How to Take Great Halloween Photos!

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!

For more photography tips including how to use your DSLR and so much more, check out my new eBook How to Shoot Your Kids!

How to Shoot Your Kids – the new updated, expanded edition is here!

Two years ago I released the first version of my popular ebook How to Shoot Your Kids. I’ve been fine tuning, revising and adding more and more material as I take my in-person workshop students through the same tricks and techniques. Today I am so excited to be releasing the new, expanded and updated version of How to Shoot Your Kids!

Visit the shop here – to see details about what you’ll learn, what to expect and how this ebook will change the way you take photographs.

The updated version has:

  • a brand new section on technical tips for using your DSLR camera (learn what all those buttons and settings do)
  • more than twice as much content
  • new photo examples and inspiration
  • troubleshooting tips if you’re not getting the photo you want
  • and so much more….

No more excuses! Get yourself ready to take beautiful photos of your kids this holiday season!

Download your copy of How To Shoot Your Kids now!

Kristy’s Family Maternity Portraits – Ventura Maternity Photographer

Kristy’s maternity session for her daughter, her very first baby, was my first professional portrait session. I was an attorney at the time, and photography had been my hobby since I was a teenager, but since my daughter was born I had been toying with the idea of starting a photography business. Kristy and I have been friends since we were in college together, so I was at her baby shower when she mentioned that she hadn’t had any maternity portraits taken. So I offered to shoot them, and their newborn portraits for them. And to my absolute delight, they said yes! They were the first family that trusted me to capture important memories for them, and I have been shooting their family portraits ever since. So when I heard that Kristy was expecting baby number three, I knew that I had to use their family for the film I was having made for my new website. It was such a special project for me and I just had to use my most special family for it.

The amazing filmmakers Kelly & Paul, from 618 Studios, followed me on Kristy’s maternity shoot, so you could get a little behind the scenes peek at a shoot with me. The film that they created is just beautiful. They are so incredibly talented and so much fun to work with! I couldn’t be happier with what they created for me!

You can see the film over on the new front page of the website, but I also included it down below at the end of this post. So first, enjoy Kristy’s gorgeous family maternity portraits.

Now watch the film!

Thank you so much Kristy, Andrew, Audrey, Anderson, and Baby Number Three, for your friendship, for always trusting in and support my dream, and for being a part of this film! Love you guys!

p.s. Did you catch the cameo by my talented hair & makeup artist Sara of Beauty Hairem?! Thank you Sara for being in the film and making both Kristy & I look beautiful, and for always making my clients feel wonderful and look amazing!

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