Holidays serve as a wonderful reason for friends and family to come together and celebrate over food and festivities. When the whole family is gathered for a traditional Thanksgiving celebration, guests will be thankful you had your camera on hand to capture the special moments. With a few expert photography tips, you’ll be taking wonderful portraits of family, friends, and food.
Snapping Thanksgiving Holiday Decorations
Get into the spirit with photos of holiday decor. Still-life portraits of the harvest-themed decorations — pumpkins, wreaths of autumn leaves, rustic candles and seasonal floral arrangements — are helpful in choosing potential backgrounds for family portraits. Capture the little details, including centerpieces and handcrafted decorations, to show your host that you’re thankful for their hospitality.
Taking the Family Holiday Photo
It’s a rare occasion that brings large groups and extended family together in one place. When this happens, you can’t miss the opportunity to document it. For the best group portrait, round up the group before the festivities really
start and while the guests are still fresh.
For casual group portraits, you can skip the formal poses or arranging rows of people by height. Instead, choose a location with different levels of steps, chairs and railings so that guests can pose more naturally. Using a wide-angle lens, such as the EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM, allows you to fit a large group into the frame easily.
If you’re photographing with the on-camera flash enabled, go to the Shooting Menu and adjust your flash setting to activate Red Eye Reduction mode.
Always check your composition in the Live View screen to ensure that everyone is visible and encourage guests to squeeze in comfortably, when necessary. Set your Drive mode to Continuous Shooting to get multiple shots of a single group pose to better your chances of getting a photo without blinks, blurs and unflattering expressions.
Remember to get out in front of the camera to capture memories of yourself with family and friends. Take selfies using your smartphone as a remote shutter button. The free Canon Camera Connect app is compatible with many Canon cameras. The app also lets you compose and adjust settings on your camera via your smartphone with Remote Live View Shooting.
Capturing Candid Holiday Photos
With candid photography, you’ll capture real emotions as they happen. Once the gathering gets into full swing and people are involved in conversations and activities, take your camera and disappear into the background. This will allow
you to capture more genuine interactions, including spontaneous acts of affection or the occasional heated argument between siblings or couples. If the indoor surroundings are adequately lit, a fast, wide-aperture standard zoom lens
can be a great step up from a lightweight kit lens. The Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM makes it much easier to get great shots indoors —
Social gatherings with family and friends can be laid-back events, with occasional bursts of activity. Low-key activities such as cooking the meal, watching sports on TV or playing board games can quickly change direction, with a burnt dish setting off the smoke alarms, roaring cheers over an exciting touchdown or unexpected squeals after winning a round of Scrabble. Be ready for action with your camera set to Sports Mode or Shutter Priority (Tv) mode to boost your shutter speed and freeze these fast-paced moments. For constant autofocus, activate the AI Servo AF during candid shooting and you’ll reduce the risk of blurring a great shot.
While taking candid portraits, you can’t always control what’s going on behind your subjects. To blur your backgrounds, set your camera to Aperture Priority (Av) mode and use a low f-number in your aperture setting. This will keep the focus on your subject, while minimizing distracting details and activity over their shoulder.
Snapping the Thanksgiving Meal
Give the guests a break for a while and turn your camera to the best part of Thanksgiving, the feast! Head into the kitchen for behind-the-scenes photos of meal preparation with shots of the turkey browning in the oven, potatoes
being mashed and glasses being filled with sparkling apple cider. Before everyone sits down to eat, capture the festive food and décor on the dinner table in all its scrumptious glory.
Turn the Mode Dial to the Fork-and-Knife icon to select Food mode. Food mode, available on models such as the EOS Rebel T7, allows you to make yummy food look even more appetizing. In this creative mode, the flash is disabled, the shutter speed is increased, and the colors are adjusted to enhance the rich colors of food.
Share Thanksgiving Memories Instantly
No need to wait until everyone’s gone home to share the photos from the day. With built-in Wi-Fi®, NFC, and Bluetooth® capability, you can upload photos and videos directly from your camera to social networking sites using Canon Camera Connect app
and Canon iMage Gateway, the online photo storage site available exclusively for Canon users. Connect
wirelessly to the TV to share your camera gallery to relive the fantastic meal and review your hilarious candid portraits.
Gatherings with friends and family are occasions to be cherished. The pictures you take will preserve these precious moments and remind you and your loved ones to get together more often.