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Instagram tips for the perfect festive photo

Up your Instagram game this Christmas with our top tips for taking the perfect festive pictures. From shots of everything from snowy trees to cosy coffees, we’ve got all you need to know to help you to nail excellent pictures over the holidays so you can watch the ‘likes’ fly in.

Fantastic Christmas dinner snaps

When it comes to shooting food, soft natural light is best. Sadly, that tends to be in short supply over Christmas dinner in the UK! Compensate by switching on overhead lighting whilst taking the photo. Avoid using a flash, as it can wash out the colours, and remember that candles look lovely on the table but they’ll cast too many shadows for you to successfully capture your dishes.

Overhead shots tend to make some of the most tempting arrangements, and the biggest tip is to avoid trying to make things look to perfect – food is at its best when it’s dripping and oozing and a little bit messy.

Taking great pictures of snow or wintry scenes

If you’re lucky enough to get some scenic snow over the holidays, you’ll want to whip out your smartphone and start snapping. Make the most of it by choosing the right time of day to shoot. If you try taking your pictures during the sunniest time of the day, the sun will hit the snow too harshly and you’ll lose definition in your picture. Take your smartphone out early in the day, or as afternoon falls to get the best light.

If the day is really cloudy and you’re not getting any nice looking contrast at all, switch your pictures to black and white. Play around with the contrast and adjust the brightness until you have a striking snowy scene!

Give your pictures a retro feel

Christmas is a time of year when nostalgia is rife and traditions are front and centre, so a retro feel works particularly well for festive scenes. The easiest way to do it is to download an app that boasts plenty of fun filters.

Add some seasonal flair in a matter of seconds by downloading VSCO on iOS and Android – the basic version of the app is free and it’s packed with superior filters to play around with, including the popular Aesthetic and Hype Beast series. Instagram has its own range of filters and effects as well, so you can enjoy playing around and layering those up.

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Choose inspiring subjects (and angles)

You won’t be short of fun subjects for your photos at this time of year – from pets in festive jumpers and yummy looking mugs of hot chocolate to beautiful baubles on the tree and bottles of fizz, your home will be full of cute things to snap. The thing is, you won’t be alone! Give your pictures an artistic edge by being inventive about the angles you shoot from.

Why not get down on the floor and take a picture of festive pets from their own height? When you shoot round things like baubles or wreaths, crop them into a square shot for a naturally pleasing aesthetic. Make your hot drinks look even more tempting by taking a diagonal snap, and if you’re sitting beside a window and you can see the steam rising, all the better!

Keep an eye on reflective surfaces

One last tip – when you’re shooting reflective surfaces like bottles of wine, gold baubles or shiny wrapping paper, be sure to have a good look at where you’ve positioned yourself. The last thing you want is an accidental appearance, with all of your frazzled festive glory reflected in the surface of your subject.

That said, if you’re selfie-ready and your Christmas game is strong, you might want to make use of reflective surfaces on purpose and capture a smile framed by quintessentially Christmas objects.

Give your Instagram feed a present this year, and use your smartphone to take some serious festive snaps.