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How to photograph a dining table: top tips for Instagram-worthy snaps

Want to show off your dinner-party ready dining table on Instagram? Here's Your Home's deputy art editor Beth Charlton Lucas with her top photography and styling tips

Published: March 16, 2022 at 2:40 pm
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Organising a dinner party and rather proud of your stunning and stylish dining table? Want to show it off on social media? Your Home's deputy art editor Beth Charlton Lucas shares her secrets for how to take the perfect photograph so that everyone – not just your guests – can admire your handiwork.


How to photograph your decorated dining table

Natural light is your best friend

instagram photography tips

Turn the flash off and turn off any artificial lights and take advantage of the natural light instead. Let as much natural light in as possible so that the colour of your photographs is a as true to life as possible and not affected by artificial lighting. Try and shoot on a bright but overcast day, the clouds will help diffuse the light and will create a soft light with no harsh shadows. If you've got sheer curtains to hand, these also help diffuse the light!

Have fun experimenting

photographing your dining table from above

Create your own unique style by experimenting and posting pictures that are different from all the rest. Just like when shooting a portrait, varying your perspective while photographing your dining table will give you a great variety of photos. Shoot from the diner’s perspective, put your camera on the table, shoot across the table and even stand on a chair and shoot down onto the table. This way, you will capture a variety of photographs from angles you wouldn’t normally see or notice.

STYLE TIP Use objects at different height to decorate your table to add dimension to your shots!

Zoom out, zoom in


Pull back to capture the whole dining table, but also get up close to capture the small details. Adjust the settings on your phone so the up-close details are in focus and the background is out of focus - this will give your photographs a professional look. Also step back and take in the whole scene; the chairs, the dinnerware, and even the food once you've served it up. These photos will show how every piece complements the other and how they become part of a whole composition.

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TOP TIP Use a tripod to help steady the camera and to also make it easy for you compose the shot with both hands free!

Make it personal

Instead of a taking one beautiful shot of your dining table, why not try posting a series of photographs before, during and after your lunch or dinner party. This way, you can incorporate friends and family using and enjoying the space and presents a more candid style compared to a staged shot.

Instagram vs reality

To get those ‘Instagram worthy pictures’ you might have to do some clever cropping in post-production - a big white fridge on the edge of the shot is going to throw the composition off balance, however cute your children’s drawings are. Try shooting in different directions to find the best backdrop for your dining table shot with no distracting objects in the background.


Thanks to Dunelm for the products in the shoot

Shopping list - what we used

Plate set: Dunelm

wine glasses: Dunelm

Napkin Rings: Dunelm 

Napkins: Dunelm  

Placemats: Dunelm 

Runner: Dunelm 

 Cutlery: Dunelm 

 Pampas: Dunelm  

Candle stick holders: Primark

Table: Trentside Furniture 

Chairs: Discontinued but similar on Sklum 

Paint: Farrow and Ball  


Beth Charlton LucasDeputy Art Editor for Your Home magazine

Beth is Your Home Magazine’s deputy art editor and has a degree in photography. Having recently bought her first home, she’s regularly on the hunt for bargain buys and easy DIY projects. Her favourite design styles are Japandi, Minimalism and modern farmhouse. She has a keen interest in interiors and is completing a diploma in Interior Design to learn more about the world of interiors!


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