Tips for Photographing Halloween

Untitled photo

I don't know about you, but in my house Halloween is highly anticipated. The kids usually start planning their costumes on November 1 (seriously). And who can blame them? Getting to fully immerse in a world of pretend play where you dress up to become a new character and are rewarded for doing so with a bucket full of candy = childhood (life?) goals achieved. 

All of the magic and excitement that comes along with the Halloween season makes it such a fun time to photograph your kids. It's also a great way to capture a bit of their personality and interests in that year. I've picked up a few helpful tips over the years for getting some good shots that I'd love to share...


There's so much anticipation and excitement in the days and weeks leading up to the big night. Tap into that by taking your photos before the 31st. Kids are usually more than willing to give their costumes a test run! On Halloween night kids are antsy to get going - candy awaits! - so avoid the rush by getting it done early. The best time is about an hour before sunset when the light is soft and golden. 

Untitled photo


Prompt your kids with some kind of action to get them into their character and get them moving. It will be a game and help elicit some good expressions. Here's some examples:

"Twirl like a princess!"

"Show me your best super hero move!"

"Say ARRR in your best pirate voice!"

"Walk like a zombie"

You get the point. Of course you'll have to be ready to quickly capture the movement. And make sure you have plenty of light to work with. If the light is too low and they move fast they'll look more like a blur.

"Look out for scallywags!"

Untitled photo


There's more to Halloween than just one night! Don't forget to get some pictures of pumpkin picking/painting/carving, decorating the house, crafting and other fun activities.

Untitled photo


Whether or not you have a chance to snap some pics in the days before you'll probably want to get some the night of. As the sun starts to go down and the light recedes you may be tempted to use a flash. Avoid it if you can as it can give red eye and washed out looks. Look for patches of light in street lamps, glow sticks, front porches and other outdoor lighting. You can even try using a flash light. Waiting for a pause in the action can help prevent motion blur.

Taken using outdoor flood lights

Untitled photo

And most importantly - HAVE FUN!!!

If you found this helpful be sure to Pin it so you can come back to it later and also share with others!

Share the Love

Stay in Touch

Become a VIP client and be the first to hear about my specials and promotions, session openings and helpful tips. I'll keep my emails short and sweet and I will never sell or share your email address. Drop your info and let's get started!

* indicates required
Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In