Taking Great Photos: Making The Most of Your Halloween Memories

  • October 22, 2012
  • Jenna Maxwell

Once you have your Halloween costumes and all the associated activities planned out, you are definitely going to want to take plenty of photographs, to make sure these memories will last for a lifetime!  Getting the best photos doesn’t require any special equipment or even any special skills--in fact, today’s cell phone cameras are often all you need to take some pretty amazing photos.  Halloween creates some unique and special photographic scenarios, however; and these may require a little bit of know-how so you can obtain the best possible photo results. Here are some tried and true tips to help you get the best Halloween pictures ever!

Baby, It’s Dark Out There!  Many Halloween activities are done in low lighting that can create some unique dilemmas for anyone with a camera in hand.  An easy way to deal with low lighting is to raise the ISO setting on your camera, which makes the camera a bit more sensitive to light.  More sensitivity to light means the camera can take the shot faster, reducing any blurred images that are caused by camera movement.  You will want to experiment a bit with these settings prior to Halloween however; because if you set the ISO too high your photos can turn out on the grainy side.  Practicing in low light situations can give you an idea of what works best for your particular camera.

Hey, The Gang’s All Here!  It’s fun to get all the kids or large groups of costumed up friends into one photo--but jamming a whole bunch of people into one large group shot may not make as good of a photo as you might have hoped.  Oftentimes, someone gets shoved into the back where you can’t really see them, and squishing a bunch of dressed up subject’s into one shot doesn’t really give them a chance to show off their costumes very well.  When it comes to people wearing costumes, smaller groups are much better.  Small groups or even pairs allow more room around each subject, creating a more visually appealing photograph and even an opportunity for the subject to really get into character!  Now we’re talking! 

Don’t Forget Jack!  You’ve put some effort into carving that Jack-O-Lantern so doesn’t miss the opportunity to add him to some of your Halloween photos for a truly amazing effect! The best time to photograph a lit Jack-O-Lantern is about 20 minutes after the sun goes down.  At this time, the light in the night sky is approximately equal to the light being emitted from Jack.  With all things being equal, this creates the ideal lighting circumstances to capture the Jack-O-Lantern’s details perfectly!

Pets!  If your pet enjoys being costumed up (and many do love the extra attention and the inevitable treats, too!), make sure and include your pets in your Halloween photos.  There is something about a pet in costume that ups the adorable quotient ten-fold and will definitely add some unique character to your Halloween photographs.

Flashlights!  You are likely going to have these with you as you go out trick or treating anyway, so why not use them to create some unique photographic effects.  Have the kids take turns pointing the flashlight at each other while you shoot some ghoulish photos.  These shots can be very cool!

Get Down!  When taking pictures of children, it’s very important to be on their same level.  Whether this means stooping or sitting down, make sure the camera is being held at their eye level for the best-angled shots. 

Turn off the Flash!  Spooky, silhouetted effects can be created without using a flash.  You may want to try taking pictures with and without the flash just to see which ones you like the best.  Using the existing light alone to illuminate your subject can sometimes create a very interesting and even at times, spooky effect.

SURPRISE!  Don’t forget to take those spontaneous shots catching your subject completely unaware.  The surprise emotions that are captured in these types of shots are often the most fun and authentic.

Take Full Advantage of Seasonal Surroundings:  With all the cool decorations and props you are likely to see around town at this time of the year, you will want to make sure some of these are used as cool background and backdrops for your Halloween photos.  Spook alleys and pumpkin patches are filled with colorful and seasonal props that you will want to pose your subject around, creating that perfect Halloween themed shot!

The beauty of digital photography is that you can experiment a lot with your photos without worry or waste.  Take plenty of photos--you can always delete those that you don’t like.  The more photos you have to choose from the more likely you are to get the ones that capture the memories of your event perfectly!