Taking Great Halloween Pictures

Learn how to work with poor light conditions and snap great shots of scary pumpkins, horrible monsters, creepy costumes and other things that go bump in the night as you bring the chilling atmosphere of Halloween to life.

Learn how to work with poor light conditions and snap great shots

Outsmart the dark

Halloween is synonymous with dark light conditions. There are several ways of getting nice pics in such conditions. First of all, don’t wait until it gets too dark to take a few pictures of children in costume as they head out to trick or treat. You can use a flash provided you’re close enough to your subject and that it doesn’t include any reflective surfaces such as windows or mirrors that may create glare.

Outsmart the dark

Designate a portrait space for your party

Hang a black cloth in a room for portrait or full body shots of your guests as they arrive. This will allow you to use your flash and get a clear shot of their costume while retaining a level of gloominess befitting of All Hallow’s Eve. To make your guest portraits even more ghoulish, ask them to hold a flashlight below their face before snapping their picture (without a flash). Sure to get everyone’s spook on!

Designate a portrait space for your party

Before, during and after…

Thinking of face painting? Take photos throughout the process to document the hideous transformations as they take place. Take some full frame close ups of your models, focusing on their eyes.

Eerily lit pumpkins

Halloween just wouldn’t be Halloween without jack-o’-lanterns. As a rule, avoid full-on shots of the openings, mouth or eyes. Shoot from an angle. Turn off your flash, set up your tripod and increase your ISO sensitivity (just a bit) and aperture to capture the light emanating from the jack-o’-lantern. Or you can use a flash light (or other light source) to illuminate the pumpkins.

Eerily lit pumpkins

Playing with white balance

Play with your white balance to create Halloween-worthy atmospheres, e.g. you could try tungsten mode for an orange background.

Sinister silhouettes

Take advantage of the last rays of sun at dusk to take photographs of sinister silhouettes slinking along the pumpkin patch. Take backlit photos of subjects with solid backgrounds, turn off your flash and focus manually.

Trick or treat

For the best angle, be there when the door opens. Get to the door before the kids and capture that moment when the first crack of light from inside falls across their faces.

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Taking Great Halloween Pictures

Learn how to work with poor light conditions and snap great shots of scary pumpkins, horrible monsters, creepy costumes and other things that go bump in the night as you bring the chilling atmosphere of Halloween to life.
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