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5 Tips to Shoot Scary Halloween Photography

5 Tips to Shoot Scary Halloween Photography

Halloween is just around the corner, a holiday that many people around the world eagerly wait for. This spooky celebration originated from the Celtic festival of summer’s end, the Samhain. According to the mythology of the Celts, it’s the time of the year when the veil between the world of the spirits, the Otherworld, and our world, thins. This allows souls, spirits, and other entities to return and haunt the land of the living.

Why Photographers Just Love Halloween

For kids, friends, and families, it’s a great time to dress up and present their spookiest, coolest, and even weirdest costumes. For professional photographers and beginners, it’s their time to summon their creativity and capture hair-raising, spine-chilling, and petrifying photos. This article will feature unique Halloween photography tips that will make this holiday fun and thrilling.

Getting Started on Your Halloween Photography Shoot

Deciding whether you’re doing your Halloween photoshoot indoors or outdoors should depend on the type of images that you want to capture. In a staged indoor studio, you have complete control of the source of light as well as setting the timing of the event. 

Indoor or Outdoor Halloween Photoshoot?

Indoor Halloween photography subjects may include people in costumes, Halloween food-themed photography and Halloween product photography, Halloween makeup photography, and other examples that require low lighting and staged stylized backdrops. 

Outdoor Halloween photography ideas are also more exciting because of the possibilities of shots, scenes, and events that you can capture through your camera’s lens. Aside from making use of natural light or the lack of it, you can also take advantage of landscapes and random streetscapes for more dramatic and unique storytelling. Outdoor photography sessions may provide unpredictability but it also means you get more creative and one-of-a-kind images from just a single session. 

Thrilling Halloween Photography Ideas That You Should Try This Year

If you’re still trying to figure out what images and photos to take this year, below are 5 tips to shoot scary Halloween Photography photos that will both horrify and bewitch your followers.

Add (a ghostly) spice to your pumpkin photos

The pumpkin is perhaps the most popular Halloween icon in many parts of the world. This orange fruit has thick shells and soft meat and pulp. They can be easily carved into ghoul-faced jack-o’-lanterns and are often placed in doorways, windows, or lawns, as a common holiday decoration. You can make them look like this scary creature with a demonic grin or a cute pumpkin head that brings treats instead of tricks.

Speaking of tricks, how should you add spice to your jack-o’-lantern photo? Two words: smoke bombs. Many photographers use different props and effects and smoke, using a smoke machine or a smoke bomb, can transform a simple ghoul head into a classic spooky photo. You can also experiment and use smoke bombs of different colors. 

Using Long Exposure Photography, you can achieve a smoother, more flowing effect for your smoke effect. This effect can be achieved by even just using your beginner camera equipment. While achieving this seemingly advanced timelapse image can be intimidating, using the right camera device will help you capture this surreal shot.

Take Eerie Photos of Ghosts and Apparitions

Sharing ghost stories and tales of eerie encounters can make your holiday with friends and family unforgettable. As a photographer, your form of story-telling is through your photos. No, you don’t have to spend the night in an abandoned, and not to mention, haunted building, to capture photos of ghosts and apparitions. You can DIY and tell your own story. 

Using the combined techniques of long exposure and multiple exposures, as well as quick post-processing, you can achieve this shot. As mentioned earlier, long exposure gives you that smooth movement and transition from one frame to another. What is normally considered noise and a failure in taking a crystal clear image, this photography trick is more of a fascinating method to create images of ghostly apparitions that will definitely trick an untrained eye.

Set up Slasher-movie themed Halloween photography backdrops

If you like taking photos of the great outdoors and are a big fan of Slasher movies, there’s a way to combine your two favorite things and create an exciting outdoor Halloween photoshoot: a midnight or evening shoot to hunt for the most haunting Halloween photography backdrops that you can combine with your other spooky shots.

There’s one secret to capturing the Slasher-movie type backdrops: using natural elements and sights, especially one as risky and exciting as lightning strikes. Lightning bursts and strikes add more thrill and intensity to many popular slasher films out there, and it’s easy to recreate them using your manual-capable DSLR camera and your high-speed camera trigger that can capture lightning bursts.

A quick tip when it comes to lightning photography: a lightning strike is one of the fastest events in nature and one of the riskiest too. Make sure that you are well-prepared. Bring a reliable camera and tripod, a camera trigger, a weatherproofing kit for your camera, and do your research first before going into your first lightning photography shoot. Check your local weather station and storm watch reports for possible lightning strikes. 

Capture the creatures of the dark using Light

Halloween photography tips don’t always have to be scary. Sometimes, it’s also interesting to play around with the concept of cool, weird, chilling, and modern-themed outfits and props. As long as your idea still revolves around the vibe of thrill, you’re still in. 

Light Masks, for example, have dominated the holiday’s “cooler” and more modern costume and prop stage. This was made popularized by the 2013 dystopian action horror movie, The Purge, and has since been a mainstay in the Halloween costume party theme. Light masks, as the name suggests, is a dazzling mask characterized by bright, neon LED lights that pattern X-shaped eyes and a sinister grin. Aside from its awesome effect in photos, as a photographer, you should take advantage of the light that it emits. Using a Long Exposure shooting method, you can capture a modern-day Halloween icon. Choosing a fitting backdrop, like an abandoned lot or on top of a dilapidated building, can craft out a storyline of terror and fright. 

This is a perfect idea for photographers who are taking on solo photoshoot projects and it won’t require a lot of equipment and props. All you need is your regular DSLR, a basic lens, a tripod, and a remote camera trigger.

