Wednesday, October 5, 2011

5 quick tips for better halloween photos

The countdown to Halloween is officially on at our house, as I'm sure it is at yours! Halloween is one of our favorite holidays! With all the costumes, candy and cute trick-or-treaters there are just so many things to love...and so many things to take pictures of!

Here are a few quick tips to help you capture some adorable photos this Halloween!

1. It's about time - halloween can be a 'tricky' time of year for taking photos. A lot of the festivities take place after dark which makes for less than ideal photo taking conditions so what I try to do is take advantage of the available daylight while I can. Think about having your trick or treaters ready a bit early and head out at dusk when the sun is low and you have just enough of that golden sunlight left to capture a few memorable photos.

If you have to shoot in low light you can compensate by increasing the ISO settings on your camera or choosing a higher aperture (AWESOME explantion of ISO, Aperture, Shutterspeed and their relationship can be found here). If you have to use your flash go ahead, but turn it off wherever possible to avoid washed out, shadowy photos.

2. Ready, Set, Shoot - planning ahead can make the photo taking process during your annual halloween activities go so much smoother. Have a list in mind of photos you hope to capture. Do a dry run if your child has a halloween function to attend before Halloween. Taking a few photos while they're already dressed up will free up your time on halloween night. Keep extra halloween makeup, safety pins and a hair brush handy for any "emergencies" that may arise. 

Having a few tricks up your sleeve to help you and your child enjoy the photo taking experience doesn't hurt either. Have a healthy snack and water on hand, handy wipes are a must for runny noses or smeared makeup. One thing that is always sure to put a smile on my kids faces when taking Halloween photos is to ask them to act like the character they're dressed up as.

3. Switch things up - don't be afraid to try something new with your photos. Crop in close on the details, take a step back and capture the whole scene. Get down low, stand up on something - change your perspective and see what kind of photos you can capture. The traditional smiling-in-their-halloween-costume photos are great but don't forget to switch things up and you'll be surprised at what photos end up being your favorites. For this shot I was crouched low to the ground behind the kids and the resulting photo is one of my all-time halloween favorites. 

4. What to shoot - there are so many great photo ops during Halloween so be on the look out for unique and creative ways you can capture the holiday fun. Here are some ideas of photos you may want to take:

Pumkin carving
The finished Jack-O Lantern. Try adding an extra candle or two inside your pumpkin when photographing it.
Trick or treating and enjoying the loot afterwards
Connections between siblings, friends, parent and child
Special halloween traditions
Costume details
Halloween decor
Your favorite halloween treat
Getting ready for halloween - putting on makeup, making treats
The kids halloween art projects from school

5. Enjoy the moment - once you've set out capturing the photos on your list allow yourself to put your camera away and enjoy the moment with your kids without the camera around your neck. Let go of the idea that you need to capture every moment and simply enjoy being in the moment.

Have fun capturing those adorable Halloween photos everyone!

If you enjoyed this post you might also like: 

For more photo tips + tricks check out my eBooks:

Real.Life.Photography eBook - how to take amazing photos in real-life situations40 Top Tips for Better Photos: Simple suggestions for stunning photographs (by Rebecca Cooper)
Don't Say Cheese! How to get great, natural photos of your kids (by Rebecca Cooper)

Rebecca Cooper

Rebecca is a mom of four. She enjoys crafting with her kiddos, taking photos, and afternoon naps. Rebecca is a professional photographer and author. Connect with Rebecca on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+. Sign up via email for the latest updates from Simple As That.


  1. Great tips! Love all of those cute costumes too. Especially Dorothy and the lion!

  2. Thanks for the tips! And that first photo melts my heart.

  3. I love the way you capture photos, it is inspiring!

  4. Great tips! Thanks so much! I love the "see if you can catch this" trick! And your photos are spectacular!

  5. What a fantastic post. The pics are amazing and the tips are priceless! Thanks!


  6. Thank you for the tips and your photos are adorable!!

  7. Love your ideas and your photos!

  8. Can I just tell you...I love, love, love your blog so much. I stop by to refresh my mind and get lost in your gorgeous photos, and these are no different - beautiful!

    Thanks for the Halloween tips - it's by far one of my favorite holidays :)


  9. Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [05 Oct 09:00pm GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  10. Thanks for the tips! (Love the last one!)

  11. I love these. Such great shots. Thanks for the tips.

  12. Coming from photographer, those are really great tips, and really cute shots!

  13. awesome tips. Your a fabulous photographer. I could always use some good advice. Thanks for sharing:)

  14. Love your photos- beautiful! Thanks for sharing these great tips!

  15. All great tips. I love your photos. My daughter will only be a month old at Halloween so we wont be taking too many photos this year. She's way too tiny to even get her in a costume.

  16. These are great tips for any occasion. Thanks for sharing! I like your advice about being IN the moment. So true.

  17. Thanks for the awesome photo tips! Enjoy your Halloween :)

  18. Thanks for the great tips, can't wait to try them out!

  19. Great tips! I just tweeted and facebooked them so my readers will stop by. I know so many moms who are always trying to improve their photos. Thanks for sharing!!


  20. Such great tips!! Thank you for sharing! Would you consider linking them here?

  21. Such great tips! I especially love #5! Its the hardest for me to remember! I would love if you would link this up at our first ever 4th Friday Finale @ Over the Big Moon.
    Thanks for sharing some of your secrets with us!


  22. I LOVED all the tips you shared! I featured it on Sassy Sites today! Come by and check it out! :) Thanks for linking up to Sassy Sites FFA party! Have a wonderful Halloween weekend! XOXO!!

    Marni @ Sassy Sites!

  23. Great tips!!!

    Thanks for linking up this week! I featured your post in my wrap up

    Happy Halloween!

  24. Great tips! Sharing on Facebook.

  25. Thanks for the tips! I always take advantage of daylight before trick-or-treat photos...

  26. Great tips, Rebecca! Easy too. Did you know you have word verification on for comments?

  27. #5 is my favorite. Sometimes I get so focused on capturing the moment that I forget to be in it. When I step back and be in the moment with my kids I may not have quite so much captured in the camera at the end of the day, but I have so much more captured in my mind. :)

  28. Great tips! I am Pinning this right now!


    Gorgeous, gorgeous blog by the way. :)

  29. It is always hard to get good Halloween pictures - thanks for the tips! (pinned and shared on facebook)

  30. Anonymous10:11 AM

    I get that you're giving tips on better photo shoots. But who would dress their children in cowboy and american native motif?
    Poor taste, and offensive.

  31. Absolutely beautiful photographs!

    1. Thank you so much Lana! :)

  32. Thanks so much for these great tips. I love the pics of the children walking!

    Warmly, Michelle
    Faith, Trust & Pixie Dust


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