3 Halloween Photo Tricks and Treats for You / by Andrea Moffatt

Halloween is one of those holidays that makes me happy I'm a photographer. The photo opportunities abound - before, during, and after the big night. My oldest especially loves to make his own costume, which makes it especially meaningful for me to capture.

Here are 3 of my very best Tricks and Treats for capturing Halloween! 

1. Take pictures before trick or treating. (If possible, way before!)

I don't always get a chance to do this, depending on how early the costumes are done and when the glue is dry ;-), but if I have time, I like to take my kids to a setting that makes sense with their costume and take some portraits there. For Halloween 2014, I took my little robot to the city and my Elmo to the woods. Since I didn't have a Sesame Street set, I decided to take him to a spot that would contrast with his red fur the best.

And when I can't afford the time it takes to do a separate photo shoot, I just try to remember to take pictures before all the chaos, kids, and sugar begin to interfere. Here's my oldest getting ready last year (one of my all time favorites!) and him with his plastic pumpkin, ready to go. 

2. Don't forget to capture the parts of trick-or-treating that you want to always remember.

Little profiles, plastic pumpkins, the season's last leaves, warm porch lights, and the cluster of neighborhood children moving from house to house, always with the littlest trying to play catch up. 

3. As the light fades don't be afraid to rely on the street lights and porch lights as your main light source.

Photographing our evening as the light fades is actually my favorite part of trick-or-treating.... yes, even more than the candy! I love a good low light challenge and this is one of those. If you pay attention to the location and direction of the lights, it can be really rewarding. Using the street lights and porch lights as your light source means being patient and waiting for your subjects to be well-illuminated before shooting.

In the case of this first picture, the neighbors were standing right in a pool of light from the street lamp above them. It would've made a fantastic shot if the red car was not there and I was positioned a lot further away, so that you could see it the circular pool of light spotlighting the crowd. (I'll take that on for this year!)

In this second picture, I used the warm orange glow on the porch to illuminate our little trick or treaters.

And this one was the last frame I took two Halloweens ago, just before it really started to rain. Without the garage light, I would not have been able to convey the rainy, black night.

So there you have it! Keep those three tips in mind this year as you capture your little story and I promise you'll be rewarded with a treat better than chocolate! Happy Halloween!