A smart camera device, like MIOPS’ has a dedicated long exposure mode that allows you to take control of your camera through your mobile phone. MIOPS’’ camera triggers and smart devices will let you choose the best exposure value, depending on your light source, as well as the length of your timelapse shoot. It will also let you control the interval and frequency of your images based on the kind of light patterns that you want to achieve. Later, we’ll tell you more about these features. 

Take professional product photography photos of your “scary” but yummy Halloween treats

Halloween is not complete without the candies and goodies shared among neighbors, friends, and families. If you’re a product photographer, an entrepreneur that sells homemade goods, or even just a hobbyist who wants to show off their Halloween creations through photos and greeting cards, this advice is for you.

Creativity is key when taking photos of your spooky treats. Aside from taking still-life pictures of your goodies served on a plate or flat laid on a table or counter, you can also portray movement and action. Freeze your products mid-air using a high-speed photography technique. Capture the colorful sizzles of your signature witch’s brew and other Halloween cocktails through water splash and water drop photography. How about showcasing your skills and your process of making your Halloween baked goods using timelapse product photography for your vlog?

There’s no limit to what you can do as a photographer and as a fan of this colorful and exciting holiday. Aside from skills, creativity, and your camera bag, there’s one gear that you absolutely have to include in your Halloween photography equipment to be successful at not just one but all of these photography tips that we mentioned above.

What Camera Equipment Do You Need for Your Halloween Shoot?

The camera equipment you need for your Halloween shoot will depend on the type of images and events that you want to capture. Your regular DSLR, as long as it supports a Manual Mode, can do the job. Setting your camera in this custom mode will help you easily adjust the ISO, exposure, aperture, and shutter speed, to find settings and modes that best fit your subject.  Use it with your beginner or advanced lens kit and pack some lens filters for a more surreal, out-of-this-world effect. Of course, make sure that you have a tripod for more versatility, especially if you’re doing the shoot outdoors.

Most importantly, make sure you have a smart camera trigger or a camera slider in your camera bag. Using these camera devices will make a huge difference, especially when you want to take advantage of speed, light, and motion to create unique images and scenes. 

If you’re aiming for the best shots and most creative Halloween Photography images this year, MIOPS is introducing MIOPS FLEX as an addition to its growing camera devices that have transformed how photographers capture photos and videos. 

MIOPS FLEX for Creative Halloween Photography

MIOPS FLEX is the best partner for your DSLR camera in shooting your most creative Halloween photos and images for many other photography techniques. 

Capturing Smooth Timelapse Videos. This MIOPS device specializes in taking timelapse videos and images. Many of the tips discussed in this article rely on a smooth and reliable timelapse photography method to create mesmerizing and surreal effects of objects and elements in motion. Eerie photos of ghosts and apparitions, colored smoke bombs to create that strange and otherworldly ambiance, as well as light patterns and light trails photography, are just some of the many subgenres that you can explore with MIOPS FLEX.

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Freezing Fast Events Using Different High-Speed Photography Modes. Using MIOPS FLEX, your regular camera can capture lightning strikes, breaking glass, popping balloons, flying food, floating objects, high-speed water splashes, and many more examples of high-speed events. Capturing these rare and elusive events can level up your Halloween photos portfolio and help you stand out among the thousands of photos posted online. 

Upgrade Your Product Photography and Branding Skills Using MIOPS FLEX’s Live Framing Mode. Creatively market your Halloween goodies and treats using this device’s Live Framing mode, a feature that shows how your photo will look on a magazine cover, card frame, or catalog layout beforehand. Aside from saving you more time during the post-processing, it will help you achieve a more fitting framing and composition. It will also help you set up your products and see what colors and elements work best together.

Enjoy more possibilities and features, especially when it comes to taking HDR shots. Speaking of ditching post-processing, MIOPS FLEX’s HDR Mode extends your camera’s bracketing limitations to give you the freedom to take multiple images of the same scene using different exposures. Additionally, this mode will combine your shots into a single HDR image in seconds. 

MIOPS FLEX as An Exciting Addition to Your Camera Bag

Overall, MIOPS FLEX features different creative modes: the Laser Mode for detecting movement and motion, the Sound Mode for capturing loud events, such as balloon popping or bullet photography, Timelapse Mode and Long Exposure Mode, for astrophotography or other landscape photography genres, as well as a Stormlapse Mode for capturing lightning strikes and lightning burst videos. It also has a geo-tagging function for appending geographic coordinates to your images and videos. 

MIOPS FLEX can be controlled through your smartphone, using MIOPS’ dedicated mobile application. The app also provides a live preview of your images and videos even while the shoot is ongoing. 

Moreover, from the MIOPS app, you can adjust the f-number, set your shutter speed, change your ISO value, and wirelessly trigger your camera. Additionally, file transfer from one device to another and sharing them on your social media and online pages are made easier through the mobile application. 

Clearly, MIOPS FLEX is a perfect addition to your camera bag. This is also a very thoughtful gift to the most creative photographers in your life. Want to know more about this smart camera product? Everything you need is just a click away. 

Blog Credit: Charm Villalon

Charm is a writer and a visual artist. Her drive to share ideas and stories is evident in her background in communication arts and language studies. Years of professional experience in content creation have given her a broad proficiency with the process of engaging online communities. An appreciation for multiple languages and cultures drives her to seek out experiences and capture these moments through her writing, digital art, and photography.