My experience with Halloween photography has been rather hit or miss. My first year shooting it (which was Cole’s first Halloween) I managed to catch a cool shot that incorporated my subject (Cole in his dragon costume) along with the moon. We’ll just consider that to be beginner’s luck, though, since his second year trick-or-treating came along with a lot of blurry shots due to using incorrect camera settings as well as plain old user-error. Last year, for Cole’s third Halloween, I finally got a few shots that I was happy with again, so I thought I’d share a few of the tips I’ve learned in the process. 1. In most scenarios, if it’s already dark or getting dark, you’re going to have to use your flash. However, if there’s enough ambient light (ex. When your child is standing in a doorway) you can turn off your flash and set your camera at its highest ISO. Keep in mind that your photos will be grainy, but you can always use a noise suppression program in Photoshop or other editing applications after the fact. 2. Whether you’re using your flash or ambient light, don’t expect to catch fast action on a dark night. You might even try to convince your subjects to stand as still as possible while you’re taking the photo. 3. If you’re not comfortable changing settings on the go, use the “night” mode on your SLR camera. Keep in mind that this mode will cause the flash to pop up.
4. For “glowing” shots of pumpkins use a tripod and a longer shutter speed (just remember to skip the flash to get these shots.) 5. If you want to sit back and relax on Halloween night, set up a photo shoot earlier in the day when the sun is still out or a few days prior to the big event. After all, what child doesn’t like to get dressed up on more than one occasion?
So now that you’re prepared for taking your photos, how about a suggestion for an easy way to display your favorites? I made this simple magnetic refrigerator photo holder using a chipboard frame and other embellishments from MM’s Halloween line. (I love this line, by the way!!) To make your own frame, simply:
Cut your favorite photo down to 2.75” x 4” and fit it behind the frame.
Embellish the sides and bottom of the frame using glitter stickers, safety pins, chipboard tags, metal embellishments, and the like.
Trim a piece of magnet to fit the entire back portion of the frame. One side of the magnet should have adhesive on it, and this is the side you should adhere to the back of the frame.
Display the frame on your refrigerator or make several frames (minus the photos) to give as party favors at your very own Halloween spooktacular.