Halloween photography tips that aren't scary.
Halloween is just around the corner!
Here are 5 quick and easy tips to help you capture incredible and memorable photos of children this Halloween.
1. Do a costume rehearsal.
Anyone who’s tried to photograph their children will know how challenging it can be. Encourage your child to try on his or her costume a few days before and take some photos. My daughter Angelina is a big fan of Tim Burton movies. So it wasn't a surprise when she decided to be a Corpse Bride a few years back. To make it more fun Angelina and I did our own DIY costume. It gave me plenty of time to take her photos during fittings and rehearsals. Her costume was a huge success and appeared that year in the Irish Independent.
2. Follow the light.
Your phone camera or a beginner level DSLR will typically have trouble focusing in any dark scene. You have probably already noticed this yourself. The photos come out dark and grainy. So my advice is don't wait until it's dark, get a few shots while it is still bright outside.
If it's dark, try to find a bright spot and place your subject a.k.a. your child in it. Use a flashlight, glow sticks or any other available light. Most cameras focus using something called contrast detection. That means the camera will try to find focus at the area of high contrast between something bright and dark. Try to focus on the contrast edge.
If you are photographing with your phone make sure the focus is correct. Usually by touching the part of the scene you want to focus on, your phone camera will put its focus there. Don't zoom! It will only add more grain and blur. You can crop it later.
If you are shooting with your DSLR, pick the lens with a higher aperture. The wider your lens can open up, the more light will be let in. Set your shutter speed to at least 1/125, your goal is to freeze the motion. But here is the trick, if the shutter speed is too high, your picture will be very dark. I generally start with a shutter speed of 1/100-1/200 depending on the lighting I have in front of me. Remember everything below 1/60 will create motion blur.
Raise your ISO. Most of the cameras have auto ISO. It can be a great advantage to beginners. Depending on the scene I will start from ISO 600.
3. Get on their level.
Always try to get down to the same level as your child. This is particularly important with small children. Bend down to the child's perspective to capture costumes and the expressions on their face.
Here is another DIY costume we did with Angelina by recycling a few bits from Corpse Bride. Angelina did her own makeup. Scary Doll!
4. Be quick!
Trust me on this! Try to be quick, because kids on Halloween would rather be trick-or-treating and eating sweets than posing for photos.
Taking photos of the party as these details will help not only tell the story, but will also capture evidence of all your hard work! Every year we throw a Halloween party for Angelina and her friends. Over the years we have gathered tons of recipes (thanks Pinterest), decorations and ideas!
Don't forget to live in the moment and be involved in the photos yourself as well!