With Halloween lurking just around the corner, we thought it would be fun to conjure up some new ways to document this year’s crafts and costumes. Few holidays inspire the imaginations of children and adults like Halloween. With a little planning and experimentation, you can take your pictures to the next level, creating something you’ll cherish.
Capitalize on Fall Light
First, let’s talk about lighting. The days are getting shorter, and you’re going to need to pay attention to the waning light when considering your shots. We suggest taking pictures of your little ghouls and goblins before it gets dark. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area with deciduous trees, be sure to take some shots in the late afternoon, when the light is shining through the leaves.
If you have an iPhone, this is a good time to use your camera’s portrait mode. This will allow you to use your subjects as the focal point, while softening the background for a professional-looking result. Be sure to snap some candid shots, especially if you have children or grandchildren. Let them play in the yard and snap a photo of that cape flying as they really get into character. Finally, don’t forget about the rule of thirds, which we discussed here in a previous post.
Props and Staging
Creating a spooky backdrop for your Halloween photo shoots can be a fun way to involve the kids in the creative process. Use old sheets to cover furniture and stretch store-bought cobwebs from the corners of the room for a quick haunted house effect. Many supermarkets now carry dry ice, which will thrill your little ones and guests alike, while also adding drama to your pictures as smoke spills over from your punchbowl or cauldron. If you’re having a Halloween party, consider setting up a photo booth with props like Jack-o-Lanterns, cinnamon broomsticks, and assorted accessories for your guests to use in their poses. You may also want to consider purchasing a thematic backdrop to hang in your photo booth. Your guests will be thrilled to receive these images after the party is over.
Take Better Night Shots
One of the biggest challenges of taking Halloween pictures, especially with a smartphone, is getting a good result in low light. However, newer phones have features that can help in getting more from your night shots. Digital cameras allow you to adjust the shutter speed for low light images, but your phone camera does not have this capability. Instead, follow these steps to mimic that effect:
Open the camera app on your iPhone, and swipe up to see the effects menu.
Select Live Mode, which is an icon made of concentric circles.
Set the timer (an icon that looks like a clock to the right of Live Mode in the menu) for either 3 or 10 seconds. This will reduce shake and help you capture a sharper image.
Set up a tripod, or something you can use to prop the phone up so that your subject is in the frame.
Take your photograph.
Open the photos app and select the photo you have just taken.
Swipe up to see the effects menu, and then select long exposure.
This is one of the best ways to shoot the Jack-o-Lanterns adorning your front porch. Have your subject pose holding your candle-lit gourds to result in an eerily beautiful picture. Experiment with these steps, and you just may capture a ghostly-looking Halloween image.
Halloween pictures are among the most treasured images in your photo library. So, if you’re haunted by hundreds, if not thousands of images in your digital library, consider signing up for a consultation with a professional photo organizer who can help you derive greater enjoyment from your memories.