with Courtney Slazinik
8 Tips for Photographing Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner. Be sure to capture those special memories with these tips!

1. Get Your Portraits First
Just like in a session, you want to get your most important shots done first. You want the cute shot of your little one posing in their outfits right? Do it first thing when you walk out the door. Or if you want a better chance, dress them up early.

ISO 1000 | 2.8 | 1/200

*All shoot with Canon 5D Mark II & Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L

2. Don’t be Afraid to Bump up your ISO
This is not the time to worry about grain. It’s going to happen. These were all shot at ISO 1000 or higher. If you nail exposure it will greatly help with grain so bump it up to get the shots.

ISO 1000 | 2.8 | 1/200

3. Get Low
Be at their level and see everything through their eyes. All but one photo I took that night was with me squatting or laying on the ground. I knew that being at her level would tell such a better story.

ISO 1000 | 2.8 | 1/200

4. Get the Details
Does your kid’s outfit have a special detail about it? Obviously with my kid being Dorothy, I needed a shot of those cute red shoes. This is when the ‘get low’ tip came in handy. I ran ahead and lay on the ground till she got close enough.

ISO 3200 | 2.8 | 1/200

5. Interact with the Them
This is one of my favorite shots, I asked her if I could have a piece of candy. She was so willing to share and her reaching into her pumpkin is too cute.

ISO 1600 | 2.8 | 1/200

6. Get Them Going to and FROM the door!
I got a lot of shots of my daughter walking up to the door. While cute, I realized I need to capture her afterwards. Every time she came away from a door, she would stare at her pumpkin wonder as her loot got larger.

ISO 1000 | 2.8 | 1/200

ISO 2000 | 2.8 | 1/200

7. Capture their Excitement.
My daughter could not get from door to door fast enough. I will admit that this photo was pure luck but the excitement that I caught is perfect.

ISO 2000 | 2.8 | 1/200

My husband actually told me to put my camera down and take my daughter up to the door. It was slightly embarrassing. I was so caught up in documenting the moment that I wasn’t part of my daughter’s first time trick-o-treating. This year I won’t make the same mistake.

ISO 6400 | 3.2 | 1/200

  • Wendy Farris
    October 18, 2014 at 10:12 PM

    Very cute :) How do you get such clear images with such high iso’s?!! I get noise if I bump it up to even 200 :(

    • October 19, 2014 at 10:10 PM

      Hi Wendy! When these photos were taken I had a Canon MK 5D ii, I now shoot with a Nikon D700. With these cameras you are able to crank up your ISO and not get much noise. Some tips though to help you with noise with your current camera is overexposing a bit. Underexposing even in the slightest can add to the noise your camera produces. Also do you shoot in RAW? Both LR and ACR (for photoshop) have noise slider that help reduce noise in post processing. Just watch the slider so your photos don’t become too smooth and you loose your sharpness. The highest I ever bump up that slider is +20. I hope those helped you a bit. :)

  • Maryann
    October 19, 2014 at 12:09 AM

    Great post I’ll remember these tips as my Princess Leia trick or treats. @Wendy I imagine because she’s using about $4000 in gear. My gear costs a whopping $600 so I also get grain too around 400 ISO. Embracing it is hard to do!

    • October 19, 2014 at 10:13 PM

      Hi Maryann! I’m so glad you liked the tips and please post your photo of Princess Leia on the Facebook page, we’d love to see it! :) Yes you are right in that my gear helps me with the high ISO and noise. I too started out with a Canon Rebel, It’s hard to embrace that grain but it’s awesome you are! So tips I give that helped me with noise is overexposing a bit. Even being slightly underexposed at a higher ISO can cause even more noise. Also do you use the noise reduction slider in post? If you shoot in RAW and have either ACR (photoshop) or LR you can use that to help reduce the amount of noise. Just know to watch it and not over do it so your photos don’t loose their sharpness. Hope this helps and have a awesome Halloween!!!

  • Susan
    October 19, 2014 at 6:46 AM

    It would be nice to see Halloween tips for the northeast. It’s cold with bulky jacket under costumes, and gets dark really quick where you deal with porch and streetlights. Your tips are great and still apply, but our photos will never look the same :/

    • October 19, 2014 at 10:07 PM

      Hi Susan!
      Sorry I couldn’t give you much tips for the colder weather. :( That year was a pretty warm Halloween, usually our Halloweens are rainy here in the good ole PNW. But when it’s dark I’d really work with your street lights. If you are able to crank your ISO, position yourself to snap your photos with your child under that light. Last year that’s what I did. It’s the second photo in this post. http://www.melissanoste.com/happy-halloween/ Honestly since we were going out later at night because she is now older I knew I had to really watch mine and her position to the light available to me. I will however put in the request to the other ladies for a possible future post. :)

  • October 31, 2014 at 10:42 AM

    Thank you for these- especially the last one:) I can totally see myself behind the camera and missing the moment a little. These are gorgeous! I’m always afraid of bumping up my ISO. http://Www.daniellegeriphotography.com

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