Looking back at the photos I have of my kids over the year, Halloween photos are some of my absolute favorites. The kids just look so adorable in their costumes, and they’re usually grinning ear to ear in anticipation of candy overload. But since most of the action on Halloween happens after sunset, it can be hard to get really great photos. I’ve rounded up the best photography tips that will help you get amazing Halloween photos of your kids!
1. Whenever I want good photos, I get online and look at examples to give myself ideas. Having an “inspiration photo” can make the difference between getting something amazing and getting the same old photo of the kids standing in front of my garage door in their costumes. Do a search for “Halloween photos” on pinterest or check out this post from Click it Up a Notch, which is full of gorgeous Halloween photo inspiration.
2. The best tip for great Halloween photos is not waiting until it’s time to head out the door to take pictures. Let the kids dress up a few days ahead of Halloween – tell them you need to “try out” the costumes to make sure everything works (this is actually a good idea even if you aren’t taking photos.) Then find somewhere fun to take pictures, where the surroundings will compliment the costume. Be creative – I obviously couldn’t find a real castle to photograph my daughter at, but I did find a rock wall at a local park that gives the photo a medieval feel.
3. If you don’t have a chance to take photos ahead of time, grab 15 minutes right after school and get great photos in your garage. Find out how easy it is to set up an impromptu “photo studio” in your garage in this post.
4. Head out for trick or treating a little early, while it’s still light out, for great photos. Just before sunset the light is warm and soft, creating a nice “mood” in the photos. Be sure to turn your flash off for the best pictures. No flash means your shutter will stay open for longer, so you’ll get the best shots when your kids are standing still, not moving around a lot.
5. Get photos from different angles as you follow the kids around. Visit Click It Up a Notch for lots of example photos showing how different perspectives can help you get better Halloween photos + even more Halloween photo tips.
6. Zoom in. Yes, of course, take photos that show the entire costume, but then zoom on in for a closeup. Use a zoom lens if you have one! Standing back from your child and zooming in close will automatically blur the background of your photo. (Learn how zooming in affects background blur here.)
7. Don’t forget to photograph the pumpkins! Visit Simple as That for great tips on taking the perfect Jack-o-Lantern photos.
8. Having a Halloween party? Get adorable pictures of the fun with these free Halloween photo booth printables from Bird’s Party Blog.
9. Try your hand at taking “ghost” photos – what kid wouldn’t want to be a ghost? It’s really easy to do with this tutorial from Doodlecraft.
10. What if your photos don’t turn out as well as you’d like? Try adding a little “atmosphere” using actions in Photoshop Elements. This fairly blah photo got a great boost from the CoffeeShop Vivid 2 action:
And lots of Halloween photos would look great with a vintage b&w feel from the CoffeeShop Gray Velvet action:
(Don’t know how to install/use actions? Don’t worry. Click on over to the CoffeeShop Blog – she has step by step tutorials and her actions are FREE!)