ten Tips for Spectacular (and Spooky! ) Halloween Photography

ten Tips for Spectacular (and Odd! ) Halloween Photography

tips for spectacular halloween photography

Looking for Halloween photography tips and tricks? Want some fun Halloween photoshoot ideas to take your images to another level?

In this post, I’m going to share plenty of tips for beautiful Halloween pictures, including:

  • Illumination tips for spooky results
  • Compositional secrets to offer your images an edge
  • Easy ways to photograph your children and their adorable costumes
  • Fun Halloween photo ideas
  • Much more!

So if you’re ready to pick up that camera on the scariest day of the year…

…then let’s begin!

1 . Include spooky or atmospheric Halloween party props

Halloween party involves plenty of objects, from pumpkins and costumes to skeletons, bats, and ghosts.  

So  use  all of them. If you’re doing Halloween portrait photography, bring in a prop or two . Have the kids hold a ghost; have your spouse peek through a skeleton; possess your pet wear a pumpkin costume and photograph all of them up close.

Here’s a nice, prop-based image:

person carrying jack-o'-lantern as a prop

Sometimes, as with the image above, the particular props alone can make good photos. You can capture gorgeous shots of Halloween gravestones, houses decked out inside bats and ghosts, and much more.  

Do not just take snapshots, though. Be sure you pay careful attention to structure (see the tips below), lighting (also see below), and do what you can to tell an interesting story  with your camera.

2 . Highlight a relevant point of interest

If you’re after great Halloween pictures – spooky, pretty, or anything in between – you absolutely must  include a center point, some key “hero” element that the viewer immediately prioritizes.

For instance, if you’re photographing your child in their costume, make them the center of attention. Make sure you’re working with a clear background (with no distractions whatsoever! ) and an uncovered foreground. Adjust your digital camera settings to make your child’s face sharp and properly exposed.

Naturally , you can always include secondary topics or items in a picture. But they should  not  be the priority, and as soon as they begin to discompose from the main subject, then you definitely should toss them out there.  

Check out this example, where the woman is the subject, but the wine glass acts as a secondary issue:

spooky witch photoshoot idea

Do you see why the image functions? The background is relatively clean, there are no distractions, and the viewer’s eye travels straight to the particular woman’s face, to the glass, and back. The image is also wonderfully Halloween-esque; check out the dark background, orange colors, plus wonderfully spooky atmosphere!

Bottom line:

Before hitting the shutter, think about, “What is the focal point of the photo? ” And do every thing in your power to emphasize that .

3. Fill the particular frame with Halloween soul

Halloween is really a time of drama. And you can share this in your images simply by getting in nice and close – so that you  fill up the frame with your topics .

skeleton on Halloween

If you’re photographing your child in a costume, make sure there is no boring, empty edges around the frame. Instead, zoom lens on in (or get in close) so every small detail is captured from your camera.  

No need to go overboard, though. Don’t go in so far that your lens can’t focus, and do not get so close the fact that viewer doesn’t understand what the particular photo is about, either. Instead, identify your subject (tip 2! ), make them the center of attention, and zoom on in.

In case your main subject doesn’t appearance Halloween-esque enough, consider spicing them up with additional decorations, costumes, trinkets, and the like. More Halloween is usually better!

4. Give topics space to look into

Here’s a Halloween night portrait photography tip just for better compositions:

Note the direction of the subject’s face and eye. Then adjust your camera framing until the subject has substantial room in front of their own line of sight.  

It might seem strange, but it actually helps balance the composition, plus it’ll add a sense of dynamism; the viewer is forced to follow the subject’s gaze throughout the shot. (In fact, it even has a title: the principle of space . )

Here’s a nice example:

kids carving pumpkins

The two boys are looking downward, and the composition is perfect with plenty of room near the bottom of the frame (note how their eyes possess lots of space to look in to! ).

five. Find unconventional angles plus foregrounds to add spookiness

Halloween photography is often about improving the atmosphere (the spookier, the better, best? ). And a great way to generate that sense of vacation chill is via perspective .

You see, by getting down low – lower in the dirt, in fact! – you’ll make your issue loom large over the viewers. The effect is especially powerful when combined with a wide-angle zoom lens.  

You can create an ultra-scary chance, with a skeleton, bat, or ghost emerging from the scene.

Another fast tip:  

Try backing up to put a fascinating foreground element in front of your subject. Of course , you don’t want to add anything entertaining, as I discussed above. Yet a dark branch or two in front of the subject can do a lot to enhance the environment.

