The end of October means crisp autumn days, fallen leaves and… a social media feed full of spooky Halloween photography. This year, why not make your snaps stand out with these simple tips that everyone can use.
Try something a little different: If you want your Halloween photography to go beyond the traditional lit pumpkin or kids-in-costumes line-up, why not try photographing the process? Capturing your kids carving the pumpkin or working on their costumes could make a really cute social media feed.
The devil is in the detail: Zoom in on the small details of costumes and props to make your photos really stand out. Gnarled rubber hands, a mouth baring gory vampire teeth, a tray full of Halloween themed bakes or the classic hands-holding-a-pumpkin, all make good shots. Get up close to your subject and use a shallow depth of field (beginners, this is the portrait setting on your camera or phone camera). This will blur the background, making your photo look much more professional.
Turn off your flash: Using the flash can make your subjects seem flat and washed out. In Halloween photography, you want to capture the hollows and shadows for a spookier effect. Use your decorative lighting effects instead! Grouped candles in different sizes, or a torch-lit face can create a really atmospheric photo.
Immortalise the costumes before dark: It’s easier to get great photographs of Halloween costumes and make-up while there still some light in the sky. Try to get your shots at least an hour before the light starts to fade. The light at this time of day on a sunny October afternoon can add an ethereal, nostalgic edge to your photos.
Pumpkin shots: Who doesn’t love a pumpkin shot? Capture your carved creation at its very best by upping the number of candles you put into it. Two or three tealights will make your photo look far better than just one.
Silhouettes: Silhouette shots were made for Halloween photography. Shoot your subject against the light source and make sure the outline tells a story. Shooting in silhouette can turn a comically exaggerated pose into something horribly sinister—just look at the famous stair scene in vampire film Nosferatu!
Say ‘boo’ to boring line-ups: Don’t just line up your subjects and ask them to say cheese for the camera – it’s the fastest way to a boring shot. Halloween photography gives you the perfect opportunity to have some fun with your poses. Have some kneeling, crouching or pouncing, and have everyone make a pose that reflects their costume.
Making Memories Precious