I love Halloween, but it can be challenging to photograph. First, your kids are so excited (or sugar-filled) that they won’t hold still for a photo. Second, most of the holiday takes place in the dark!
I have a few tips for you that will help you to get a few great photos to commemorate the holiday:
1. Photograph them earlier in the day, especially if their school puts on a Halloween parade.
2. Get a few semi-posed images. To get some good posed photos have them sit on your front porch steps or curb and show you their goodie bags! Don’t ask them to smile! You know you’ll just get that fake grin, so instead ask them questions to draw out that real smile, “How much candy are you going to get tonight? Do you think we’ll see any really spooky houses?”
3. Take some pictures before it gets too dark. The best photos of your night will be in that perfect light in the hour before sunset.
Make sure to get your best costume photos and first door photos before the sun goes down. It’s easier to shoot candid photos of your kid, than it is to get them to pose for you. Get them both knocking at the door and then their happy face as they walk away with their first goodies of the night.
4. Use ambient light. There will be some light during the night, so use it if you can. Turn your flash off, set your camera to it’s widest aperture and a high ISO setting (get a copy of my eBook to learn how!) and capture the light that is there.
5. Use your night portrait mode. Most DSLR cameras have a night portrait mode, it will usually be a face with a crescent moon or star next to it. This mode will give you those settings I mentioned above, a high ISO, and a wide aperture, but it will give you a slow shutter speed to capture the available light and then fire your flash to make sure faces are in focus. Remember, to hold as still as possible through the slower shutter. Better yet, use a tripod (or makeshift tripod – mailboxes work great as makeshift tripods!) Don’t move until your flash fires and the you hear the shutter close. This one is only going to work with mostly still subjects.
6. Don’t forget the most important part of Halloween: the CANDY! Make sure to get that camera out again at the end of the night to capture your kids delight as they sort through their treats!
Hope these tips help you tomorrow! Have a Happy Halloween!