By Mike | 06th October 2014

5 Halloween photography tips

Haloween costume design

5 Halloween photography tips

Annual events offer plenty of awesome opportunities for interesting photos that will translate well onto canvas – and with the spooky season of Halloween almost upon us, we thought we’d share a few Halloween photography tips to help you capture the eerie atmosphere!

Not just night for light

While it may feel more traditional to take all your shots under the cover of darkness, don’t miss the chance to catch the kids while they’re dressing up earlier in the day. This will give you some natural light to capture their excited faces (great for canvas print presents for the grandparents!) which is much better than harsh flash. This also allows you to arrange posed and ‘before and after’ shots to generally make sure you’re collecting some good images to choose from before excitement gets the better of them and tiredness eventually takes over.

If you insist on getting flashy...

If you need to use the flash later in the evening, here are a few tips to ensure the finished quality of your photos is good enough to print:

  • Buy or improvise a filter – red or orange would be perfect for Halloween photos. Use some coloured plastic/cellophane or a plastic beaker
  • Take several photos at different exposures to test what gives the best results
  • Turn the lights off or right down and use flash for some spooky red eye

Picture perfect pumpkins

After all that hard work carving your pumpkins, you want to make sure the pictures come out well. Candlelight can make it hard work to get the right light balance, so again, you’ll need to play around and test out different exposures. It’s also worth lighting several candles inside your lantern instead of just one – or alternatively, you can dress a baby or toddler up in a matching pumpkin outfit and simply take a daytime shop of them sat with your carving if you want an easier (but cute) option.

Lighting techniques

Set up a light source, such as a table lamp, below your subject for spooky Halloween effects – it’s a type of lighting rarely used and really adds some atmosphere to your ghosts and ghoul pictures. You can also play around with other lighting angles, such as side lighting, if you want to highlight features such as warty noses and knobbly scars.

Shoot up

Taking pictures of youngsters from your higher vantage point isn’t the best idea if you want to get really effective shots – it’s much better to get down low and shoot with the camera pointing up at them for the right perspective and an added bit of mystery and menace. 

Halloween is a fun time of year for all the family so snap away and catch them at their creepiest – if you’re taking pictures outside of the home though, do make sure you get permission from parents/carers beforehand.


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