Saturday, October 31, 2009

Spooky Halloween Photograpy Tips

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. "Trick-or-treaters, jack-o'-lanterns, costume parties, and decorated haunted houses will surely be a part of your Halloween weekend" according to Ritz Pix's photography instructor Digi Pixels. This cool episode should help you get some unforgettable photos:

Costumes are the centerpiece of any Halloween celebration. They come in many varieties, from last minute masks to elaborately planned group themes. Wearing a costume on Halloween is expected almost anywhere you go, but my number one piece of advice for photographing costumes is to take the pictures early! The makeup is still fresh, the masks are on, and the kids' sugar rushes have not yet hit their peak. Take several photos: group shots, individual shots, posed shots, and candids. Use backgrounds to enhance your photo, like a spooky tree or a decorated yard. Also, compose your photo to be appropriate for the costumes in the picture. For example, a beautiful princess will look better on a grand staircase than at a haunted cemetery. Encourage your subjects to act the part of the'll be surprised at how quickly both kids and adults will get into it!

Nothing says "Halloween" like a picture of a jack-o'-lantern, but many people never seem to get a good shot of their favorite carved pumpkin. Usually, the problem is your flash. Most cameras will pop the flash automatically, especially if it's dark. However, the tone of the flash is cold compared to the warm glow from the jack-o'-lantern, so the photo doesn't turn out like you want it to. To fix this, turn off your flash, raise your ISO to 400 or 800, and slow down the shutter speed. Also, try using a tripod or table to avoid a blurry photo.

- The autumn leaves and colors make a great background for Halloween photos. Weather permitting, be sure to capture the autumn colors in your photos.

- Play around with night mode on your camera. It will pop a flash but allow for ambient light to show in the background, which can create a wonderful (and sometimes spooky) color shift.

-Try shooting from different angles rather than straight on. A unique angle can turn an ordinary photo into a fantastic one!

- Try a few different techniques a day or two in advance, so when Halloween arrives, you'll know how to get the perfect shot!

- Convert your Halloween photos to black and white or sepia to add suspense or enhance their overall "spookiness."

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