Here are the pics I promised from the Thanksgiving eatfest on Saturday, "Turkey Day 2006". I used to be quite hesitant about photographing people, shy about taking their pictures. This year I decided to break through that hesitancy and to focus on what makes gatherings like this so great, the extended circle of my friends and their kids.
One of the joys of always having my camera with me is that every now and then the conditions are just beautiful for photography. Saturday was one of those times. Hot and overcast, casting a softer light on everyone and without stark shadows. The bushfires around Sydney had put lots of smoke into the air, which is a terrible, terrible thing, but perfect from the aspect of creating a soft golden sunset.
The dynamic of photographing friends is easier too I guess. I had my camera out all day, snapping away like a mad thing, which serves to desensitize people to the presence of the camera. Being able to display the photo on the camera and show people just how good they look (glory be for digital!) helps put people at ease a bit too.
Alcohol, food and a bunch of laughs also puts people at ease. There was lots of all three.
I've only posted my absolute favourites so far on Flickr. They might not even be the best pics I took artistically, but I love them for the moments and the personalities that they capture.
It's great to have records of these goods times. Already I look back on photos from events just 6 months ago and see the new children that have arrived, the rapid growth of others, the relationships that have come and gone, and the laughs and the good times shared.
The hosts of Turkey Day are heading back to the U.S. in January, so it's a bit bitter sweet to think that this may be the last Turkey Day. Certainly not the last party by any stretch of the imagination, but Turkey Day has a unique magic that will be hard to recapture.