5 quick tips for better halloween photos

The countdown to Halloween is officially on at our house, as I’m sure it is at yours! Halloween is one of our favorite holidays! With all the costumes, candy and cute trick-or-treaters there are just so many things to love…and so many things to take pictures of!
Here are a few quick tips to help you capture some adorable photos this Halloween!
1. It’s about time – halloween can be a ‘tricky’ time of year for taking photos. A lot of the festivities take place after dark which makes for less than ideal photo taking conditions so what I try to do is take advantage of the available daylight while I can. Think about having your trick or treaters ready a bit early and head out at dusk when the sun is low and you have just enough of that golden sunlight left to capture a few memorable photos.
If you have to shoot in low light you can compensate by increasing the ISO settings on your camera or choosing a higher aperture (AWESOME explantion of ISO, Aperture, Shutterspeed and their relationship can be found here). If you have to use your flash go ahead, but turn it off wherever possible to avoid washed out, shadowy photos.
2. Ready, Set, Shoot – planning ahead can make the photo taking process during your annual halloween activities go so much smoother. Have a list in mind of photos you hope to capture. Do a dry run if your child has a halloween function to attend before Halloween. Taking a few photos while they’re already dressed up will free up your time on halloween night. Keep extra halloween makeup, safety pins and a hair brush handy for any “emergencies” that may arise. 
Having a few tricks up your sleeve to help you and your child enjoy the photo taking experience doesn’t hurt either. Have a healthy snack and water on hand, handy wipes are a must for runny noses or smeared makeup. One thing that is always sure to put a smile on my kids faces when taking Halloween photos is to ask them to act like the character they’re dressed up as.
3. Switch things up – don’t be afraid to try something new with your photos. Crop in close on the details, take a step back and capture the whole scene. Get down low, stand up on something – change your perspective and see what kind of photos you can capture. The traditional smiling-in-their-halloween-costume photos are great but don’t forget to switch things up and you’ll be surprised at what photos end up being your favorites. For this shot I was crouched low to the ground behind the kids and the resulting photo is one of my all-time halloween favorites.
4. What to shoot – there are so many great photo ops during Halloween so be on the look out for unique and creative ways you can capture the holiday fun. Here are some ideas of photos you may want to take:
Pumkin carving
The finished Jack-O Lantern. Try adding an extra candle or two inside your pumpkin when photographing it.
Trick or treating and enjoying the loot afterwards
Connections between siblings, friends, parent and child
Special halloween traditions
Costume details
Halloween decor
Your favorite halloween treat
Getting ready for halloween – putting on makeup, making treats
The kids halloween art projects from school
5. Enjoy the moment – once you’ve set out capturing the photos on your list allow yourself to put your camera away and enjoy the moment with your kids without the camera around your neck. Let go of the idea that you need to capture every moment and simply enjoy being in the moment.
Have fun capturing those adorable Halloween photos everyone!
If you enjoyed this post you might also like: 
For more photo tips + tricks check out my eBooks:


Real.Life.Photography eBook - how to take amazing photos in real-life situations40 Top Tips for Better Photos: Simple suggestions for stunning photographs (by Rebecca Cooper)
Don't Say Cheese! How to get great, natural photos of your kids (by Rebecca Cooper)



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Rebecca Cooper is a 36-year-old wife and mother of four who lives with her family in sunny Arizona. As a photographer, crafter, author, and blogger, she finds joy and fulfillment in celebrating everyday moments. She loves to read and eat chocolate, and is a firm believer in afternoon naps. Rebecca shares her family’s adventures, photo tips, simple craft projects + more right here at Simple as That.

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  1. One Tough Mother says

    Can I just tell you…I love, love, love your blog so much. I stop by to refresh my mind and get lost in your gorgeous photos, and these are no different – beautiful!

    Thanks for the Halloween tips – it’s by far one of my favorite holidays :)


  2. Venassa says

    All great tips. I love your photos. My daughter will only be a month old at Halloween so we wont be taking too many photos this year. She’s way too tiny to even get her in a costume.

  3. says

    I LOVED all the tips you shared! I featured it on Sassy Sites today! Come by and check it out! :) Thanks for linking up to Sassy Sites FFA party! Have a wonderful Halloween weekend! XOXO!!

    Marni @ Sassy Sites!

  4. Anonymous says

    I get that you’re giving tips on better photo shoots. But who would dress their children in cowboy and american native motif?
    Poor taste, and offensive.

  5. April says

    I love all your tips for actually getting the good shots but what I really want to know is more about your editing process. What actions do you love? How do you get your photos to look like they do?

  6. says

    Great tips and ideas – our 2 1/2 year old daughter’s understanding of Halloween makes this year special for us and we’ll defo be using some of your tips. We’ll follow you on Twitter also. Many thanks and Happy Halloween !!!

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