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4 Tips for Your ‘Spooky Season’ Photoshoot

Carved pumpkin disguise

‘Tis the season to celebrate all things eerie. From getting elbow-deep in pumpkin entrails to ‘battening down the hatches’ for a long night of scary movies, now is the absolute best time of the year to celebrate your braver side – or just the side that loves candy, creativity, and costumes. 

One of the great things about social media is that it encourages us to break outside the norm, and ‘be extra’ for the sake of a good photo album or reel. Embracing your inner kid and really going for it at Halloween is one of the upsides to colder days, longer nights, and the things that go bump in the night…

Plus, it makes for an excellent photo book idea. Filling a square photo book with a collection of fun and spooky pictures of you and your friends and family is, in our opinion, one of the best ways to while away a chilly afternoon. 

So, without further ado, here are 5 ways to take your Halloween photo shoot from ‘eh’ to ‘argh’!

1.    Pick a colour scheme

Usually, we’re not sticklers for colour schemes. We love to see photo books that are brimming with colour – photo books that tell a story without every photo looking like it was edited with the same Insta filter. Being hashtag-aesthetic does not rely on a limited colour palette – end of. 

But, when you’re going for a serious vibe – for something that needs to be as atmospheric as a Halloween photoshoot – there is a lot to be said about picking a colour scheme, and rolling with it as much as possible. 

Now, we’re not going to be breaking any moulds here by urging you toward that very traditional colour palette of pumpkin orange, cloud grey, forest green and dim, moody neutrals. But, hey, why reinvent the wheel? Embracing the classic backdrop of a forest or suburbs in fall will mean nature does all the work on your behalf, and a little editing will really help those oranges and yellows pop. 

2.    Keep Things Simple

Raise your hand if you’ve ever cut a couple holes into an old white sheet and called it a day – because we certainly have. True, there’s a little voice that always wants to go all-out – to have an absolute field day with the glitter, the fake blood, the liquid latex, and the contacts – but, unless you’ve got a real talent for makeup, those visions hardly ever turn out as good as you think they’re going to. 

There’s something permanently fun about the basics – a pumpkin with a pretty simple-looking face carved into it, a white sheet, a cinnamon broom, or a black hat-and-dress combo. 

In other words, you don’t need to pressure yourself into a Hollywood-worthy production just to get some cool, atmospheric photos. 

If you want, this list of easy DIY Halloween costumes will stop you from dropping hundreds on pre-made costumes, but keep in mind the impact of those most basic costumes of all…

3.    Don’t Let the Lighting Get Too Dim

Some of the best and most impactful Halloween photographs have that creepy, dusky lighting – or even a light fog. This is a great way to bring a little extra atmosphere into your photos, but keep in mind how easy it is to get that vibe during the editing process.

It’s a lot easier to put a tint on a well-lit photo, than it is to make a poorly lit photo look good. We’re not saying you should do your photoshoot in bright daylight, since the glare from the sun is probably going to throw-off any attempts at making the scene look moody and glum. Look out for a day that’s overcast, but don’t leave it until sunset – mid- to late-afternoon is best. 

4.    Take a Few Photos of the Prep

Sure, those pictures of you slaving over a pile of pumpkin pulp or bent-double over a hand-stitched hem may not make the cut for position no. 1 on your Instagram carousel, but they’re part of the process – and probably have a lot of good, festive memories attached to them, too. 

As we mentioned above, we love a photo book that tells a story, and your Spooky Season photo book is no exception. True, you may want to launch straight into your very best pictures from the shoot itself, but ending the book with a handful of fun, casual, and candid shots of you and your loved ones working to make the shoot a success will be looked at fondly for years (and years) to come.


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