New photo series shows what Christmas dinner looks like for the homeless

While many of us are currently obsessing about planning an epic Christmas meal, this unusual photo campaign for charity Soup Kitchen reminds us of how difficult the season can be for the homeless

Created by Wonderhood Studios and featuring imagery by food photographer Lizzie Mayson, the campaign starkly demonstrates how the sumptuous meals advertised to us at Christmas are not a reality for hundreds of thousands of homeless people in the UK.

Mayson’s elegantly shot images depict real-life Christmas meals experienced by the homeless, garnered from conversations with regulars at Soup Kitchen London. Meals that have been photographed include that of Kamag, 42, who had a Christmas dinner consisting of ketchup pasta that was cooked in a hostel; Paul, 56, who spent Christmas Day lying in hospital with a punctured lung, due to street violence, and could only eat ice cream; and Wassa, 56, who had a tin of baked beans that he ate cold with a supermarket wooden fork.

The campaign launches in the run-up to the Soup Kitchen’s annual Christmas meal event, which takes place on December 16. At the event, meals are provided for over 300 vulnerable people in London, along with presents and entertainment.

The photo series is hosted online at, where visitors can donate a proper meal this Christmas for £5. Three hero shots are launching as press ads this week, featuring in the Guardian food supplement Feast, You magazine, and the Telegraph.

“We wanted to create emotive images that contrast with the extravagant food imagery usually associated with Christmas,” say Tad Buxton and India Penny, creatives at Wonderhood Studios. “At a time when ads and the media are showing idealised tables of food, with imagery of families sitting around to eat, it felt right to remind people that this isn’t the reality for the 271,000 people experiencing homelessness.”

Creative Agency: Wonderhood Studios
Creatives: Tad Buxton, India Penny
Creative Directors: Jack Croft, Stacey Bird
Head of Art & Design: Simon Elvins
Photographer: Lizzie Mayson