Do you find it difficult, sometimes, to see your Thanksgiving for the food that obscures the view? Norman Rockwell’s famous 1943 painting entitled Freedom from Want features a huge roasted turkey beautifully displayed on a platter in the center of the image. However, it’s not the turkey that makes this timeless image so captivating. It’s the faces of people engaging with one another that truly brings the story to life. Thanksgiving images should feature your family and friends sharing authentic interactions amidst the food, including Aunt Martha’s wonky imitation of a hip-hop dance move or boisterous Grandpa Louis tipping back one too many. The turkey merely plays a supporting role in your unique holiday drama. Find playful opportunities to photograph the children around the turkey with large hungry eyes peeking over the top. Use a tall step stool to capture a bird’s-eye view of the gathering. If your turkey dries out while you’re staging your Norman Rockwell portrait, use a pastry brush dipped in olive oil to moisten the skin. Plate the whole turkey on a platter with rosemary twigs, aromatic herbs or sliced citrus. Let your family and friends dress as they choose. We’re keeping it real here, remember? Thanksgiving is a coming together of so much more than the feast and the threads. Look for those authentic moments that tell the story of how we gather to share stories, wisdom, hope, joy, sadness, grace, comfort, love, humor and gratitude.
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