my favorite but always the hardest (for me anyway!)
Amy Wax says
Great tips, I always forget about portrait mode and go with using the camera as is. You have inspired me to try to new techniques thanks for the inspiration Linda!
Lisa A Peck says
Linda, your tips on photography are always so valuable. Taking your course has made me a better photographer and I now get Instagram worthy shots with my iPhone regularly.