Will you take pictures this Thanksgiving?
The bigger question is...will you do anything with those pictures or will they land in a digital wasteland? I want to provide you with six Thanksgiving photography tips to help you document your holiday this year. My goal here at The Big Girl School is to get you to take great pictures...amazing insta-worthy pictures. But my MOST important goal is that you take pictures of the people you love. You print them, frame them, display them. I want you to make pictures you are proud of that people will enjoy for generations to come.
Since 2007, I have been making Shutterfly books each Thanksgiving. I'm so grateful that I did this. I've always been the scrapbooker, the historian, and the picture taker. Now I can look back and see our extended family grow, remember the funny things that happened that year, and see my growth as a photographer. Back then, I was only 3 years into the journey with my big girl camera. I have learned so much since then.
Check out the following photography tips to make sure you capture the important details of your Thanksgiving!
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Tip #1: For the love of all things holy...get in the picture!
Yes, I am talking to you! As a mom and a photographer, I am always the one taking the pictures. There is one year that I am not even in the book. I was alive, I was taking the pictures, I made the book...but I am not in it. Please don't let this happen to you. You are a key part of the story. Since then, I've been so much more cognizant of capturing everyone. Not just the cute kids and the decorations.
tip #2: capture the connections
This is one of my favorite things to go back and look at. There is quite a big difference between the oldest cousin (sophomore in college) and the youngest (second grade.) It's so much fun to see them interact. The youngest just hangs on the oldest's every word.
It's also really fun to see the connection between the grandparents. What a privilege that the grandchildren have their grandparents on my side of the family to spend time with. I want to capture as much of that as I can.
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Tip #3: Don't ignore the food!
Food is such an intrinsic part of Thanksgiving. It's important to document it. But food can be tricky! This photography tip involves finding good light! The key to food photography is to make the food look appetizing. It doesn't look appetizing when it is yellow under the indoor lighting. If possible, move it toward a window or door and turn off the lights using only the natural window light. You'll get a very natural looking shot that looks delicious.
tip #4: Notice the details
Zoom in close and show the little details that make Thanksgiving your Thanksgiving. Do you have special table decorations that you bring out once a year? Do you have cute salt and pepper shakers like the ones above? Make sure to get in close and capture those things that make you unique.
tip #5: family traditions
Our family loves to play games! That is probably our single biggest family tradition. We play Dominoes, Five Crowns, Phase 10...we play for hours! We've also run a Turkey Trot every year since 2007. My dad loves to take the boys (and me!) out to shoot clay pigeons. I usually shoot my camera but recently, I've been participating and now my goal is to beat my brothers.
Tip #6: Give your photos a sense of place
We may be unique in that we rotate whose house we go to each year. I've been the only one who's stayed put all these years. My brothers have both moved multiple times so each book that I make is in a different location. One of my brothers is in the Air Force so he's moved all over the country. This has been a lot of fun because we've visited different cities, run different races, and there is always a new house in the photos.
But even if you go back to your parent's each year, document the changes (or lack thereof!) If you are one to take a vacation rather than gather at a family home...even better. Show us where you are. As time goes by, it becomes harder and harder to remember where you were when. What better way to remember than flipping through a book. I assure you this is much easier than looking through 10 years worth of pictures on your phone!
Key shots this thanksgiving
Now that you have the shots, make an album!
Take advantage of all those 50% off Shutterfly coupons that you get in your email! I love to give my books as Christmas presents to my mom and sisters in law. Such a fun way to remember our time together and the kids love to flip through them. Now that one kid is in college and the other is just about to graduate high school, I treasure these memories even more.
What suggestions do you have? Do you have any cool family traditions? Put them in the comments below.
I'm a big believer in the printed photograph and making photography books. For ideas on making books once you get home from vacation, check out this post.
Andrea Ferenchik, Founder
Andrea started The Big Girl School because she loves sharing her passion of photography with other women. As a former trainer at Microsoft and current professional photographer, she has the unique ability to break down technical jargon of the camera into easy to understand language. She loves nothing more than to see her students grow and thrive in their photographic journey.
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