More Halloween Photography Tips – The Kids

halloween masks
If your kids are wearing mask, take a couple shots with the mask off so you can identify them years from now

Even though adults have pretty much co-opted Halloween these days, it originally was more of a kid thing, and still is in a lot of ways. Parents will want to preserve those memories, if for nothing else as blackmail when they get older.

Move The Flash

For the best results you’ll want to use an external flash, preferably one capable of communicating with your camera’s e-TTL system. Those don’t have to be expensive, you can find a reasonably good external flash for most Canon and Nikon models for around $80 and a sync cord that also works with e-TTL for about $20. For less than $100 you can have an external flash you can move around to different angles. If you want to spend a bit more you can get a wireless flash controller.

Having a flash you can move around will give you the option to hold it below the subject, which is called “ghoul lighting” for a reason, or off to the side for a more dramatic effect.

Get In Close

The biggest mistake most photographers make is being too far from the subject. Move in closer, frame the shot so tight that you start losing part of your subject around the edges.

Better to be too close than back so far your pictures have a lot of distracting background.

Break Up The Police Line

Most people group everyone together in a pose reminiscent of a police lineup. Here are some tips from a previous article to break up the line.

It also gives you the chance to let the kids do something fun and be more expressive.

If They’re Wearing a Mask, Take Two Photos

If any of your kids are wearing a mask, take one picture with the mask on and one with it off. That way you’ll be able to identify the kid behind the mask years from now.

Check out our early article for more Halloween Photo tips

Boo! Tips For Frighteningly Good Halloween Photos

halloween photo
Get in the mood for great Halloween photos

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.