Ghosts, Ghouls, and Goblins: How to Photograph Yours!

The pumpkin lattes are pouring. Hayrides have begun. Pumpkin patch field trips are in full swing. The local farmers’ market has gourd and squash towers for toppling. How will you capture the costumes this Halloween?

Ghoul Lighting

Simple and scary anyone attending the Monster Mash--and unafraid of ghosts. Adds typically unwanted shadows (ha!) but also accentuate cheekbones and noses for an eerie effect.

  1. Grab your nearest flashlight.

  2. Hand it over to the ghoul of choice.

  3. They hold it under their chin, but outside the camera frame, light facing up.

  4. Now take the shot.

A Dash of Moonglow.

Your favorite kiddo is a werewolf, but it’s only 5:00 and time to trick or treat. Here’s how to get moonglow before sundown.  

  1. Find a flashlight (yellow) or some glowsticks (white-blue). A tablet also works.

  2. Head to the darkest room of your house.

  3. Have a  helper beam your light tool downwards from above.

  4. Play around with angle and aim.

  5. Put your camera flash in  “night” mode if you have it. No flash.

GIA--Ghosts in Action (Best with a real camera)

The idea is to capture kids and costumes in motion--they’ll be moving faster than the camera so there’s a bit of a blur (aka ghost) in the frame. Try SCO or Camera+--both apps can adjust your shutter speed. People walk at a 1/30th second so try shutter at 1/50th.

  1. Stand way back from the kids

  2. Have them run, skip or twirl

  3. Aim the camera at another nearby object.

Bonus Halloween Tips:

  • Shimmery makeup typically doesn’t play well with flash and will create hotspots.

  • Add twinkle lights (many come with a battery pack) to any costume for added dazzle and cool photography, just mind it doesn’t constrict movement (or even breathing).