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How to take
Halloween photos

How to take harrowingly good Halloween photos

Autumn is here and we’re digging out our cosy jumpers, kicking through piles of crunchy leaves and getting ready for Halloween! The scariest night of the year is just around the corner, promising thrills and spills – and a plethora of spooky photo opportunities.

If your Halloween pictures are usually more ghastly than ghoulish, we hear you! We asked photographer and Jessops expert Niall Stansfield for some creepily cool ideas, tricks and treats to get the best out of your Halloween photos…

Behind the screams…

Want to get the best Halloween pictures? Start early. Beautiful candid shots can really help set the scene, so begin by capturing the magic of the evening by taking pictures of everyone getting ready.
Top tip Hide the mirror when your little one is having their face painted, then be ready to snap their reaction during the big reveal.


Prepare to scare


If the kids are going trick or treating, avoid the last-minute panic of taking snaps by the front door, when their beautiful costumes are hidden under winter coats. Get them ready in good time, and take them into the garden for a photo shoot before the light fades. Waiting until the night is in full swing (and the kids are high on sugar) might seem like a good idea, but the reality is more of a nightmare!

Top tip Give them props to play with. ‘This will help them pose up a storm and provide more interesting shots,’ says Niall.

Picture-perfect pumpkins

Taking the perfect pumpkin picture is easier said than done. Too much light, and the spooky effect is lost. Too little, and all you’re left with is a glowing pair of eyes and teeth. The best time to shoot your pumpkin is at twilight. Find a natural, uncluttered background, turn the flash off and keep your phone or camera as still as possible. A Gorilla Pod is a perfect stand for smartphone photographers. Use a torch rather than candles inside your pumpkin – not only is it safer, it also provides a more dramatic effect.

Top tip ‘Some camera phones read the light from where the camera is focused,’ says Niall. ‘So, using your touch screen, touch the eyes or mouth of the pumpkin to get the best results.’


Fright night


Once darkness has fallen, it can be hard to shoot sharp pictures on a phone or small camera. But this is the perfect opportunity to create some spooky effects! Try standing everyone under a street lamp or use the ambient light of an open front door to create a creepy glow. Again, turn your flash off and keep your camera steady.

Top tip ‘Zoom in with your feet,’ says Niall. ‘Walk closer to the subject, rather than using the camera phone’s zoom, as this will reduce the quality of the image.’

Ghoulishly good special effects

You can get some really interesting shots by playing with angles. Look for steps, a stool or a low wall to stand on (be careful if it’s dark!) and experiment with high and low angles to create an extra spooky feel.
Top tip ‘If the phone has a firework or long exposure mode, use it to create fun “ghost” images,’ says Niall. ‘Secure the camera and use a self-timer, then get the kids to run around leaving spooky ghost trails.’


No tricks, just treats!


Now you’ve nailed your spooktacular Halloween pictures, you’ll want to enjoy them forever. Here are five ways to do just that:

? Print them! Children adore looking at photographs of themselves – did you know you can now order online and collect your pictures within two hours from (most) stores?
? Throwing a Halloween party? Turn your house into a ready-made pumpkin patch with a personalised pumpkin cushion
? Now you see it, now you don’t! A spooky Magic Mug will add an eerie twist to proceedings!
? Scrapbooking is all the rage and your little ones will love sticking and decorating their favourite pictures in a special memory book. Head in store to see our full range.
? For something different, how about turning your favourite Halloween shot into a cool picture puzzle? Our range includes boards from 12 to 1,000 pieces, and will bring the family together to relive your fun night over and over.
You can see the full range of Jessops Photo accessories


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