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10 Halloween Photography Tips: How To Photograph Kids Halloween Costumes

Wondering how to get the best photos of kids in Halloween costumes?

After all, children usually have a hard time sitting still. Not to mention the fact that Halloween lighting is often dark and dreary!

So what’s an amateur photographer to do?


Here are 10 tips for taking kids Halloween costume photos:

#1 – If you’re using a digital camera, remember to insert a fresh set of batteries. (Or charge up your battery the night before.) Low-light conditions use up a lot battery power. And if know how to change your camera’s ISO settings (try the P or Program setting), switch the camera’s ISO to 800 for low-light shots.

#2 – Have someone shine a flashlight from off to one side of the child. You don’t want to do this for all of your kids Halloween costume photos, just some of them. It will produce a unique lighting effect for your pictures. Better yet, experiment with different colors of light — red, blue, and green will make some really unique Halloween photos!

Shelby as a Bunny for Halloween.

#3 – The biggest mistake people make is to shoot from too far back. You don’t always have to shoot from head-to-toe — especially since shoes are often the weakest part of a costume. Instead, get in close and fill the frame. Take some shots where you fill the frame with just the child’s head and shoulders. And take other shots at different angles filling the lens with the most unique parts of their costume.

#4 – Avoid red eye. Your best bet is to take non-posed shots — so the subject isn’t looking directly at the camera/flash. Or you could ask the child to look at something other than the camera. Or you could have a helper standing nearby to get the child’s attention, so they won’t be looking directly at the camera/flash. Usually, you’ll want to avoid red-eye in your Halloween photographs of people, but if you’re shooting a vampire or some other spooky character, the red-eye will add a great effect!

A child in a Winnie-the-Pooh costume for Halloween.

#5 – Don’t always shoot from adult-level looking down on the little ones. Take some shots from a child’s-eye-level too. You’ll have to bend down low in order to capture the child’s perspective. Or for a really cool perspective, lie down somewhere near the child and point the camera up at them to take the shot.

#6 – Take photos of your child in costume with and without the mask. Take these photos on the same night. You’ll appreciate it later.

#7 – Choose an interesting background. Instead of using a bare wall as the backdrop for your kids Halloween costume photos, try other things. Trees, big bushes, and vines make for a spooky setting.

#8 – Capture kids in costume from lots of different angles — including from down low, up high, and some from kids-eye level.

A fireman costume.

#9 – Take pictures both before and after they’ve gone trick-or-treating. One will show their costume and makeup neat and intact and their energy level high, filled with anticipation about going door-to-door. The other will reveal their true personality and how they looked when they returned home at the end of the evening; most likely exhausted, grumpy and ready to call it a night!

#10 – Light from below. Hold a flashlight, glow sticks, or some other light source under the child’s face to cast some interesting shadows. You might even try holding your camera upside down, so the flash fires downward for an interesting perspective!


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