Three top tips for perfect festive photos by Jemma Watts

My work as a freelance photographer specialising in food, interiors and people photography has taken me all over the world and enabled me to work with some amazing people and companies.

A professional photographer for the last 15 years, I’m known for my relaxed and natural images (I use natural light whenever I can), but I was staggered when I read recently that 1.4 trillion photos are expected to be taken this year, with 90.9% of these taken on mobile phones.*

Whilst it’s never been easier to take a photo, sometimes less is more.  For me, it’s all about timing, and capturing the moment – a laugh, a family meal, a delicious plate of food.  Follow my three easy top tips below and see your festive snaps transformed.

Top Tip no. 1 – Turn the flash off!

The flash can ruin the warm light of the party, making everyone and everything look really unnatural. Obviously you still need some light so make sure the lights are on or you are near the candles.

Top Tip no. 2 – Make sure no one knows you have a camera in your hand!

The best way to photograph people is when they don’t know their photos is being taken. The key is to be discreet, so never ask them to look at the camera! Listen to the conversation, if someone is telling a joke wait until they are just about to tell the punchline, then get your phone ready to capture people laughing (or rolling their eyes!). Or watch the kids opening their presents and be ready for the camera when their eyes light up with joy. Funny shots might be catching Granddad snoring in the armchair!

Top Tip no.3 – Photograph food from above

Everyone likes to photograph their food! The lens on a mobile phone camera is very wide so quite often the best way to take a picture of your plate of food is from above. This also minimises having to worry about what is in the background of the photo.

Jemma runs photography workshops and a Facebook photography club full of more great tips on how to take stunning shots on your phone and with a camera.  Her next photography masterclass will be online in February. Full details will be on her website at and on Facebook,


Festive Photography top tips by Jemma Watts

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