How to Shoot BOOtiful Halloween Photos

Halloween is almost here and one can feel the excitement in the air! Houses will soon be covered in spooky décor and children and adults alike anticipate a fun-filled night of trick or treating. This is a holiday that is so visually enticing and you can see photo opportunities everywhere you look. Whether you are taking pictures to capture your children’s nighttime jaunt or to cover a Halloween costume party or to get images for your stock photo portfolio, here are several tips to get those eerily fantastic photos:

Have people pose in character – wearing a Halloween costume is a great reason for people, adults and children alike, to act like the character they are portraying. Whether it is as a scary looking zombie or a dainty princess, playing the part is a major part of the fun. This is also a great opportunity to get fun playful poses in your shots. Children usually don’t need to be asked twice to strike a pose in their costumes. Adults might be more shy and hesitant but being in a costume can bring out their inner childlike excitement and will get in on the fun with just a little coaxing from you.

Choose your image orientation –the horizontal orientation or landscape format is most often used, probably because of the camera’s orientation when you hold it. Horizontal is used when your subject is on the wider side such as if you want to include a lot of people in the frame. Don’t forget that you can also shoot in vertical orientation or portrait format. This is great when the subject is on the taller side, such as when taking full body shots to show off a person’s costume in full.

Prepare for low-light conditions – most Halloween shots are taken in the evening and it is always good to be prepared to address this issue. You can take advantage of the ambient or available light in the scene, such as street lights or candle lights from jack o’lanterns, to provide illumination. You can also get more light by adjusting your camera settings. A slower shutter speed or a bigger aperture would let in more light. Another great tip would be to shoot during dusk when there is still a bit of light in the sky. This gives your scene more illumination without it being awash in bright daylight or underexposed in the night sky.

Capture special moments – during Halloween, people bond together to celebrate the occasion. Parents go trick or treating with their children and neighbors interact with other neighbors even if they don’t for the other days in the year. It is an evening of great excitement for everyone so keep your camera at the ready to catch special moments of interaction and connection between people.

Take pictures of the person behind the mask – when taking photos of your child or friend in a Halloween mask, also include shots of them not wearing it. Having their faces visible in some shots makes it easy to identify them in the costumes in later years.

Capture the mood – Halloween evokes mixed emotions in people, from excitement to fearfulness, and sometimes both at the same time.  This is one holiday when it is fun to be scared so try to reflect the mood in your images. Aside from your subject, use elements in the scene such as colors and shadows to help add to the ominous or spooky atmosphere.

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