6. Photo the little details

It’s easy to get distracted by the flashy parts of Halloween – but it’s usually when you take a step back, browse around, and notice the smaller information that you’ll find the cash shots.  

Halloween is  filled  with interesting small moments worthy of capture. You can find:

  • Adornments
  • Pumpkin making fun
  • Actual carved pumpkins (see the end below! )
  • People getting dressed in outfits
  • Lots of candy at the end of the night
  • Sleeping kids at the end of events and/or trick-or-treating
  • Close-ups of food

So don’t let these subjects complete you by. Instead, keep an eye out – and when you see a memory worth recording, get it done. A few years from now, these types of intimate images will tell the real story of Halloween party, and you’ll be therefore glad you captured them.

Happy Halloween cookie

7. Don’t forget the group pictures!

Halloween is a time for fun gatherings and parties, which means that you’ll have plenty of opportunities for group photos .

So break out your own wider focal length lens, get everyone arranged in the group, and take some images. Consider finding an increased vantage point (if you’re indoors, try a stepping feces; if you’re outdoors, consider some steps or even a roof).

Of course , make sure everyone grabs a prop or two and puts on their costumes. And ask them all in making their scariest faces!

Halloween group photoshoot witches

6. Shoot low-light silhouettes to get a spooky effect

When you think of Halloween, the kind of images that come to mind are usually dark and spooky, such as candles in pumpkins, bats in the night, and unexplained cats walking about at night.  

Take a look at try to create a few odd images of your own, using a low-light silhouette technique? It’ll get you images like this:

silhouette of a cat

First, find a subject that makes a good figure (it should have clearly defined edges and should – ideally – be recognizable, like the cat in the photo above).  

Then wait around until the sun has gone down and you have an orange, crimson, or yellow sky. Place yourself between the subject and the sunset, then crouch low until the subject is presented against the beautiful background.

You’ll want to keep the flash deactivated, and I suggest underexposing the image for a more dark effect. Here are two ways that you can do it:

  • Increase your shutter speed , taking test shots as you go. You’ll possibly want to start around 1/100s or so, depending on the level of night, then increase to 1/250s, 1/500s, and beyond, based on the effect you achieve. (Remember: Review each image soon after hitting the shutter button! )
  • Narrow your aperture (again, take lots of test shots along the way). This will darken your photograph, but it will also increase the depth of industry , consequently sharpening the background, which can be a good thing or a poor thing, depending on your goals.  

Anyway, the ultimate goal is to get a relatively dark, moody image, so don’t worry about the shot looking as well underexposed. Simply aim for a bit of silhouette detail with a medium-bright background, and the results may turn out great.

9. Use flash gel for atmospheric Halloween pictures

Here’s a clever Halloween photography idea that past readers have suggested:  

Find some sort of colored cellophane (orange, yellowish, and red all function well), then place it more than your flash. When you take a shot, the cellophane will certainly act as a flash gel , changing the light color for a beautiful effect.  

(If you can’t find colored cellophane, just grab clear cellophane but draw onto it with an orange marker! )

You’ll wish to test this one ahead of time, because you need to carefully apply the ideal density of cellophane (one sheet versus two or three, etc . ). But when done correct, the effect is absolutely marvelous and makes for cool Halloween images.  

Incidentally, it doesn’t matter if you have a digital camera pop-up flash, a portable off-camera flash, or a total studio setup. You can use this particular tip no matter your products, and you’re bound to have gorgeous results.  

Make sense?

10. Photograph the jack-o’-lanterns, too!

Jack-o’-lanterns are Halloween classics, plus there’s nothing quite therefore satisfying as capturing an attractive shot of a glowing pumpkin. So make sure to spend some time with your camera pointed at a jack-o’-lantern or two!

Now, photographing jack-o’-lanterns can be tricky, because you have to capture both the pumpkin exterior and the interior glow, which is a bit of a tightrope walk between overexposure and underexposure. If you possibly could, take a few photos with varying shutter speeds. And consider bracketing your exposures and blending using high dynamic variety techniques inside post-processing.

This way, you can be sure to get the effect you’re after.

jack-o'-lanterns glowing at night

Halloween digital photography tips: final words

Well, there you have it:

Some Halloween photography tips, Halloween party photoshoot ideas, and just general advice to take your images to another level.

So this Halloween, make sure you keep in mind these tips. You’ll finish the night with some outstanding shots!

Now over to a person:

Do you have any Halloween photo tips of your own? Do you have any Halloween party picture ideas? What do you intend to photograph this Halloween night? Share your thoughts in the remarks below!

Halloween decorations

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