Halloween is almost here! Pumpkins, costumes, decorations and candy are on display in nearly every store I step into. And if your child is anything like mine, Halloween has been a topic of almost every dinner conversation. And I gotta admit, I’m just as excited. Because this year, my daughter is old enough to trick or treat and you can be sure that I will capture every moment of it!
But I’m not a professional photographer and taking shots when the sun is down has always been a challenge. That’s why I sought the advice of one of my photographer friends to make sure I get every special moment on film. Here are a few simple tips to help you capture Halloween memories.
1. If your child has a daytime school Halloween function, or your neighborhood has a Halloween parade, use this as a dry run. Snap photos of them in their costume in natural light. Have them carry a plastic pumpkin or other trick-or-treat bag too!
2. Take photos before sugar! Use your driveway or garden as the stage for photos before heading out to trick or treat. Getting great shots right before dusk helps capture the detail of your child’s makeup. And, they’re likely to oblige your pose requests before the sugar-high kicks in! If you can, use a tripod. It will make your picture less blurry and more accurate.
(Photo by Terri Heisele)
3. If you’re using a DSLR, you’ll want to adjust your apperature to accommodate for the loss of light. Choose the smallest F number for your lens. Just don’t go too low or your picture will be blurry.
4. You’ll also want to adjust your shutter speed. But once you do, take some experimental shots to see how the image comes out. One second (1″) is a good starting point. If this produces a picture that’s too bright or blurry, try a quicker shutter speed of half a second (0″5) or a quarter of a second (1/4).
5. If you’re carrying a camera with an external flash, set your ISO to 400 or 800. And when you use an external flash, make sure you’re standing eight to 10 feet away from your subject.
6. If you don’t want to carry a tripod (and we don’t blame you!) leave your camera on a ledge, a flat mailbox or any flat surface you can find. This will take the blur out of your shots.
7. Make sure you always have a focal point in your photo. Costumes, houses and even other children can be distracting. When taking the photo, make sure you are focused on one thing or one individual. Having one focus creates a better photograph.
(Photo by Wendy Pastorius)
8. Snap some photos from a distance. Make sure you capture your little ones walking on the sidewalks, up driveways and even standing in front of a neighbor’s door. Those candid photos of your children looking in their bags at their “take” or looking at decorations on a neighbor’s house help you capture such beautiful expressions that cannot be replicated with a posed photo.
9. Take pictures of the whole evening, not just trick or treating. The pictures beforehand tell the whole story. Snap shots of your kids laying out their costumes, eating dinner (or the pizza delivery guy), putting on their shoes and applying makeup, trick-or-treating, giving out candy to visitor, counting, sorting and trading their candy with brothers and sisters and then…sleeping.
10. Before blowing out the candles in your pumpkins, take a tripod and turn off your flash. Then take a photo of your pumpkins with the shutter speed of 2 or more seconds to capture your design. Hey, you spent the time carving them…capture them!
11. Don’t forget to take pictures of your dog or cat dressed up. Nothing is funnier than a furry friend pretending to be something else. Like newlyweds!
Once Halloween is over and the sugar has passed, sit down with your goblins and build a photo book with Picaboo. Allow them to tell their story of Halloween so that days and years later they’ll be reminded of the joy they had on Halloween night.
Got a tip you’d like to share? Please do! Leave it in the comments for others!