It’s dark. Everybody is high on Halloween adrenaline. Nobody wants to wait any longer to start the candy collecting around the neighborhood. How do you get great Halloween photos at a time like this? The conditions are not ideal, but you really can get good photos that will capture the excitement of this fun holiday.
Here are nine tips that will help you get pictures you love, and expand your ideas for fun shots!
Four Photo Ideas
1. Put your camera on a tripod and document the transformation of applying the makeup and putting on the costume. For the makeup portion, try to maintain the same position in each photo to get a slideshow effect.
2. Capture the little details. Consider taking close-up pictures of a child’s hand dipping a brush into Halloween makeup. Focus in on the crooked mouth of the jack-o-lantern. Take a still shot of the pile of candy on the table.
3. It’s sometimes better if you don’t shoot from head to toe, since shoes are often the weakest part of a costume.
4. To maximize the photo and costume, identify the best part of the costume. Is it just the mask? Or is it the mask and the torso? Get in close – the closer the better — and fill the frame with the parts you’ve decided are best. A generally good ratio to strive for is 90% person and 10% background in your picture.
Five Halloween Photography Tips
1. You’ll get your best Halloween photos at dusk. For that hour or so while the sun is setting, you’ll have enough natural light to easily forgo your flash while still capturing the glow of your jack-o-lanterns and the bright colors of your costumes.
After dusk, use a high ISO setting (400 or more) and hold your camera as steady as you can (or use a tripod) to capture action without a flash. The rich, dark colors of Halloween will illustrate the spooky holiday mood, so make sure your flash doesn’t overpower them. Remember, Halloween is not a bright holiday. Dark and creepy shots can work in your favor.
2. The more light your jack-o-lanterns emit, the more bewitching they’ll appear in your pictures. It’s important that you turn off your camera’s flash so it doesn’t overwhelm your candlelight. Since jack-o-lanterns don’t move, you can use a long shutter speed (a low number) and set your camera on a steady surface or a tripod.
If you’re photographing outdoors and you find that your shots only capture the light of the carved facial features, but none of the pumpkin’s outer shape, try adding some low lighting with a flashlight shining on the shell of the pumpkin.
Put 2-3 candles in each jack-o-lantern to get a good glow
3. Take pictures as soon as your subjects are in costume. Makeup likes to rub off, and costumes get disheveled.
4. If you’re shooting a child or a group of children, get down at eye level to show the real effect of the costumes.
5. With groups of monsters–young or old–pack them together and have them touch. Do your best to fill the frame with them. But keep it casual! Don’t line them up. If you’re photographing three, group them in a triangle–this arrangement usually looks best. In a larger group, have some kneel or crouch down in front of the others so you get an up-and-down arrangement.
- Paperclipping Video Tutorial – Contrast and Embellishments in Scrapbooking
We released this tutorial as an extra for the Paperclipping Members as we celebrate our birthday this month. Get this episode, plus 155 tutorials in the archives and two more every month, by becoming a member! Click here to see how it works.
- The Paperclipping Roundtable – A Look at Different Scrapbooking Styles
- The Paperclipping Digi Show – You Say Opacity, I’ll Say Opacity
- Paperclipping Live! – This live scrapbooking show is every Tuesday at 6:30pm PST. Are you free?
- Paperclipping October Challenge! There are only a few days left to submit your layout or project for a chance to be highlighted on the Paperclipping blog! Hurry quick, before Halloween sucks up all your time! This will probably be the last monthly challenge of 2010.
If you celebrate Halloween, I hope you have a festive holiday! And thank you for celebrating four years of Paperclipping with Izzy and me all month! We hope you enjoyed the promotions and special extra goodies. We’re looking forward to another great year to come!