How to Take Frighteningly Great Halloween Photographs

Halloween is a great time to take photographs. There are plenty of opportunities for shots of children and families, and these can become treasured pictures to enjoy for years to come. There are also new subjects for the creative photographer to explore. Halloween is a time of color, action and lots of interesting subjects.

For the serious photographer, Halloween is a great time to test the capability of your digital SLR camera. For those wanting to capture the precious moments and mood of the season, a compact camera or smartphone camera will serve just as well. Things happen quickly, and the photographer needs to be prepared and ready to freeze moments before they are gone. Before the day, make sure batteries are charged and that there is plenty of memory space available on your camera.

The secret of memorable Halloween photographs is to tell a story. If your children are dressing up, capture their excitement as they change into their costumes. Move in for close-up shots of details on their Halloween costumes, and ask children to act the part and frighten you with an evil face. Candle or lamp light is perfect to create a Halloween mood. Avoid using flash which may spoil the atmosphere. More advanced cameras will produce great shots in low light, but be careful with focussing in these conditions.

When it comes to photographing people at Halloween, don't forget the basics of taking a great picture. Set your camera to automatic-mode so you can concentrate on framing and composition. Make the effort to ask people to face the camera, and move them to a spot where there's an interesting background if possible. Don't get caught in the excitement and just snap away without thinking, as the results will usually be disappointing.

Pumpkins, skeletons and other things we associate with the season can bring your Halloween pictures to life. Children love holding these things and being photographed with them. If you are having a Halloween party, decorate the room with Jack-o-Lanterns and other Halloween items to create the atmosphere. When taking photographs of people at the party, position them where the decorations are visible in the shot.

Food is a big part of Halloween, so remember to include it when capturing the occasion. A mixture of shots of people in costumes, children playing and the Halloween decorations and food will make a great record of the day.

More experienced photographers can experiment with night photography at Halloween. A tripod is essential for this, and it opens up a range of creative possibilities. Setting your camera to a slow shutter speed means you can capture light-trails, such as a child dancing with a candle or torch. You can include the moon in shots to increase the eerie atmosphere. There may also be the chance to photograph fireworks at Halloween, another blaze of colour making beautiful pictures.

With a little thought and effort, your Halloween photographs should capture the mood and excitement of the occasion.

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