Take spectacular holiday photos

Follow these tips to take flattering photos of loved ones and holiday decorations.

Set the scene

A classic shot--no Thanksgiving photos are complete without it--shows the dining-room table, complete with fancy place settings, the main course, and all the trimmings. The formal version of this shot omits people.

For the best effect, take this picture from above. That probably means standing on a chair to get past the tall glasses at the near end of the table and to include the entire spread. You'll need to take the shot right after the last of the food has been served, but before everyone sits down. Try to lock the focus on the near end of the table; the rest of the table will probably stay reasonably in focus as well. If you focus on the far end of the table, the fuzzy foreground is likely to dominate.

Alternatively (and this is my favorite approach), get in low and close, as the photographer did for this shot. Focus on just a few dishes to give the impression that the food goes on forever in front of and behind the scene.

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