Shooting Challenge: Your Family's Thanksgiving Recipe

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Every family has some dish that only they eat on Thanksgiving. Maybe it's from the old world. Maybe it's some amalgamation of mincemeat and lime flavored gelatin. For this week's Shooting Challenge, I want you to share it—and the recipe.


The Challenge

Take a photo of one traditional dish your family makes each Thanksgiving—the more personal the better. Then give us the recipe to duplicate it.

And yes, I ran this challenge back in 2011! I loved it. I'm repeating it because the whole idea gives me warm and salivary feelings.

The Technique

Technique-wise? Avoid flash. And photographing food is always best in natural light. Even tweaking white balances appropriately, I've found it's difficult to get food to look like food under the mixed artificial lighting of the average kitchen.

Thematically? Think less "food porn" and more "family friendly." Maybe you'll capture the dish itself. Maybe grandma will be holding it. Just don't aggrandize what's going on to make your family look like Martha Stewart's...unless your family really is Martha Stewart's.

Let the flaws show, the worn potholders, the messy counter. Who cares? Document your family history and share it with us. Give us a taste of Thanksgiving at your house.


The Example

These delicious looking apple raspberry pies are by flickr's caitlinator. It's a perfectly nice shot, but for the theme of our challenge, don't be afraid to aim for something more personal, with less candid angles and more objective documentation. Make sense?


The Rules

1. Submissions need to be your own.
2. Photos must be taken since this contest was announced (read more on that above).
3. Explain, briefly, the equipment, settings, technique and story behind shot.
4. Email submissions to, not me.
5. Include 970px wide image (200KB or less) AND a 2560x1600 sized in email. I know that your photo may not fall into those exact high rez dimensions, so whatever native resolution you're using is fine.
6. One submission per person.
7. Use the proper SUBJECT line in your email (more info on that below)
8. You agree to the Standard Contest Rules - though we DO accept non-US resident submissions.
9. If the image contains any material or elements that are not owned by you and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, and/or if any persons appear in the image, you are responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the photograph, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the exhibition and use of the image in the manner set forth in these rules without additional compensation. If any person appearing in any image is under the age of majority in their state/province/territory of residence the signature of a parent or legal guardian is required on each release.


Send your best photo by Monday, Dec 2nd at 9AM Eastern to with "Thanksgiving Dish" in the subject line. Save your files as JPGs, and use a FirstnameLastnameDish.jpg (970px wide) and FirstnameLastnameDishWallpaper.jpg (2560px wide) naming conventions. Include a recipe along with a story of your tradition in a few sentences.



I'll take a pic of my asparagus casserole. Make green bean casserole, but substitute asparagus, because nobody in my household likes green beans, but they all like asparagus!