What do ghosts, goblins, and little princesses have in common? They come out after dark. You know, when it’s hard to get good pictures of them. Halloween presents a lot of problems for photographers. By the time all the action starts to happen that magic hour we love so much has already come and gone. You don’t want to pass up a great night like Halloween just because the light isn’t right. There are still plenty of things you can do to get some great Halloween shots, and here’s a list to get you started.
Convert to black and white
Convert your spookier images to black and white to further emphasize the creepy factor. The moodier the edit, the better. This works for anything from decorations to kids in costume.
Yes, black and white may bring out a special something on Halloween images but don’t forget to play with all the vibrant colors everywhere. Halloween is colorful and so are costumes so take advantage and use it purposefully. Look for color-pop opportunities to tie-in your child’s costume to the scene to give your image more impact. Look for complementary colors, those that are opposite each other, as well as comparable colors.
Don’t fix the color
Set your white balance on your point and shoot from Beachcamera.com to daylight. This way, you can capture the color of the warm candle, the foggy porchlight, or the green glow stick. It’ll be other-worldly.
Get up close
It’s common to capture the wide shot of the entire costume, but don’t forget a close-up too. Try to show the details of the costume or the makeup. Halloween is a great time to look back at yearly photos and see how much your kids have grown. You’ll be happy to have a close-up portrait to document the special holiday.
Use a wide aperture
When you’re actually out trick or treating, it can be easy for your child to disappear into a sea of color and costumes. Shooting at a wide aperture with your DSLR from Beachcamera.com is one of the best ways to hide a crowd and make your kids stand out in the middle of a crowded parade.
Use your tripod
You can get some great wide shots of the neighborhood or an evening Halloween party if you use a tripod. Try setting up in a heavily decorated area, and then use a slow shutter speed to capture the lights. Trick-or-treaters will show up as ghostly blurs, which will add to the Halloween feel of the image. A tripod can also help you take more controlled “ghostly” portraits. Set your camera up with a long shutter speed around 8 seconds. Have your subject stand or sit as still as possible for five seconds, and then move slowly out of the frame. This will make him or her look transparent, and will also create a ghostly looking motion blur in the final image.
They’re cheap, portable, and will look way more like Halloween than your camera’s flash. Try the classic spooky move of pointing the light up at your face. It makes adults look scary and kids look adorable. Most importantly, it captures the spirit of the night. Or use the flashlight as a spotlight. You’ll have better lighting and more control than you would with your camera’s flash.
Be an observer
Sometimes just standing back and watching, quickly snapping as moments happen, is the best way to capture the holiday. No posing, no directions, just capture little one’s doing what they do best!
Halloween is the time for dressing up, candy and a little bit of spookiness. Use these tips to capture images of that holiday fun.