It’s Thanksgiving: Put the Camera Down (Sometimes)

by Wattyz :Roasted a turkey breast brushed with garlic mixed into butter and coated in herbs homemade mashed potatoes

Are you a photographer and a foodie? Do you want to take pictures this Thanksgiving?


You run the risk of ruining your family’s holiday by trying to get the perfect shot. PUT THE CAMERA DOWN. Use your camera only and for family pictures, that is it. Nothing else, show some restraint. I know it is difficult but Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends, not work. There is an alternative.

Thanksgiving part two.


Get a few of your photography friends together a week before or after Thanksgiving and have a food photography party. Set up lights, product shot tables and really get those perfect shots. With multiple photographers, you can pool your gear, really compose some Norman Rockwell style shots, and not annoy your family.


For a shoot like this, I would suggest a DSLR with a prime lens like a 50mm 1.8 or and 85mm 1.8., a flash, with a Gary Fong light sphere and reflectors to balance the light and if you want to go all out, Umbrella’s, soft boxes and strobes so you can really manipulate the light. Lots of cleaning cloths too, food is involved.

Plan the shoot


Know who is going to come. Be familiar with what gear they have. Everyone should know what type of shot’s they would like to get.  Therefore, no one is stepping on each other’s toes. Sketch out ideas ahead of time so they can be made into a shot list. This will help things move smoothly through the day and make sure everyone gets the desired images. If people want particular plates, they can bring them.

The Food

By Gservo: Corn Bread Muffins

If you are cooking, figure out the menu, you want for the shoot, so you can do as much prep as possible. You can make a shoot out of the whole day from cooking, plating, and eating. If you follow recipes meticulously, everything should come out just right. If you have a friend, that is a cook or a chef, use them to your advantage, and talk them into helping.

Have fun

This is for fun and enjoyment with your like-minded friends, a reward for not annoying your family. Be flexible and willing to experiment.  It is all about having an amusing time and relaxation in the end, something we can all be thankful for.

Gevon Servo

Gevon Servo aka @GServo is an eclectic, NJ/NY Photographer. He’s a Nikon shooter, by choice nevertheless, will always test any piece of photography equipment. He believes that like ‘Photography’, ‘Coffee’,’Beer’ and ‘Comics Books’ and other things ‘Geek’ “You must try everything once to discover what you want to try again.