Ultimate Halloween Photography Guide

Ultimate Halloween Photography Guide - Here are the top places to visit, things to photography and photography props for your studio this Halloween.

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Break out your camera, brush off the cobwebs and get ready to shoot some spooktacular images this Halloween with the help of our handy guide on the best places to go, things to photograph, props and techniques to make your photos scarily good!

Things to photograph

As darkness falls across the land, head out with a friend to take some atmospheric images in the spookiest locations possible. Sometimes even the most everyday locations, with the right lighting and effects, can start to take a bone-shaking turn to the dark side! Here are some subjects that can be ideal for a Halloween shoot:

graveyard

Graveyard

It may seem obvious, but the place most associated with ghosts and ghouls is most likely yto be your local graveyard - unless you have the misfortune to live near a haunted house! You don't have to go at night either - creepy shots can be achieved at any time of the day of the ornate gravestones. 

Woods

Head down to your local woodland and look for those particularly gnarly, bare trees with a really creepy edge. Experiment with your settings - sometimes shooting in black and white can give you a more atmospheric feel. 

Stately houses/castles

Often old stately homes and castles, with their ancient brickwork and eroding features can be the perfect backdrop for Halloween images. A little post-production can work wonders, too.

The moon 

Associated with werewolves and witches, the moon is an iconic sight around Halloween. Capturing it with a silhouette of the land below or even shooting by moonlight using slow shutter speeds and a wide aperture will give you some classic spooky photos. 

haunted house

Halloween techniques to try

On ePHOTOzine over the years, we've covered a fair few techniques to try on and around Halloween to give your photos a spooky feel. Here are our top picks:

 

Places to go

old wardour castle

Image by TeresaGraham

Old Wardour Castle, Wiltshire

Old Wardour Castle near Tisbury, Wiltshire was built in the 14th Century and is now in ruins, but has been used in the film set for Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. It's owned by English Heritage so there's an entrance fee, but it can be a spectacular spot for scary photos. They even have Spooky evening tours. The ghost of Lady Blanche Arundell haunts the ruins.
 

St Botolph's Church, Skidbrooke, Lincolnshire

According to experts, St Botolph's Church in Skidbrooke is one of the most haunted spots in Linconshire. The church is still in good shape on the outside but the inside is empty. It provides a shell for atmospheric shots - HDR is essential to get the entire range of tones from the light spilling through the windows to the interior dark areas. 

Moreton Corbet Castle

Image by alexcrawford

Moreton Corbet Castle, Shropshire

Another English Heritage property, but this one’s free to enter. It's a medieval castle, north east of Shrewsbury with good walls for backlighting to create haunting looking silhouettes.There are some interesting windows that could be used in composites too. The grounds are haunted by the ghost of Paul Holmyard.
 

whitby abbeyImage by ePz member jonkennard

Whitby Abbey, Whitby, North Yorkshire

Whitby abbey sits on top of the southern headland of Whitby. It's the site famous for Vampire legends and the spooky looking shell of the Abbey looks great as a silhouette. When captured with reflection in the pond on the land behind it can look very mystical. Go on one of the Goth weekends and you can add your touch of haunting without needing to get spooked out by the ghost of lady Hild, who's often seen through the north side of the abbey's highest window.
 

Muncaster castleImage by CarolAnnLauderdale

Muncaster Castle, Cumbria

This haunted castle is just 10 miles away from Wastwater in the Lake District. The ghost of court jester, Tom Skelton, haunts the grounds along with the White Lady and woman dressed in black. The castle is open to the public for visits or full experience stay overs. Some of the fully furnished interiors will look great as composites, with your own ghosts if you don't see the real thing.  
 

Burton Agnes Hall

Image by MarkHylton

Burton Agnes Hall, Driffield, East Yorkshire

The ghost of Katherine Griffith is reputed to haunt the Queen's state bedroom of Burton Agnes Hall - an Elizabethan stately home near Driffield. Photographed form the grounds, the house will make a great backdrop for ghostly portraits or haunted house manipulations. There's a charge to enter the hall and/or gardens.   

 

Highgate cemetery

Image by frogs123

Highgate Cemetery, London

You can't get much closer to ghosts and spectres than a cemetery and this North London one is particularly spooky with its Victorian Gothic tombs and buildings. It has plenty of ivy and interesting details along with a history of occult and sightings of the Highgate Vampire. There is a charge for entry and some areas are shut off from public access. There are many other Victorian graveyards around the country that will offer similar ghostly thrills. 

 

Point of ayr lighthouse
Image by tolle13

Point of Ayr Lighthouse, Flintshire, Wales

A subject photographed by many ePHOTOzine members over the years. This lighthouse was built in 1776 and has the ghost of a keeper wearing a coat and cap appearing standing in front of the glass dome, even in broad daylight. It's best photographed as the sun sets and hopefully you will see the keeper to add that extra thrill.

 

an evening in Pluckley
Image by gavrelle

Pluckley Village, Ashford, Kent

Described as the most haunted village in Britain it's worth taking time to wander around for photo opportunities while chancing bumping into the Highwayman, a horse-drawn coach, Gypsy Woman, miller or schoolmaster. There's a church that has two ghosts and varies other old buildings that attract 12 ghosts that have been sighted in the last 80 years. 

 

Events

No matter your age or the kind of photography you like, the chances are there are events in your local area that you can take part in this spooky season. There are lots of websites you can look at to find events happening in your area. 

  • If you're in London, check out TimeOut's Halloween in London guide.
  • If historic properties are more your thing, English Heritage have lots of events going on at their properties across the country for all ages. 
  • Local zoos and entertainment venues often run events throughout the day and night. Here's a few of the big ones (they also provide fantastic animal photo opportunities):

ZSL (Whipsnade) Boo at the zoo

Longleat Halloween Spooktacular Festival

Yorkshire Wildlife Park 'Grimm's Scary Tales' Halloween 

'The Enchantment' at Chester Zoo

Twycross Zoo Halloween Experience 

Halloween @ Exmoor Zoo - half price entry for those dressed up between October 21-29th 2017

Welsh Mountain Zoo Shriek Week - 21 Oct - 5 nov 2017

 

Props for the studio

If you want to create spooky images at home, we've put together a list of studio props that will help you create the Halloween feel you're after: 

Make your own cemetery kit

cemetery kit

This kit comes with everything you need to create the look of a cemetery in your studio including a gravestone, a hand and fences along with spider webs and fake spiders.

Buy on Amazon

 

Skeleton

skeleton

This Halloween staple will add an air of spookiness to any photo shoot. 

Buy on Amazon

 

Spooky backdrops for photos 

spooky backdrop

When you want to photograph groups of kids (or adults!) dressed up, a Halloween backdrop can make all the difference, especially in an indoor setting. There are lots of different varieties available. 

Buy on Amazon

 

Photo props/masks

Halloween masks

When photographing groups, having fun masks and props to hand can help you create natural smiles and laughs for images. 

Buy on Amazon

 

LED Mist Cauldron

Misty cauldron

Guaranteed to create an atmosphere for your images, this misty cauldron is an awesome addition for your studio.

Buy on Amazon

 

Halloween make-up 

Horror makeup kit

Create spooky make-up for photo shoots with this kit which includes everything from fake blood to glow in the dark cream, nails and a black lipstick.

Buy on Amazon

 

Find lots more Halloween tricks and treats at the Amazon Halloween store

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