Halloween Photo Tips


After a few folks asked for some picture-taking advice this past week,  I decided to sit down and put it in a post.  Oh and if you have a favorite capture from Halloween, please email it to  ksugarandspice @ gmail . com.  I’ll share the pic here on the ole blog for all of our friends to see. Sounds FUN. Now on to business.

Halloween is a pretty darn great night.  The candy, costumes, smiles and expressions, all make for terrific captures.  However, it can be a particularly difficult holiday to shoot because most of the action occurs after dark.  Low-light conditions make it difficult for your camera to get that sharp shot without a flash.  While if you turn your flash on, kids and adults alike can become overwhelmed by a constant bounce of bright light.  I know, geez, so many thorns to navigate in order to get that holiday money shot.

Well let’s pull everything together to get the job done.

SLR Camera:

Are you ready to get your feet wet in Photography and move past a simple point and shoot camera?  A Digital SLR’s would be your next step.  Digital SLR cameras can be put into 4 groups: beginner, semi-professional, professional and über-professional.  With each jump, the price jumps accordingly, matching the camera to more features.  Trust me, when the level of your experience grows the more features you will want.  With a spending threshold in mind and a sense of your skills, you can select the model that is right for you.

I’m a Canon girl, others prefer Nikon.  They are both excellent brands.  I feel it all boils down to what culture you were born into, nothing else. Here are a few Canon choices:

Camera Ideal for Level Features Est. Price
Canon EOS Rebel T3 Snapshots Beginners 12.2 megapixels Price (With Lens): $600 USD
Canon EOS Rebel T2i (550D) Families Beginner to Intermediate 18 megapixels Price (With Lens): $850 USD

Canon EOS Rebel T3i (600D)
Creative Images Beginner to Intermediate 18 megapixels Price (With Lens): $900 USD
Canon EOS 60D Action, Low light, Portraits Intermediate to Advanced 18 megapixels, wide ISO range Price (With Lens): $1,170 USD
Canon EOS 7D Action, Low light, Portraits, Video Advanced to professional 18 megapixels, HD video, 19-point autofocus Price (With Lens): $1,900 USD
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Photographer Videographer Advanced to Uber professional 21.1 megapixels, 15 autofocus points, HD video capture Price (NO LENS): $3,450 USD


Camera Settings:

Next up, get the kids in the costume and have them head outside.  You’ll get your best Halloween photos at the magic hour.  It’s the hour or so while the sun is setting, you’ll have enough natural light to easily forgo your flash.  After dusk, use a high ISO setting, 400-iso or more, and hold your camera as steady as you can to capture action without a flash.  I have a tendency to hold my breath to get that sharp photo. Others snap at the end of their exhale.  Once darkness falls, you will definitely need your flash, don’t forget to turn it back on.


Other than high ISO and no flash, here are a few favorite photography tricks.

Fill Your Frame:

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Fresh Angles:

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Group Photos:

Make sure no ones head is hiding behind another person, get in close {both you and your subjects}. Finally, my favorite, Turtle Down. Tell everyone to gently stick their neck out like a turtle, then tilt their nose down slightly. They’ll thank you later when they have a shot without the dreaded double chin.

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Rich is 40 164


Extra Fancy Credit…. Jack-o-lanterns:

Fall photo Series 2010 ENGE-001

For the best photos of a lit Jack-o-lantern, do not use a flash.  Additionally, the photo needs to be taken in the dark, complete darkness is best.  Scratching your head asking ‘how in the world’?  Here is a how-to.

Use a small light source so it can’t be seen in the pumpkin. When you frame the shot be sure to angle away from this source so it will not show in the final shot. You are only going after that spooky glow.

Vital. Find a stable resting place for the camera, table or tripod.  This type of photography is not hand-held due to how slow the shutter speed needs to be.  Any movement will cause blur.  Set your camera to a low ISO (100) for high quality, with a long exposure.  Test between 0.6 to 2 seconds.  Use the Tv mode on your camera, this way you can set the exposure (0.6 to 2 seconds) and the aperture will adjust accordingly like magic.  I use a very dark room, set the pumpkin on the table with my camera facing it, adjust the camera settings and use my automatic timer to click the shot.  I don’t touch the camera or the pumpkin.  My last year shots are hiding and cannot be found.  I’ll post a pic this week, we haven’t carved ours yet.  Tomorrow is the big day.

psst… if you’re in the market for a new toasted pumpkin seed recipe, click here for ours.

By the way tomorrow is GIVEAWEAY time! Swing on by to check it out. It’s a fun-for-the-entire family gift! {Update: click here for the Giveaway Post}

Have a great Halloween friends, don’t take any wooden nickels.



  1. Jenna Landero says

    It was nice to meet you last night 🙂 Love your pics!

  2. Love Love Love. Thank you. ::send::

  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I need all the help I can get!
    Becca – Our Crazy Boys recent posted..We had a #HEXBUGHalloween Party!

  4. What great tips! I feel like such a dunce when it comes to taking pictures, but you are so clear and easy to follow. Thank you! ~ Patricia
    PS ~ beautiful pictures for sure!

  5. This is awesome! I’m always looking for more pointers on shots. I just stuck myself in manual and it’s been a total sink or swim moment. I’m treading water.. barely. 🙂 If you’re not already a member of Clickin Moms, I’m doing a giveaway for a years membership. They are AMAZEBALZ. Check it out!! http://www.its-fitting.com 🙂 See you around facebook!
    Ashley @ It’s Fitting recent posted..Halloween – aka OMFG CANDY???

  6. Kathleen, it was nice to meet you at the VP Halloween Fest. Love you website and love your pictures.
    “Celebrate With A Sign”

  7. Thanks for the camera tips Kathleen and for letting me cuddle with “your baby” for awhile last night at BlogCrush. Hope to see you again soon.


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