Capture Missing Family Photos at Thanksgiving for Your Family Cookbook

Back in July, I talked about creating a timeline for completing your family cookbook in time for Christmas giving. The suggestion for November included taking any missing photos at family gatherings to include in the family cookbook.

Now that Thanksgiving is just over the river and through the woods, so to speak, let’s review some useful tips for taking those missing family photos for your family cookbook:

Planning Your Shots
Think about who will be attending the Thanksgiving family gathering and what type of photo would be appropriate for their recipe or bio page (assuming you are using Matilda’s Fantastic Cookbook Software). Thanksgiving provides a wonderful opportunity to capture images of family members in various poses. Candid shots typically net priceless personality photos; posed group shots can be fun and illustrate the family cookbook with wit and humor.

Some Thanksgiving Group Photo Ideas:
– All the family cooks together with pots & pans, spoons and aprons.
– Youngest and oldest cooks grabbing for the turkey leg.
– All the men with recipes in the family cookbook together with beverages in hand.
– Small children gathered around the turkey (raw and roasted).
– Pumpkin pie eaters holding whipped-cream laden spoons.
– The classic “here’s the turkey” shot is always fun to have.

Simple Backgrounds
Make sure the background for your family cookbook photo is somewhat neutral (not boring, just without a lot of distraction). For example, the front porch steps would identify the location better than, say, the wood siding on the house. A casual group photo on a sofa would be more interesting than in the busy Thanksgiving kitchen with the refrigerator in the background.

Using Flash
Whether indoors or outdoors, whenever possible, use your flash option to take the missing photos for your family cookbook. Indoors, stand about 12 feet away and make sure there are no mirrors, glossy walls or windows behind your subjects (these will reflect and put a glare in the photo that even Photoshop masters dislike fixing). Outdoors, try to avoid direct sun (especially high noon), or poses under trees (the leaves will cause a mottled shade on everyone’s face). If the day is shady, it will be almost perfect lighting!

Herding the Groups
If your family is anything like mine, good group photos for your family cookbook will not just happen. You will have to herd family members together and bulldog them into posing according to your plan for your family cookbook. Once they are posed, take several photos of the group, including ones at different angles of the same pose (if room size allows). When you are ready to shoot, have a funny comment ready to get relaxed smiles from everyone.

Hope these ideas help you capture some great photos for your family cookbook!  Happy cookbooking to all.

Matilda

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