November 22, 2011

How to Take Better Thanksgiving Pictures

Thanksgiving is a holiday for families to come together, celebrate company and eat tasty turkey.  Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to whip your camera out and capture those crazy family moments, including Dad burning the turkey, Grandma cleaning her dentures in apple cider, and baby Billy riding the family dog like a horse.

If only it were that easy.  Naturally people hate the camera.  This includes everybody attending your dinner party.  I can hear the complaining now, "I look ugly" or "I look fat."  If Aunt Sally has that mindset then she will look terrible.

The truth is, if you can get your family to be comfortable with the camera out, you can roll into Black Friday with a full belly and some great photos to share.

Below are 5 tips to taking better Thanksgiving pictures:

1.  Don't shoot just yet!  Chat people up with the camera in your hand before you start snapping.  With clients, we call this building rapport.  All you are doing is building a relationship with your subjects and allowing them time to get used to the presence of the camera.  Plus its nice to catch up with cousins you haven't seen in five years.

2.  Take the family portrait now!  That's right, take it, now!  People will trickle out over time, people will sweat if they are playing flag football in the front yard, and people will stuff their face and actually start to look fat.  Take the family portrait when the maximum number of attendees are present and look their best.  They'll appreciate it.

3.  Capture candid and posed portraits.  Walk around, interact, and ask people if there is anyone they want photos with.  You're bound to get several combinations.  As you do that, sit back, observe, and take candids of people socializing, playing games, and cooking.

4.  Shoot the food.  Food is a huge part of Thanksgiving.  Fun Fact: Thanksgiving originated to celebrate the abundance of crops, mainly corn, between the Native Americans and Pilgrims.  A lot of time and effort is spent preparing the meal.  Show this dedication and make it look delicious.

5.  Put the camera away when food is served.  Lets be honest, not even Angelina Jolie looks good when she's eating pumpkin pie.  Plus, by putting the camera away, you will have a chance to actually socialize with your family and that's what matters the most.

Keep these tips in mind as you enjoy the holiday.  Enjoy the company and cherish the memories that are made.  And please, do everyone a favor by posting the pictures on Facebook so those who didn't make it can see what they missed out.

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