Spooky Snaps: Getting Ghoulishly Great Photos

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Halloween kicks off the beginning of the holiday season with kids of all ages waiting to don their superhero costumes in search of free candy. However, sometimes the hustle of the day and juggling daily demands keeps us from capturing the evening’s events the way we had hoped. Don’t’ worry – we’re here to help! We’ve compiled some of our favorite tips to help you prepare to photograph the entire evening as all the fun unfolds.

Start Early: Don’t wait to start taking pictures until everyone is already dressed and ready to hit the sidewalks–-their excitement may make them less enthusiastic about posing for photos. Some of the best photos involve candid images featuring the kids’ excitement in getting ready for the evening. Painting their faces, putting on a tiara, tying on a cape – these moments are ideal in showcasing the anticipation of Halloween festivities.

Shooting the Scenery: It’s easy to forget to photograph our surroundings when there are so many great costumes on display. With that in mind, some of the decorations needn’t take second stage. For example, for jack-o-lantern shots, make sure to zoom in close and fill the frame. The lantern is likely lit so keep your flash off as it may overpower the image and create a ‘hot spot’ on its surface. Play with interesting angles, shooting low and upward to give the effect of impending doom and added spookiness.

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Gaze Through the Glass: If you have a glass pane on your front door, try having the kids look through while you shoot from the other side. Just remember to turn your flash off so light doesn’t bounce off the glass.

Make a Run for It: Consider taking a few pictures of your kids running down the sidewalk with their treat bags in tow. Make sure your ISO is at a higher setting to catch the movement and pick your perfect spot to shoot before you let them run free.

Nighttime Shots: The right flash distance can make all the difference when it comes to creating that perfect image. Most cameras have a flash that is effective somewhere between five and ten feet from the subject; just don’t stand too close or else you may find your picture looks too bright or overexposed.

Harrowing Halloween Photos

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Guys and ghouls and getting ready for the scary season, which means an opportunity to have some fun with spooky photos! There’s playfulness with Halloween that allows us to create whimsical fantasies in photography. Let your kids of all ages enjoy posing and getting in character for the camera. It’s the perfect time to have some fun creating ghastly good images.

Here are some of our favorite tricky tips:

Snap a Few Photos Early:  If you want to shoot indoors or want to experiment with such things as flash diffusion, it might bode well to take some practice shots the night before and note your settings or adjustments. While it’s always fun to experiment on the fly, you’ll have young kids all dressed up and anxious to hit the streets for free treats. By experimenting early, you’ll be ready to apply what you’ve learned on the big night.

Take Photos of the Transformation:  We often take photos once the kids (and kids at heart) are already in costume, but this year, begin taking photographs as they prepare to transform themselves from mild mannered school children to mighty ninjas. Photos of them having their faces painted and putting on their masks and capes are a wonderful way to showcase the anticipation of the evening. You can also photograph their costumes laid out in advance or close ups of a particular item such as a sword, headdress or shield.

Get into Character!:  Let your kids indulge their imaginations by getting into character. You can take a few standard posed photos in front of the house, but this is the perfect opportunity to let them feel free to pose and play. Have them leap through the air in superhero fashion or strike poses with siblings and friends. If you’ve got a pet pooch that’s attracted to all the action, let him join in the fun, too!

Spooky Night Loves Low Light:  Halloween images are ideal for darker backgrounds and low light conditions because they enhance the mood of the holiday. If you can get your young models to stay still, use your tripod, slow your shutter speed and tighten the frame to create haunting close-ups of their faces. Play with different angles – try shooting a bit lower to the ground and looking up at your goblins to create a more menacing effect.

Make More Lighting:  If you’re photographing jack-o-lanterns, you may want to add more than a single candle inside. These carved pumpkins can be tricky subjects, so boosting the light inside may yield more needed contrast. You can also try using a small flashlight angled inside or even outside and propped up to create drama.