Harrowing Halloween Photos


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.

Get share-worthy shots all summer long

Summer in South Dakota may not be the longest season of the year, but it’s long on fun, adventure and great photo opportunities. My boys love summer, so we try to be outdoors as much as possible. From a special day at the lake to the everyday smiles that happen at the pool and summer camp, opportunities to “shoot” the wildlife seem endless – and believe me, there are plenty of warm fuzzy moments to choose from.

Summer color and outdoor landscapes make a perfect backdrop to your pictures. Once you reacquaint yourself with the intricacies of using a natural light source, dealing with shadows and keeping the tribe contained, summer photography can be fun. And with so many activities, you’re sure to get share-worthy shots you’ll treasure for a lifetime.

We got the chance to experience the beautiful landscapes and lakes during our summer trip to northern Minnesota. The environment set the scene for an amazing and fun-filled family vacation and I took tons of photos. I have to admit, I did put my camera down every once in awhile so I wouldn’t miss out on the action. I encourage you to do the same or you could be so busy looking for the perfect picture that you miss the excitement happening in the perfect moment.

If you’re like me, half the fun of any vacation comes with looking at all your pictures, laughing about the silliness, retelling your favorite stories and finally making something really special with the best photos from the trip. I had a blast creating a metal print collage with images of my family taken from the lake in Minnesota. After looking through all the pictures, I was able to make a print that told the story of our entire trip using only four amazing images. Sometimes all it takes is one image to capture the essence of an entire trip. And since you’re doing the creating, you get to choose.

smart set

Can we talk candid? Smart Prints are just right for displaying those candid Instagram moments or photos straight from your phone. My photo collage is a perfect memento for me. But for sharing, I love Smart Prints. This very cool set of 24 4×4 prints are printed on recycled cardstock and come in a handy little box you can keep or give away. Drop one in an envelope and it makes a fun greeting. Word of caution: Always print extras for grandmas and aunties. My mom couldn’t believe I didn’t make her a set of her own. When I finally delivered the goods, she couldn’t wait to show everyone, even the delivery guy.

Want one more way to capture all the summer adventure? You can never lose with a personalized photo book. I like to mix up the images of my boys with funny things they said and even some of the things they pick up along the trail like bugs and rocks. Do one for each of your kids to keep your memories safe for years to come.


Summertime gives you as many photo opportunities as it does adventures. Take a
camera along and make pictures while you make memories.