10 Tips to Make Your Halloween Pictures Stand Out

Written by Backdrop Express Photography Team on . Posted in Holiday Photography, Photography Tips

10 Tips to Make Your Halloween Pictures Stand Out | Backdrop Express Blog

There’s certainly no shortage of subject matter for Halloween pictures, from creepily-carved jack o’ lanterns to elaborate decorations to hordes of costumed revelers and trick or treaters. Adults spent a staggering $1.4 billion on costumes in 2012, and that’s not even counting $1.1 billion for kids (and $370 million for pet costumes.) Americans of all ages love Halloween — it affords them the opportunity to be adventurous, creative, and even go a little wild. Consider these 10 photography tips for spine-chilling photos on Halloween:

1. Fill the Frame

Halloween embodies dramatic elements and boldness. Punch up your shots by leaning in and filling your frame with the subject. This is especially impactful in group shots — have all of your monsters and goblins stand close together as they strike their favorite ghoulish poses. Whether you’re snapping people or objects, filling the frame can add a ton of impact to your photos.

Halloween BackdropsFeaturing: Skull & Crossbones Printed Backdrop | Courtesy of Ashley Glasco Photography

2. Use Focal Points

Before clicking off the shot, ask yourself what the point of interest is? The best and most graphically strong images have an undeniable element or focal point that holds the viewer’s attention and is accented by everything else in the shot.

Halloween BackdropsFeaturing: Orange/White Grunge Damask Printed Backdrop | Courtesy of Genesis1:16Photography

3. Framing the Face

All too many Halloween pictures look about the same — faces of people and jack o’ lanterns taken straight on and centered in the frame. You can make your portraits stand out by trying fresh perspectives and creative framing techniques. Use the space around framed faces unexpectedly; have your subject look off to one side, and leave more room in the shot on that side of their face.  

4. It’s in the Details

There’s no doubt that Halloween is a flashy, vibrant and even distracting time of year, but try and hone in on some of the visual treasures that others might overlook. Candy corn strewn across the cracked pavement; artfully dried fake blood on a partygoer’s neck; a kid that fell asleep in her costume at the end of the party — vignettes like these can make for memorable photos.

Halloween Backdrops

5. Use the Rule of Thirds

While some rules are made to be broken, at times following them is just what’s called for. The rule of thirds is a reliable means of capturing a powerful and impactful composition. Organize design elements in your images by thirds (approximately) before clicking off the shot; place your point of interest accordingly.

halloweenFeaturing: Comicbook Printed Backdrop

6. Halloween Backdrops

A well-chosen Halloween backdrop can be the perfect accent for Halloween portraits or group shots. From bold orange and black patterns to eerily draped muslins to haunted houses and other Halloween imagery, Halloween backdrops offer the perfect setting for holiday pictures your guests will cherish.

1QP PhotographyFeaturing: Candy Corn Printed Backdrop | Courtesy of 1QP Photography

7. Low Lighting

The best Halloween images seem to be dark and spooky. From dim candles inside of pumpkins to dramatically lit faces and decorations, the best Halloween memories are created after dark. Because of this, you should consider the lighting for your shots carefully. Avoid stark, bright lighting or using your flash. If you must use a flash, diffuse it; try covering it with colored cellophane. You can also increase ISO, slow down your shutter speed or use a larger aperture. You may get more blurring and graininess in some of the shots, but this just might add to the spookiness of the image. Use a tripod if needed.

8. Candid Shots

Halloween parties or being out and about with trick or treaters is an excellent time for capturing amazing candid photos. Watch for those stolen, priceless moments and be ready to click the shot.

Halloween Pre-Event-32Featuring: Spooky Night Printed Backdrop | Courtesy of Tanya Lee Hervey Photography

9. Awesome Editing and Effects

Don’t hesitate to unleash your photo editing skills once you get your shots home and onto the computer. Adding editing effects to your photos is fun under any circumstances, but Halloween photos give you lots of latitude. Eerie filters and distortion effects can take a photo into a whole different dimension; save a copy of the original, of course, but don’t hesitate to get wild with the effects.

halloweenFeaturing: Haunted House Printed Backdrop | Courtesy of Tanya Lee Hervey Photography

10. The Halloween Spirit

Lastly, before you head out, don’t forget your own creative costume! A zombie, pirate or alien with a camera is likely to get a far more interesting response than someone in street clothes.   Halloween is a season of bold colors, rich textures and plenty of compelling subject matter. Taking outstanding Halloween pictures uses the same principles as other types of photography, but with a few twists. Step up your game with these photography tips, and your Halloween pictures are sure to capture the essence of the season.

What spooky poses do you love doing for Halloween photos?

-Backdrop Express Photography Team

Interested in learning more about photographing for Halloween? Check out 5 Ways to Scarier Halloween Photos!

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