Halloween is a great time for capturing family and friends at their frightening best. Many people put a lot of time and work into their costumes, so it’s a photography field day.
Get In The Mood
Dress up yourself. Then you’re not so much an observer as a participant and you’ll notice it will change the way people interact with you. People will be more likely to open up and give you a more natural look to you if you’re part of the party.
Besides, it’s fun. You can buy enough novelty makeup for $20 to become the zombie photographer, just walk with a shuffle and you’re there. Just so it looks like you made an effort.
Light From Below
If you can get a sync cord or wireless trigger for your external flash and try lighting from extreme angles above and below the subject. The shadows will add to the drama.
You can also invest in an inexpensive set of stick on filters for your external flash to add a splash of color.
Or Skip The Flash All Together
Whenever possible, ditch the flash and go with natural lighting. That can be a little harder with point-and-shoot cameras than those with better manual controls. It also helps to have a fast lens.
Good glass that can get down to f/1.8 or f/1.4 will let you skip the harsh flash and preserve the darkened moment. The good news is those lenses don’t have to break the bank, with a few available for right around $100 USD.
You don’t have to have a Canon 5D MKII, either, any camera with a decent chip size should produce adequate performance in low light.
Watch The ISO
Some cameras are better than others in low light, almost any will start to introduce noise into photos at extremely high ISOs.
Personally, I think it’s better to bring more natural light or stop your flash power down than to deal with excessive noise.
The only way you know whether your camera is one that starts introducing noticeable artifacts at high ISOs is to experiment. Turn the flash off and shoot a series of pictures at high ISO values and take a look at the pictures.