Taking Great Halloween Photos


Boo!  It's Halloween already!  

Photographing your spooks and ghouls and ghosties can be a challenge.   Shooting in the dark will usually require a flash and direct flash is the greatest mood killer in the world!  Here are some tips to help you take great pictures of your kids in costume.  

1.  Shoot in the late afternoon for the best light.  It's a great time to take pictures while they are getting ready and a good idea to take a picture of them with and without their mask on.  Plus, it's too early to go trick or treating, so they might be willing to pose for you without the crazy need to rush off to get their candy.

2.  Shoot at dusk without a flash with your camera on a tripod to get the night time look.  Raising the ISO to 800 or 1600 will help let in more light if you need it.  Have your kids strike a pose in character and hold still to avoid blur.  

3.  Get on their level instead of shooting from a standing position.  This is a great tip for shooting kids in general.  It brings you into their world and it gives them importance in the photo. 

4.  Get closer!  Zoom in on their face to catch the details of their mask or makeup.  Take detail shots of their sparkly shoes, wand or sword in hand. 

5. Shoot from below.  Lie on the ground to take a picture of your werewolf standing above you.  It will make them look fierce!

6. Pay attention to your light source.  Side light will bring out details in the texture of their costume.  If you want to get fancy you might want to try catching them in back light for a silhouette shot or fill in with your flash to properly expose their face.  Have them hold a flashlight under their face and shoot without flash for a spooky effect.  Have someone else point a flashlight at them from a 45 degree angle to get them lit without using a flash. 

7. Encourage your children to ham it up and play while you take the shots.  Don't worry about getting a perfect smile.  It's Halloween! 

8.  If you're taking a group shot of lots of kids at a party, try to group them in levels so you can see everyone's costume.  If you have stairs, put them on the stairs or go to the top of the stairs yourself and take a picture of the group looking up at you.  Hamming it up at this point is definitely to be encouraged!

9.  If you have to use your flash remember to get close enough for the flash to be effective.  Often the flash range is only good for up to 5 to 10 feet away from the camera.  The closer you are to your subject, the brighter they will be and more washed out they will look. 

10. Experiment and have fun.  Some of the best shots are of the costume that's a little too big or the mask that's tilted or falling off. 

Dueling Anakin Skywalkers -- One of my favorite party pix ever. Note the creepy guy on the left they're all looking at.

Spooky.... a little too spooky!

Captain America!

I used a flash for this shot. It works because the chaotic party in the background is underexposed. So, all you see is the creepiness factor.

Great pose!

This zombie and werewolf should remind us all that even with our differences we can all just get along!

Taken on my camera phone. No flash. I used the porch light and shot from below. If I had used a direct flash, his glowing eyes would have disappeared.

Hamming it up!

Low light - not a great exposure. But, I sure was having fun!

Yvonne Marchese Photography is a Personal Branding, Headshot and Family Photographer located in Norwalk, CT an hour outside of New York City. Yvonne offers branding and headshot sessions in Norwalk or NYC and will travel to you for your branding session. 

 She also shoots on location including Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Ridgefield, Riverside, Stamford, Weston, Westport, and Wilton.



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