7 Tips for Capturing Authentic Turkey Day Photos
How to remember the Day
Thanksgiving is full of Turkeys, real ones and those that act like one. So, what do you need to know to make your Thanksgiving photos memorable?
What are your favorite memories of Thanksgiving? Often, the smaller details make up some of that list. Get a close-up of the steam coming off that turkey. Fill the frame with a pair of hands slicing that turkey. Zoom in on the centerpiece on the table. Have you ever taken a macro-shot? Now’s the time to try it out with the whipped topping on that pumpkin pie!!
Document the Making- behind the scenes
Your camera shouldn’t stay tucked in the camera bag until that dinner call. What happens pre-turkey often makes the best family memories. Record Mom making her infamous recipe handed down from her Mom, the mid-cooking jokes and laughter, and all the work that goes into that big meal. And after that turkey, don’t forget to waddle your way back into the kitchen and photograph the aftermath that is dishes skewed everywhere.
Find beautiful light- window light & outdoors
In Arizona you have the option for eating on the patio as there is no snow. It’s this time of year we can actually enjoy the outdoors. However, if you are snapping photos indoors you want to get near a window using that natural light. It’s also a great way to capture some portraits of family using natural window light.
Watch for distractions in your photo
The little details that make great photos — can also break them. Check the frame for anything distracting from the subject or point of focus. Adjust the table setting to get a shot that focuses on just one subject. Move the dirty dishes, sippy-cups, random toys, overall clutter out of the background. Work to make sure everything in the photo is supporting the main idea rather then taking away from it. You can do this by moving objects, adjusting the crop in camera, or (my preference) changing the angle.
Use different angles and focal lengths.
You feel that tryptophan pumping through your system, it’s hard to move around but avoid shooting every photo from the same height or chair. To create variety, shoot from different angles. Shoot that food photo from both that popular top-down spread and then using a side angle. Get a tall shot of everyone around the table, and an eye-level shot of family members together. Change focal lengths by zooming in and zooming out. Move around and have fun!
Capture the People!
Now would Thanksgiving be the same if you ate a big turkey dinner all by yourself? While i already said document the the meal prep and the cooking, now let’s grab family portraits. If you can, gather everyone outside before the meal, where you’ll have both more space for all those people and more flattering natural light. Pull a few family members aside to capture quick portraits of the people that make the holiday memorable, after all it’s more than just about good food.
Capture what you are thankful for!
Thanksgiving photos don’t necessarily have to be about that delicious turkey dinner, cooking, baking, and family gatherings. Try a different take on Thanksgiving photography and photograph what you are actually thankful for. Maybe that’s a person (or people). Maybe that’s an item that’s important to you. Or, maybe you’re thankful for something a little more abstract. Ideas that aren’t “things” per-say are hard, but with some creativity, you can capture that abstract “thing” you are thankful for. For example, photographing a pair of work boots or a tool belt could represent a job, while an image of a pair of tennis shoes with hand weights or an empty medicine cabinet could represent good health. Get creative and have fun with this.
Thanks for reading!
Hope you enjoyed the tips. Please share some of your great photos with me on Facebook or Instagram! Happy Turkey Day!