How to take Thanksgiving Photos

Reprinted with permission from the New York Institute of Photography website at

One of the biggest family events every year in America is the annual Thanksgiving Day celebration. According to the New York Institute of Photography (NYI), America's oldest and largest photography school, Thanksgiving is a great time to photograph your family enjoying the holiday.

What is the best way to get great pictures of Thanksgiving? NYI recommends that you capture the essence of Thanksgiving on film by making it the subject of your photos. You can do this in several ways.

One type of photograph you can take is a picture of the feast and your family and friends enjoying it. Thanksgiving is, after all, a harvest celebration of sorts, and food plays an integral part in the holiday. So, one of the first pictures you should consider taking is of the table loaded with all the goodies that everyone is about to consume. In this case, you should make the turkey the subject of your image and make it large and important in your frame.

Another good type of Thanksgiving photograph to make is a formal group portrait of all the people you have invited to share the celebration with you. You might want to consider getting out the tripod and finding a vantage point high enough up so that you can capture all the family members as well as the table laden with food. Remember to check your viewfinder to make sure that there is nothing distracting and figure out a good way to make them laugh before you snap the shutter. Thanksgiving is also a good time to take candid photographs so don't put away your camera after the meal. This might be a great time to take pictures of the kids running around the living room or the family enjoying the post-dinner football game.

Finally, if you happen to live in a community that offers a good Thanksgiving Day parade, you might want to forgo the football game and take your camera out to see it. You'll have a good time and you might even burn off a few of those Turkey calories.

Reprinted with permission from the New York Institute of Photography website at