A Halloween party is a chance to really go for it when it comes to putting together costumes. And, because everyone will have made such an effort to get into the ghoulish spirit of Halloween, it’s a chance to capture snaps of family and friends looking completely different to their normal selves. Here’s our ghoulish guide to taking scary snaps.
Capture the preparations
Because most Halloween parties take place after dusk – it’s scarier that way! – you may find you’re working with challenging light conditions. But, just as you would take images of the bride and bridesmaids getting ready for the big event, you could snap you children or friends as they try their costume on at home, paint their faces, or pop their vampire teeth in. That way, you’ll have a set of candid, intimate images before the party even starts.
Let a photo booth do some of the work for you
If you’ve hired a venue for your Halloween party, you could also think about hiring a photo booth. That way, you don’t have to worry about taking images of everyone yourself. You can ask for the photo booth to be positioned fairly near to the entrance so guests can have their pictures taken as they come in, or place it in an area of high traffic, so they are encouraged to pop in while on their way to the bar, or the dance floor. You’re sure to get some funny shots of vampires piling in with werewolves or pumpkins sharing the booth with black cats. A photo booth can be a great way to break the ice and get your party started as it gives your guests something to do if they’re feeling a bit nervous about chatting to people they don’t know very well. You’ll find silly poses and silly faces are the order of the day, giving you a wealth of funny shots to share with everyone who attends your party.
The devil is in the details
As well as the standout costumes at your party, have a look around at some of the little details at the event. Lots of effort is usually made with the food and drinks at Halloween parties to make them look as spooky as possible. Take pictures of the Halloween cakes, the worm jellies and the ghostly meringues. Look at the back of guests’ costumes too – perhaps there are creepy details that would provide a good image. And, remember to take images of people with and without their masks, otherwise you’ll forget who was who in years to come.
Dealing with low lighting conditions
Because of the very nature of Halloween – the fact we want our events to seem as creepy as possible, you’ll find yourself coping with some tricky lighting situations. If you use a flash, you’ll find yourself with stark images without much depth or character. Instead, you’ll want to try to work with the existing lighting as much as possible, to capture that spooky candlelit glow. If you’re using a DSLR, you may find you’re lucky enough to have a setting for candlelight. If not, then you’ll need to let as much light in as possible, so increase your ISO and slow down your shutter speed. Use a larger aperture too, to widen the hole in your lens and let more light in. You’ll find your shots could be grainier and you may have difficulty controlling movement, but it all adds to the atmosphere of your Halloween shots.
With a bit of thought and planning, you’ll have a series of Halloween shots which will still be making you smile in years to come.