How to Document Your Thanksgiving in Photographs

November 17, 2022

Using your camera to remember family and friends

Photo by Jessica Rockowitz on Unsplash

With Thanksgiving just around the corner next week, one thing that I would suggest is to pack your camera for your trip to see family and friends.

The camera is a utensil to remember, to document, and to freeze a moment in time.

And it can also be a great way to share these experiences with family and friends that you share your time with.

How to document Thanksgiving in photographs

Photo by Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash

Most of my students always ask the question how to document a specific day or experience.

Here is my quick cheat sheet of suggestions for you to document this week for Thanksgiving:

Shot suggestions:

  1. A Family portrait of everyone

With this style of shot, my family always enjoys celebrating all holidays by making a photograph together.

I remember when my nieces were first old enough to understand what it meant to create the family photograph.

I got them to smile and interact with the camera by telling them that every time they said the words “hot sauce” (the name of the camera I was shooting with), that if the camera liked them, it would take their photograph.

They started to shout “HOT SAUCE, HOT SAUCE, HOT SAUCE” repeatedly. And what they did not know is that I had a wireless camera trigger in my pocket that I was able to trip the camera with.

Every time that they said “hot sauce,” I pushed the button and they laughed and smiled which made everyone in the family laugh and smile.

Have some fun with your family portraits. They don’t all have to be serious.

2. Document the meal

What are you going to eat for Thanksgiving?

Make sure to document the meal to share in photographs with your family and friends.

This could be starting with buying the ingredients with your family in a store, to preparing the food in the kitchen, to sitting down at the dinner table together and photographing the spread.

Document it ALL.

One tip for documenting the meal is to play with angles. 45 and 90 degree angles are your best friend for food photography. Don’t be afraid to take several photographs of each thing, and then look at them later also.

3. Make photographs of adventures

Maybe you are traveling a great distance to be with family or friends? If so, take your camera and document the trip from the car ride to the airport, to the airport experience, to arriving at your destination.

Remember that the adventure is part of the story, and it is your experience and way of remembering also.

Also, if your family or friends shares an adventure with you to a cider mill, or some form of outting, take the camera and document the fun moments and adventure also.

My family traveled to Florida in my early years of photography to spend time at a time share for example.

The country club where my parents booked a week at always had lots of decorations, and tables of food as far as the eye could see in the clubhouse where we ate.

I remember the smell of the pie, the turkey, and how everyone from around the world that traveled to this place at once shared in the experience.

I took snapshots of anything and everything that caught my eye, and these are some of my most favorite photographs in time that I spent with my family because I documented what I was happy about.

Document ALL of the adventures no matter how small or large. You will thank yourself in many years to come.

What to do with all of the photographs

Photo by Mylene Tremoyet on Unsplash

After you get done shooting all of the holiday events, take a day or two to reflect.

Do some free writing about what the holiday means to you as you start to cull your images onto your computer.

Go through all of your images with care as you are on the way back to where you live, and pick the best ones to share with friends and family.

You can share via email, blog, your website, text, air drop, or whatever works best.

Simply share, and enjoy the gift of photography together.

Bonus: If you want to post your favorite holiday photos elsewhere and you are registered here on Medium, you can pop over to and become a contributor to add your photography and writing. We would love to have you join us!

And if you have any questions about how to achieve a certain style of image or how to improve your holiday images, book a quick free 30-minute Zoom call with me at

I am happy to go through your images with you and share helpful tips. I hope that we can work together in a photo coaching plan also so that I can help further inspire you in your photography.

Happy shooting!

P.S. A bonus for you on your travels on the 23rd. You can listen to my podcast tips of how to photograph Thanksgiving at (also on Spotify, Apple, Amazon, and where podcasts live).

Be sure to go follow What Would Charlie Shoot on your platform of choice for more photography inspiration.

Hi, I am Charlie Naebeck

I am a husband, photographer, teacher, writer, entrepreneur, and adventurer.

Book a free 30 minute Zoom consultation to chat how I can help you with your photography and creative projects, or try one of my classes on Udemy.

Listen to my podcast, “What Would Charlie Shoot? with photography stories, interviews, tips, and tricks.”

If you like what you read, please consider giving me a follow on Medium.

Thank you!

How to Document Your Thanksgiving in Photographs was originally published in Share a Picture on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.