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22 October 2009

Tricks and treats for great pics from Shutterfly

Tricks and Treats
For taking great Halloween photos

Tricks and Treats - For taking great Halloween photosWhile the build-up to the holiday season can have its stressful moments, Halloween offers a colorful break. It’s fun and festive—and a great time to have your camera at the ready. Even though it’s just a single night, the bright costumes and expressions on kids’ faces make Halloween the perfect photo op. Here are some tricks to help make it a treat.

Mask on, mask off. You might know who that child behind the mask is, but will anyone else? Make sure you have at least one Halloween photo of the kids before they put on their costume.

Get up close. No matter the subject of your Halloween photos—a jack-o-lantern, a group of children in costume or a bowl of candy—make sure you get up-close and personal. Keep any background elements that could distract the viewer out of the frame. If you’re in manual aperture mode, open up the lens to keep the foreground sharp and the background blurry.

Get down low for kid-level shots. Be sure to photograph kids at their level, not yours. A camera pointed downwards at a child “looks” down on them both figuratively and literally. Crouch down and take head-on (and close-up) shots of kids for a warmer, more intimate Halloween photo.

Avoid using a flash. Obviously most of the Halloween fun takes place at dusk or once the sun has gone down, but the harsh blue strobe of a flash tends to throw a cool, unappealing light on all those colorful costumes and decorations. Instead, use other light sources to give your images an eerie glow. Put an extra candle or two inside the pumpkin. Have someone stand to the side of the trick-or-treaters with a flashlight and shine them with a ghoulish spot. If you must use a flash in a low-light situation, make sure there are no reflective surfaces behind the subject—if there are, shoot at an angle where the flash won’t wash out the picture.

Craft a (ghost) story. Your Halloween photos should walk viewers through the events of the day chronologically from putting on the costume to the school parade to trick-or-treating to the haul of candy that’s accumulated during the evening. Capture everything through your camera: the ambiance, the decorations, the kids and the parents.

Make it a candid camera: Of course you’ll want to take plenty of snaps of your kids in costume, but stay away from posed, static shots. Part of telling a story is being there for the unexpected and unplanned moments. Let the camera eye act as an impartial observer. It’ll make for a more natural, more engaging set of Halloween photos.

For more fantastic ideas, tips and more follow Shutterfly.  Shutterfly is also having a free shipping event, as well as buy 1 get 1 50% off of Photo Books, Buy 50 and get 25 free cards!! These offers end October 28th, so hurry before time escapes!


Meeko Fabulous said...

These are great tips! Thanks for the suggestion! Meeko's Mayhem Moments totally rocked it for me! I don't have a deadline per se . . . I hadn't even thought about it . . . LOL! I'll mention a deadline in Monday's post. :)

Letti said...

I loved all of these tips. Thanks for posting them.

April Miner said...

good ideas! Thanks for sharing.

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