How To Capture Your Tablescape On Social Media
If you participate in social media, you’ve probably come across a tablegram or two. In fact, L’entramise has recently begun weekly roundups of the best tablegrams in the game (the insta-game, that is). The term, coined to encompass the action of Instagramming a tablescape, has swiftly gained momentum in recent years. In fact (tbh) its rise to stardom even played its fair part in the inception of L’entramise. As the age we live in becomes more social driven, so too do our behaviors and influences as consumers. Ask yourself this. If you were having guests over for a dinner party, would you consider whether your table was photo-worthy? Would you, yourself, take a step back, snap a photo, and pat yourself on the back, all before guests arrived?
If your table is good, you can expect that your guests will want to document it as well. After all, who doesn’t love to throw the host/hostess props for arranging your get-together, setting a beautiful table, and dishing out food and libations? Whether on Instagram (photo or video), or Snapchat, you can expect friends and/or family to give you the recognition you deserve. Cause let’s face it – organizing anything more than a group seamless order, is considered work!
If you’re the host/hostess:
You’ve invited guests, planned the meal, stocked the bar, straightened up – and now you are ready to set the table. So what makes your table social media worthy? Luckily, there is really no one answer to that question. Tablegrams, come in all shapes and forms – and that’s the beauty of them! However, we of course have some suggestions to help you get there.
Use one of the season’s hottest colors. To our delight – this season has ushered in a try love and appreciation for a dusty pink and a pale minty green. Pair those trendy colors with a neutral like ivory or grey, and your golden. Oh yea – and they also go great with gold. If your guests are trend-driven themselves, they will totally get it, and not be able to resist posting the idillic table on their social feeds.
Mix and match. More often than not, if a good tablegram is not a serene/neutral palette, its a well thought out mix of colors and prints. Pairing a delicate China pattern with a stripe, using multiple floral elements together, or incorporating a variety of printed linens, can elevate your table instantly. Don’t be afraid to facilitate the good old trial and error approach, until it feels just right. Setting the table in such a way also guarantees that guests will take notice of your efforts and want to take a few snaps to remember the occasion.
Personalize. Spend a few minutes creating name cards. Really – a few minutes is all you need. When it comes to a low-key dinner, it doesn’t have to be a project. In fact, we tend to really like the hand-crafted, no-fuss approach. Keep some card stock paper and a fine point maker handy for moments like these. Simply cut or tear paper and hand-write your guests names. You can also use leaves, rocks, fruits/vegetables, disposable napkins – the list goes on. Guests will feel inspired to share their bespoke experience.
Flowers, whenever possible. Flowers or greenery are just a nice finishing touch. Especially if with simple white plates – flowers add an fresh and pretty element that make the table more photogenic. Candles can also do the trick, but they’re actually tricky to capture on film.
If you’re the guest:
When you are invited to a dinner party, you have a few thoughts. What should I wear, what food will be served, should I bring white wine or red. Its not until you get there that you’ll know any of that, or whether you’ve made the right decisions. But once at the party, hopefully you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the smells emanating from the kitchen, the ambiance, and the table setting. And once you’ve given yourself a few minutes to present your hostess gift and greet fellow party-goers, you might decide to take your phone out and document the events before the wine starts flowing.
The early bird gets the worm. Of course we’re not saying get to the party early or on time to get the best picture. But . . . we’re also not saying not to do that. The fact is, that the table will likely be at maximum eye-catching appeal before guests get their hands on it. While a seated, dinner-in-action shot, is a go-to option for social media sharing, getting a photo before guests are seated is more desirable for some. And if your one of those people – just don’t show up 20 minutes into dinner!
Go all the way up. In regards to the early bird special . . . if you’re gonna get the shot, you’ve gotta do it right. It usually depends on the table, the lighting, the colors, and backdrop – but if your most into the plate settings themselves, you’ll want to get a shot from overhead. So, you might have to be that person that slips their shoes off and jumps on a chair to make that happen. Its not for everybody – but at L’entramise, we are all about having no shame in your table game. So go – all the way up.
Watch the shadows. Unless you are in an uber sexy setting, shadows are a tablegram faux pas. If you can crop unnecessary arm and phone shadows out, no worries. But if not, you probably want to change your position, angle, and maybe even lighting to get the shot.
The deception of angles. Its not as easy as it looks to get the perfect shot. While your charger, plate, and bowl may be perfectly aligned in person, the camera will deceive you with some tricky angles. If the setting is perfect in person, it will be wrong in the shot. Adjust your tableware, until the pieces appear aligned in the shot. And, if that seems like a lot of work for a picture – you’re right, it really is! We see nothing wrong with a little charm of imperfection.
Be a tablegram expert at your next dinner party, gathering, or event. And be sure to use the hashtag #lesetthetable – so that we can follow along!