How to Take Thanksgiving Photos That Aren’t Lame

November 26, 2014 - photo frame

How to Take Thanksgiving Photos That Aren’t LameA real-life Thanksgiving Instagram from 2013. #vintage (Alyssa Bereznak/Yahoo Tech)

Hey, its a fourth week of November! That means youll shortly be eating image on image of tasty food amid your sweater-clad relatives. And I’ll gamble we my initial portion of crushed potatoes that you’ll take a print of that aforementioned feast and post it online.

Last Thanksgiving, Instagram saw a record-setting 10 million turkey day posts in a feed — about 200 photos a second. Unfortunately, a infancy of those photos were horrible, becloud snapshots that didnt do anybody’s beautifully basted bird justice. Thats since Im here with a accessible beam to photographing your feast this Thursday.

1. No flash.

Man holding peep photoNO. (Thinkstock)

I get that your Aunt Gertrudes residence competence have a same lighting as a interior of your cars glovebox, though that doesnt meant we need to take any print of your image with a detonate of splendid light. First of all, blinding your kin pre-feast is customarily a mood-killer in a good family moment. Second, a peep will not assistance when it comes to photographing food. The explanation is in Martha Stewarts colorless pudding (or whatever it is she posts on Twitter). Flash in a dim room tends to rinse out a tinge of your meal, erasing a pointed shadows that make it demeanour engaging and soaking out a tinge of a muck to resemble something that competence be reluctantly consumed usually in space.

Tweet from Martha StewartThis is what happens when we take a peep print of your image in a dim room. Thanks, Martha. (Via Twitter)

Which brings me to my second indicate …

2. Seek healthy light.

Light streaming by a windowYES. (Thinkstock)

Maybe your relative’s dining room is a windowless prison, though it could really good be that his kitchen or vital room has a few some-more windows to lighten adult your backdrop. If we contingency sketch your food, take a road to a room flush with healthy light. Not usually will a remoteness keep your Luddite kin from giving we a tough time for being on your phone, though we won’t be interrupting a toast before everybody digs in.

3. Consider a medium.
Before we take your photo, ask yourself, where will we post this? Each amicable network has a possess dimensional honeyed spot. If you’re Instagramming, make certain we switch your camera to a block support right off (or give yourself copiousness of dull space for cropping). Twitter does improved with short, wide-framed plane shots. Same with Facebook, solely that we can get divided with somewhat roomier print heights. 

If we wish to record a brief video shave with your phone, be certain to do it with the device hold horizontally. This will discharge a dreaded black vertical video bars that have turn so really reviled online. 

4. Filters don’t repair bad photos.
As someone who recently subjected her Instagram feed to a vicious eye of a Pulitzer-prize winning photojournalist, we can endorse that common photos can't be saved by adding an irritable filter. If a print is too dark, blurred, or only altogether messy, chances are that people won’t be any happier to perspective it if you’ve also slapped a Kelvin filter on it. Use these effects sparingly, or they’ll shortly turn a revelation pointer that we don’t know what you’re doing behind a camera.

4. Strive for improved theme matter.

Boy feeding dog underneath a cooking tableGood boy(s). (Thinkstock)

Unless we live in some arrange of bizarre swap star where your kin don’t disagree over immigration and happy matrimony any time we get together, you’ll know that family gatherings are never all smiles. A few toothy snapshots are nice, though try to locate some vehement shots as well: your uncle’s post-meal snooze in a dilemma of a vital room, your small hermit unctuous some peaked eggnog, your baby cousin terrorizing your cat. The possibilities to arrangement your family’s singular character, as I’m certain we know, are endless.

As for unfeeling objects, try to keep these sleepy subjects to a minimum: The turkey or a potion of booze are good, good things, though not quite stunning. Those photos run a risk of adding to a credentials sound of everybody else’s Thanksgiving paraphernalia. But if we are going to do it anyway …

5. Choose your angle carefully.
Not all food should be photographed equally. Some dishes, for instance, are organised interestingly adequate that they can withstand a sometimes-harsh aerial photograph. Other dishes, like a lasagna, have engaging tiers that are improved photographed from a reduce angle.

Layered dessertGood layers. (The Primlani Kitchen)

6. Composition and timing matter.
If you’re critical about holding good food photos, these are all things we can cruise before we indeed image your food. Avoid mashing it all together into one brownish-red lump. Give any a possess image and cruise how any hardness and tinge will element a other. It’s also critical that we dont leave it sitting around for too long. Herbs and garnishes mostly swab when total with a feverishness of a categorical dish. The best print youre going to get of something will be right when we place it on your plate. And, finally, greatfully refrain from eating a food pre-photograph. Unless we take a same off-hand princess angel bites that seem in food magazines. But we doubt we do.

(You competence consider this is overkill, though this is what separates a good from a great.)

7. Cropping sets a tone.

Brussels sprouts and cranberry dishGet me out of this Brussels thrive hell. (Instagram)

Last Thanksgiving, we corkscrew by Instagram and now felt hungry. Yes, we was looking during photos of food, though it was also since those photos were so firmly cropped around a limbs of turkeys and a lumps of macaroni that we felt impressed and enthralled in my friends’ meals. In other words, a approach a shot is framed can change a lot about a tension it conveys. If we wish to stress a brilliance of your meal, go forward and get genuine tighten and personal; uncover that turkey sweat. If you’re aiming for sophistication, give your shot room to breathe. Place it on an uncluttered aspect and give it copiousness of open space.

CheesecakeRustic! (

8. Focus, focus, focus.
If you’re gnawing photos with your smartphone, make certain you’re wielding it correctly. If we have unsure hands, gaunt onto a chair or list to stablize yourself. Most smartphone cameras work a same way, in that we contingency easily daub your shade to concentration in on an object. If you’re regulating iOS 8 on an iPhone or — shudder — iPad, we can adjust a bearing of a print as you’re focusing by initial drumming a shade to concentration and afterwards boring a object pitch subsequent to a box adult or down.


9. If all else fails, only Snapchat.
No one expects a Snapchat print to be good. Plus, we can make it disappear after a few seconds. That approach people will know you’re carrying a good Thanksgiving though won’t remember that we were not so good during documenting it. 

Follow Alyssa Bereznak on Twitter or email her.

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