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How To Take Horrifically Good Halloween Photos

The night of celebrating ghosts and ghouls is just around the corner so here are a few tips to help you perfect your Halloween photography skills.

| General Photography

How To Take Horrifically Good Halloween Photos: Haunted House


It won't be long until there are a massive amount of movie characters, endless variations on the Dracula theme, toilet paper-clad mummies, and all kinds of other nightmarish figures roaming the streets in celebration of Halloween and are here to share a few of tips to ensure your Halloween photos are horrifically good. 


Just Before Dusk

It’s not only the period when all the blood-sucking creatures prepare for their nightly deeds as the little time stretch between the late afternoon sunlight and complete darkness is the perfect period for taking photos of your Halloween decorations in the yard as well as your family in their costumes.

The very last hour of the sun being above the horizon, or the so-called 'magic hour', is perfect for capturing the terrifying grin of jack-o-lanterns, highlighted by the warm candlelight within. Try taking photos of people directly against the dusky, deep blue sky while utilising your fill-in flash to add highlights to their face. If you use higher ISOs you may not need to use additional light and the grainy effect higher ISOs can produce will be reminiscent of old Halloween photos from days gone by, even more so if you convert them to black & white. 


Experiment with the 'Ghost Effect'

Speaking of old-time spooky photos, All Hallow’s Eve is also a great time to exercise your knack for creating cool effects. By playing around with double-exposures, you can create 'ghost-like' effects. Here's just one way you can create multiple-exposure shots: 

  • Set the camera to a longer exposure  (try around 8 seconds and work from there).
  • Ask your subjects to get into the frame and stay there for 5 seconds once you press the shutter then ask them to move back out of frame. This will create a double exposure, making their image appear transparent.

You can also get your subjects to move slowly through the frame to create a scene that looks like ghosts are moving through the image. 


Night Of The Living Death

Despite numerous night-photography apps available on the market, you can't really beat taking photos at night with your camera and lens. There have been many improvements in technologies which mean it's easier than ever to capture photos at night. If you're working hand-held, try using higher ISOs if you need smaller apertures for greater depth of field but ideally, you should use a tripod so shake won't spoil your shots when using the longer exposures which are, generally, needed at night. 


How To Take Horrifically Good Halloween Photos: Vampire teeth

Photo by David Pritchard 


Simple, Scary Silhouettes

By far the most simple form of Halloween photography is to capture creepy shapes as silhouettes. Skeletal silhouettes of trees, the dreary figure of the Grim Reaper, or a quirky silhouette of Halloween decor backlit by the light from a house will always produce scarily brilliant results. If you feel courageous enough and there’s an abandoned old time cemetery nearby, that could serve as background for exceptionally scary photography but please do remember to be respectful of the graves and headstones found there. 


Creative Composition

If you and your friends have once again surpassed everyone’s expectations with your custom designs, it would only be right to create a portrait photo series. Suicide Squad? Avengers? The league of the most famous horror movie villains? Or the super topical ensemble of the Netflix smash series “Stranger Things”? Whatever your theme, why not create a mug shot session and print the results onto a cool-looking photo collage on a canvas. It'll make great wall art and an interesting talking point, too. 


Enjoy The Night!

Above all, don’t turn the night into a full-on photo shoot as there’s so much more to enjoy with your own eyes. wishes the best “trick or treat” experience thus far and if any of the photos from the evening have that special 'Tales from the Crypt' vibe going on, don’t hesitate to visit our website where you can transform your spooky shots into high-quality wall art decor!  


How To Take Horrifically Good Halloween Photos: Tree

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