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The Thanksgiving holiday is one that fills us with the anticipation of spending time with family, friends, and enjoying a Thanksgiving feast. This holiday season, don’t limit yourself to posed photos around the dinner table. Instead, consider photographing the entire day as it unfolds.
Here are some of our favorite tips for making sure the photos you shoot capture the holiday in a warm and celebratory way.
Fifteen Minutes Matters
A day or two before family arrives, spend 15 minutes getting your gear in order. If you have images on your memory card, transfer them to your primary computer, verify they transferred without incident and reformat the card. Charge your camera’s battery and if you have an external flash, make sure it’s set up with new batteries and is in working order. Also, double-check that your lens cleaning cloth is in your bag. One rogue fingerprint can kill an entire series of shots.
Take Note of Transitions
Thanksgiving Day includes transitions from one moment to another and some of the best images are shot during this time. For example, the connected conversation between your parents after the dinner has ended but before the cleanup begins, or the grandchild helping a family member in the kitchen – these moments are often lost in the shuffle of activity but are quiet moments of beauty. Take the time to slow down and observe what unfolds around you in between the major events of the day and keep your camera – or camera phone – ready.
Keep Your Distance
Photographers understand that a key to catching those authentic moments is distancing yourself from the event. You don’t want to intrude on the moment or encourage subjects to notice your presence, so consider stepping back and zooming in when photographing a conversation or interaction, especially when it involves children. Nothing ruins a tender moment more than the close up of a camera lens. It’s also best to keep the flash off as well. Move towards stronger available light if possible but don’t announce your presence with a burst of artificial light.
Try Different Subjects
Don't feel like you have to focus on only getting large family photos in order to capture the essence of the holiday. Sometimes, focusing in on objects that symbolize the season will trigger just as much emotion. You can use these photos to scrapbook or make prints of to go along with your family photos to embody the full feeling of Thanksgiving.