Thanksgiving Family Portraits

I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving. Mine was great, with food, family, and photography. After dinner everyone assembled on the staircase for a group photo that has become a family tradition. With everyone in a food coma, it’s not a good idea to make a shot like this complicated, so I simply put the camera on a tripod, set one Speedlite to bounce off the wall behind me, and another Speedlite on the landing to light the background. I assembled the family, set the self timer, ran into the photo, and we were done.

I didn’t expect all the photos that followed, but everyone began asking for individual and small group portraits. Now the challenge was the lighting. Everyone congregated in the foyer at the bottom of the stairs and decided that it had the best background for the photos. But with the living room behind me, there was no good wall to bounce the flash. Thinking creatively, I grabbed a white cushion off a nearby chair and handed it to one guest to hold as a reflector. I gave a Speedlite to another guest and directed her to point it at the cushion, and we had instant studio lighting!

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