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Create a Thanksgiving Cook Book
with Photos


Thanksgiving is a time when families gather and give thanks for the people in our lives. Of course, it’s also about the food! Clearstory allows you to combine family and food in a one-of-a-kind cook book that you create with your photos and some of the following storytelling ideas. Through photographs, captions, and maybe even those prized family recipes, you can create a family heirloom that will also make a great holiday gift!

Thankful for Photos

The first step to creating your Thanksgiving photo cookbook is to go through your photograph collection—from the vintage Polaroid photos to the candid smart phone shots. Perhaps you’ll want to include a parent or sibling in the book design process. Tap into relatives to borrow photos to publish in your book. While simply browsing through the pictures might trigger some fun ideas, you might want to look for photos of previous holiday gatherings, family celebrations, and, naturally, the foods your family loves to prepare and eat.

It’s entirely up to you whether you create an elegantly formal family cookbook or a personable and fun cookbook. Include photos of family members eating and cooking food as well as pictures of your favorite dishes.

The Thanksgiving Cookbook Layout

There’s no right way to design your Thanksgiving cookbook—the design and layout is entirely up to you! Consider laying out your photos and recipes in menu form. You can start with appetizers and end with desserts. On the other hand, you might want your book to be all about the turkey—prepping it, sewing it, checking the oven, eating it, and falling into the food coma that happens on these special occasions! If organizing your photos seems daunting, you might simply place them chronologically with Thanksgivings of the past leading up to more recent holiday gatherings.


Consider the Captions

Captions will allow you to share some family memories in words and also include food ingredients and recipes for those special family recipes like Aunt Millie’s Surprise Dressing or Uncle Joe’s Fried Turkey. When writing your captions, the overall idea is to combine family and food. Sharing those treasured recipes in book form not only makes your book a great keepsake, it makes it a useful one too! If you’re stuck for caption ideas, you can include some famous quotes about Thanksgiving, family dinners, and food.

Cooking Together

You’ll find that action shots of people cooking together in the kitchen really convey a lot about the way your family interacts. Shots of Grandpa tying Grandma’s apron strings, Aunt Mar taste-testing the stuffing like she does every year, or maybe the kids enjoying a game of cards while the adults snap green beans and peel potatoes are all wonderful possibilities. Of course, try to include photos of smiling faces around the table enjoying the meal and enjoying each other too!

A Hundred Years of the Smith Family’s Recipes

Perhaps you’ll want to truly showcase your family as well as your ancestors and the wonderful foods that are a thread between then and now. Perhaps you still enjoy cultural dishes that traveled with your ancestors across the ocean. These old dishes can add a priceless element to your Thanksgiving cookbook. You can even juxtapose vintage photographs with contemporary ones for great effect.

A Harvest of Family Recipes

Your book can truly reflect a seasonal element with the images contained in the photographs. A window shot with autumn leaves is a great backdrop for your elegant table settings. Choose your family’s favorite fall foods to showcase in your book like pumpkin tarts, cranberry rolls, or mulled apple cider. Clearstory will allow you to choose colors that complement your photos and reflect the beauty of the fall season.

Creating an heirloom cook book is an inspired idea that will inspire the people you love—even for generations to come! Enjoy the creation process—it’s likely to be filled with many meaningful moments that you’ll truly be thankful for!