4 Expert Tips to Avoid Awkward Family Photos Thanksgiving Weekend

Just don't be weird.

— -- Thanksgiving is the perfect time to snap holiday photos. After all, the whole family's together, hopefully not arguing, and maybe, just maybe, everyone packed their matching Santa hats from childhood.

Wait. No. Don't. That's one of the tips from Serban Enache, CEO of Dreamstime.com, a leading stock photography company. Also? No props please.

4 Expert Tips to Avoid Awkward Family Photos This Weekend:

1. No Awkward Poses (or selfies)

If the pose is staged, then you can play a bit with the composition and the arrangement of people. You can put grandparents in front, sitting, and parents with their children behind. You can place them all at the same distance but then you might want to put the elders in the center, as they are the core of the family, and place the others around.

For family shots, the position of the subject (people) in frame gives the importance of the person, therefore the age decreases from center to borders, the center being the strong spot of the image.

2. No Awkward Touching (unless it is hand-holding)

Holding hands creates a bond between the people in psychological terms but also in photocomposition. The hands have to be visible, holding them too tight will make two people look like a single object in the frame while having some distance between the people (while holding hand) gives one the impression of a connection.

3. No Awkward Faces (everyone needs same expression)

If you like natural expressions and non-staged poses, then the key word for your photo should be expression-expressiveness. Of course, composition rules have be to known, lighting also, but without a genuine expression the image will be less powerful.

So make sure to get the best of your model's expressions, being, for instance, a warm look at their grandchildren, a smile or just relatives sharing a good laugh.

4. No Awkward Props (or matching outfits)

The whole atmosphere surrounding holidays is special, and can give you many photo opportunities. You will want to catch an icon, an image that tells a lot about this celebration mood everybody has: family sitting around the fireplace, playing cards, building a snowman.

Don't just notice a scene from the distance, but try to tell the viewer a story, take part in the action and stay close enough to your subject. The holidays are about interaction and love; don't be afraid to let us know that you love your models.