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Helpful Tips for Taking Better Halloween Photos

By fotosiamo on October 26th 2012

Halloween is just around the corner! With all the glowing pumpkins scattered around the neighborhoods and people young and old walking around in fun and spooky costumes, there is a lot for us photographers to shoot.

Halloween by CricketMad

Halloween by CricketMad

Digital Photography School has some helpful tips for new and veteran photographers alike when it comes to photographing this festive holiday, from basic techniques like Rule of Thirds and finding fresh angles to how to get the best exposure for shooting jack o’lanterns (add another candle in the pumpkin and use exposure bracketing) and balancing your flash with the ambient so that it adds but does not take away from the ambient lighting.

Be sure to read the comments on the page, too. Here are some of the notable tips from the commenters:

1. Add vellum inside the pumpkin to diffuse the pumpkin candlelight glow
2. Add candles behind the pumpkin to give the whole pumpkin a glow, too.
3. Use 1/2 CTO Gels on your flash to blend it in better with ambient tungsten lighting
4. Don’t forget to tell a story.

To this, I would like to add that Halloween is a great time to practice your night time photography.

1. Don’t be afraid to shoot in higher ISO in order so you’re not shooting in too slow of a shutter speed. It’s easier to manage noise in post than having motion blur or camera shake in your photos.
2. Be aware of ambient lighting, especially from mixed sources.
3. Play with high and low perspective, especially shooting at kid’s level. Sometimes it’s more fun to see and shoot Halloween from a kid’s point of view instead.
4. Leave your zoom in your bag and shoot with a fast aperture prime lens to allow more light in.
5. If you travel with a friend or a family member, have him or her hold a speedlight with a wireless trigger so you shoot with some off-camera lighting.
6. Have fun and be creative!!

Don’t forget to check out Digital Photography School‘s Tips on Taking Better Halloween Photos.

Here are some great Halloween photo examples that I found online. You can click on the link to see a higher-resolution version:

Unafraid by Jake Laughlin
Unafraid by Jake Laughlin

Halloween by Alexandra Schastlivaya
Halloween by Alexandra Schastlivaya

Halloween Revenge by Julia Vazquez
Halloween Revenge by Julia Vazquez

Pumpkin Patch by Shaun Groenesteyn
Pumpkin Patch by Shaun Groenesteyn

Happy Halloween by Art by Vin’s
Happy Halloween by Art by Vin’s

So readers, what are some tips that you have for shooting Halloween photos? Do you have some great images that you would like to share?


Joe is a rising fashion and commercial photographer based in Los Angeles, CA. He blends creativity and edge with a strong style of lighting and emotion in his photographs. Be sure to check out his work at and connect with him on Google Plus and on Facebook


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  1. Last Minute Halloween Tips

    […] once a year, and so do the photographic opportunities. Before you shoot, prepare yourself with our Helpful Tips For Taking Better Halloween Photos article. Halloween may only come once a year, but your photos and memories will last much […]

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