Thanksgiving Photo Tips: How to Take Your best Family & Group Photos This Holiday!

21 November 2012

Family & Group Photos for the Holidays

This Thanksgiving, while the turkey is in the oven and you enjoy spending time with your loved ones, be sure to take some great photographs to capture holiday moments! With entire families together in one place and everyone in good spirits, Thanksgiving is the perfect time to take a group photo. Here are some photography tips for you to take your best family and group shots this year!

Choosing a Time & Location

Pick the location of your photo shoot ahead of time. When choosing a location, it is important to consider the size of your group and if they will fit nicely in that location. Be sure to check if there is adequate lighting in your chosen space and use a flash if necessary. If using a flash, make sure your photo is not taken against a window—the light from the flash will reflect back into your picture. If possible, choose a location that has meaning and adds context to your picture. For a list of suggested Vivitar flashes, click here.

Try to time your photo shoot towards the start of the event – kids aren’t too tired and no one has left yet. On Thanksgiving, try to time the shoot right after dinner (or clean up). This way, everyone who has been cooking all day can join the picture without any distraction.  

Posing the Group

To improve your compositions for group photography, get everyone’s heads on different levels. This way, any pattern of heights does not distract the viewer or take focus away from the group. Another option would be to pose the family on a staircase so they are all sitting on different steps.  This will easily break up any patterns of head levels so the group looks like one and no pattern distracts the viewer.  

Make Sure Everyone is Visible!

Before snapping the picture, take a quick scan the entire group. Make sure that everyone can clearly see the camera.  

Take Multiple Shots!

Take multiple shots quickly to increase the odds of everyone looking at thecamera at the same time. The more shots you take, the better chance you have of taking amazing photography.

Mix up the frame

If you have a zoom lens, take shots that are at a wide focal length and some that are more tightly framed. Get in as close as you can – the closer you get to the group, the more detail that you will pick up (but be careful to not cut anyone out of the picture!)

For large groups…

If you are photographing a large group, find a way to elevate yourself. Take a shot looking down on the group. This way, you can fit many more people and you can still remain close to the group. This technique also adds interesting perspective to the photographs.  

Use a tripod!

A tripod gives the photographer freedom to be involved in the creation of the posing of the subjects. When you use a tripod, you can step into the group and rearrange everyone without having to readjust your camera’s settings or position.

A tripod also allows you to be in the picture if your camera has a timer! Tripods can be a great tool for group shots. For more information on Vivitar’s great tripod product offerings, click here.

The key element to any great Thanksgiving photo is capturing the spirit of the holiday – family, togetherness and giving thanks.  Share your Thanksgiving photos with us! Visit our Facebook account  to post your images on our Facebook wall! Happy Thanksgiving!


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