The family is together, cousins, 2nd cousins, grand-kids and great grand-kids. The smell from the kitchen is pure nostalgia, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie. Football is on the TV and some of the kids are playing outside…so are some of the adults! Thanksgiving is next week and memories will be made, as they are every year.
But, it never fails when it comes to the holiday photos, most just don’t turn out how you want them! So, here are a few tips that might help. As always, practice!
First, as with all photos, pick your subject. If it’s grandma in the kitchen, focus on her. Don’t focus on what she is doing in the kitchen focus directly on her. Her actions will draw the viewer to everything about her as well as her actions.
Second, the spirit of Thanksgiving is family and everyone being together, even Uncle Rico and Aunt Gladys who don’t get along. For this day, at least they will. So, when everyone is gathered eating, snap photos of folks with the food. Consider making the food central and the people in the background out of focus. We will all know who they are, but if the subject is the food, it will make for a smarter shot. Also, don’t be sitting and taking photos. Try to stand whenever you are shooting.
Third, what is the lighting like? Remember that the window behind Dad or Grandpa with the light streaming in will cause problems. Move to another angle. Also, use your flash for some photos and take the same without. If you aren’t using a flash, consider using a fast ISO, 400 or 800.
Fourth, the dreaded family photo. Who goes in front, who wants to hide…all the kids together or with their respective family? When lining up your subjects, don’t line them up! Stagger them or use steps. Consider the stairs in the house with grandma and grandpa on the bottom and going up the steps from oldest to youngest siblings and families. Normally, we take the photos after dinner. If you are outside and the sun is going down, make sure there is enough lighting. We suggest taking the photo earlier in the afternoon if possible.
And, lastly…the afterthought and yet most important part of the family picture and many of the others you will take on Thanksgiving. Use a tripod! Strong and steady! And, what about you in the photo? With the tripod and a timer, you will get your shot set, time to run in and smile big!
Enjoy your Thanksgiving and your family and friends!