Take your holiday photo on Thanksgiving morning

by Deborah H Posted on November 24, 2009

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Thanksgiving morning is a great time to take your holiday card photo!

To Grandma’s house we go.

If you’re like me, Thanksgiving morning is about getting the family dressed and ready to go to Grandma’s house. This is when I love to take our holiday card shot—Thanksgiving day, right before we head out the door. Since there’s never a good time to get your kids dressed up and almost perfectly groomed, take advantage of this opportunity and take your holiday card photo when everyone is already spiffed up.


(Image by GloriaM9)

The night before Thanksgiving I do some test shots to see which background feels right. I’m looking for something that will tell some sort of story about our year. Maybe it’s in front of the new windows, the newly painted living room, the remodeled kitchen or the yard. If you have a favorite place, that’s fine. It’s fun for your card recipients to see how you and your family have changed no matter where you’re standing or sitting. Try shooting with your family in place, in their jammies or wherever, just to set your composition and have your trial run. Then set up the tripod, or at least take a mental note where the shoot should take place.


(Image by CoriT)

On Thanksgiving day, finish packing up the car, scoot your dressed-up and polished family to where you want them and take as many shots as you can. Check to see how the shots look and that you’re happy with the results. Then, go enjoy Thanksgiving, knowing that your holiday card photo is done.


(Image by KariD60)

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving, this tip probably won’t work because you’re most likely already too crazy-busy to think about shooting your holiday photo.

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  1. AnnAbbott Says:

    I always take our holiday kid photo the day after Thanksgiving. That is the day I start pulling out the Christmas decorations. I pick a “holiday” prop for them to hold or share and take close ups so the back ground doesn’t really matter if the tree isn’t up yet. This year I went to the dollar store and bought two elves hats and one new Santa hat. That is my picture for 2009!

  2. Joey Says:

    Great tips!! I did get some of my parents for their card after Thanksgiving dinner, and now I’m trying to do a card to their liking. They wanted a photo with all 4 grandkids – but since we were only with one over Thanksgiving, i just found a layout for 3 pictures. One of my parents, my nephew and the three that live in town. I finally got a photo of the 3 of them together after much bribing.
    As far as my photo, since my nephew isn’t in Fargo often during school year, I hopped at the chance when he was home in Oct. So all 4 kids and me, their aunt, lined up for the holiday card ’09!. Its always a chore, but i go with what i can get.

  3. lisajtullos Says:

    Great idea! i also know a family that sends “happy new year” cards instead of christmas cards and do a similar thing on christmas ever.

more about Deborah H

My degree in Physical Anthropology has taught me to look for the details that give meaning and context to peoples lives from the past, my degrees in art and design have helped me to take those same details and compose them for relevance today, and for the future. Everywhere I go, everyone I meet, everything I see is a creative opportunity for me. When I’m without my camera I feel like I’m missing valuable moments, and the artifacts in peoples lives that can add up to incredible compositions, and more importantly, amazing memories. I hope you find my posts helpful.

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