Thackeray started his political career as campaign incharge of Shiv Sena in the Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation elections where the party performed well. In 2003, he was appointed as working president of Shiv Sena. Uddhav took over as chief editor of party mouthpiece Saamana (a daily Marathi-language newspaper published by Shiv Sena) in 2006 and resigned in 2019 before becoming chief minister of Maharashtra.
Thackeray has taken a keen interest in photography and has exhibited his collection of aerial shots of various forts of Maharashtra at the Jehangir Art Gallery in 2004. He has also published photo-books Maharashtra Desh (2010) and Pahava Vitthal (2011), capturing various aspects of Maharashtra and the warkaris during Pandharpur Wari respectively in the two books.