Thanksgiving is here, about to shower us with feelings of coziness, gratitude, and warmth. This time of year is ideal for photographers who enjoy documenting moments of all kinds with their loved ones. Whether you’re a fan of scrumptious food photography, sweet portraits of children, or gorgeous photos in general, Thanksgiving will provide you with hundreds of picture-worthy moments.
Thanksgiving isn’t just a time of relaxation, however. Visitors, daunting new recipes, and an overflowing schedule all threaten to make this time of year an overwhelming one. It can be easy to abandon your camera and focus solely on family matters. To avoid this, it’s important to be prepared. There are ways you can embrace the busyness of this holiday without losing your creativity. There are ways you can be present with your family without forgetting to photograph the little moments in-between.
These Thanksgiving photography tips will not only provide you with creative ideas, but help you remain as peaceful as this holiday wants you to be.
Prepare Your Camera Settings in Advance
If you’re creatively prepared, you won’t feel insecure as a photographer. Instead of panicking about your next shot, you’ll know exactly what to do. Here are a few things you should ask yourself before you change your camera settings:
- Will your family remain indoors, outdoors, or both?
- What kind of lighting will you be dealing with indoors? If it’s too yellow, make sure you adjust your camera’s temperature accordingly. If the lights aren’t too bright, make sure to increase the ISO number. If the light is unflattering for portraits, take photos of the food instead, and encourage your family to go out afterwards.
- Are there any special outdoor locations you could use as backgrounds? Familiarizing yourself with your surroundings (especially if you’re celebrating in another home) will help you give your subjects understandable instructions.
- What will the weather be like on Thanksgiving? If it’s going to be an overcast day, bring a reflector or a flash to enhance your subject’s features. Don’t forget to increase your ISO, too! On sunnier days, find a shaded area where you can take well-lit portraits.
You don’t have to take photographs all the time. Respect your schedule and be open to pure moments of relaxation. Try to take photos before your food is ready or once everyone has eaten. This will give you plenty of time to enjoy your meal, have great conversations, and relax. Once you’ve had a chance to spend quality time with your family, the photo-taking sessions can begin!
Use a Zoom Lens to Capture Details
If you’d like to take delicious-looking photos of your Thanksgiving feast, use a zoom lens. This particular lens will help you remain anonymous as a photographer. Instead to taking over someone’s space to photograph that mouth-watering turkey, you’ll be able to capture it from a respectful distance. This can also come in handy for portraits – it’s easier to document spontaneous moments when your subjects aren’t too close.
Know What to Photograph
You may be more interested in photographing family interactions than capturing tablescapes, or vice versa. Regardless of your preferences, it’s important to have a list of situations you’d like to document. With this list, you’ll know what to look out for and when to relax. Here are a few moments worth keeping in mind:
- Preparation, be it related to food, decorations, or location
- The first family gathering, filled with photo-worthy greetings and moments of joy
- Conversations before the meal is ready
- Post-feast relaxation
- Outdoor events (celebrations, a simple walk, or games)
Let Someone Else Take the Photos
When you’re not taking photos, let another family member take over your camera. In today’s world of endless art, everyone is familiar with the beauty of photography, so it’s very likely that one of your loved ones is a budding photographer themselves. Give them a chance to document the event through your camera. You’ll get interesting results, including photos of yourself surrounded by family members. In addition to that, you might inspire your cousin/sibling/grandparent to sharpen their photography skills! : )
Thanksgiving, like any other holiday, doesn’t have to be an extremely busy time filled with dread and white noise. You don’t have to associate it with a lack of creativity. With the right tips in mind, you’ll be prepared for any celebration. From now on, you’ll no longer have to worry about feeling overwhelmed. From now on, you’ll be able to balance life and photography in the best, most grateful way possible.