This Thanksgiving, be your family's historian and photograph all of the details of your Thanksgiving tradition. Put yourself in your shoes, and your kids' shoes, 20 years from now. What do you want remembered? Shoot it. In this season of being thankful, take the kinds of photographs your family will be grateful for, for many years to come.
Six Tips for Photographing Your Thanksgiving Tradition
1.) Turn off your flash and use natural light as much as possible. If it's evening and indoor lights are a necessity, turn your White Balance to Incandescent. This will get rid of that yellow cast you often see in your indoor shots that are taken at night. Don't worry, your phone even has this capability and it's super easy to adjust in the settings.
2.) Photograph the preparations. From the littlest to the oldest, make sure you take pictures of everyone cooking and setting the table.
3.) Tell the complete story by remembering to shoot the details. Snap a quick photo of your grandmother's stuffing recipe, or any other recipe you don't want to forget. Take pictures of the dishes, utensils, tablecloths, etc. your family uses from year to year. Make sure you take pull back shots of the kitchen, dining and living rooms, and the exterior of the house you're having dinner, even if it's your own home. What details do you want everyone to remember years from now? Record them.
4.) Take pictures of the people and the tableful of food when everyone first sits down. Capture the serving plates and bowls full of food and everyone talking while they load their plates. You want pictures while the food still looks pretty and before everyone starts eating. I try to get these photos out of the way before we say grace, and then I dig in with everyone else.
5.) Photograph the cleanup and after dinner fun. Every year at my grandparents', the aunts and uncles would rotate dishwashing duty from year to year. My grandparents didn't have a dishwasher and there were at least 30 plates, glasses, and pairs of silverware to wash along with pots and pans, but they made it fun. In my memories, my grandmother's kitchen was full of laughter.
6.) Hand over your camera at some point and make sure your kids and grandkids see that you were there too. We've started this tradition of having one of my parents take a family picture of us each year at Thanksgiving.