Come October, I always get a little twitchy—photographically inspired by the colors, costumes, and seasonal festivities Halloween and Harvest bring. My favorite family photographs often come from this time. There are numerous opportunities to capture the warmth and enjoyment of this kid-favorite holiday.
Coordinate outfits for the pumpkin patch? Why not? Without strategizing too much for perfectly matched outfits, you can at least add little pops of color in your child's clothing ensemble that will subtly coordinate with rows of pumpkins. Try an orange headband or a hat in fall hues.
If your baby isn't sitting up yet, it can be difficult to get a good solo shot. Photos of babies propped and slouched usually look awkward and forced. Try something more natural—lay your baby down in the middle of the pumpkin patch and experiment with different angles.
When it comes time for pumpkin carving, try taking the holiday ritual outside. Not only will you have great natural light for photos, but you won't worry so much about the mess of pumpkin slime and seeds.
We might supervise the carving ritual, but let the kids dive in those pumpkins and get messy. It makes for wonderful photographs and even better memories. And don't forget to zoom in! Capture the details of the mess.
Think your baby is too little to get involved in Halloween rituals? Start them young. As long as you're watching to see what goes in their mouth, a bowl of slimy seeds can keep a baby entertained for a long time. Add great photos, and you have a complete Halloween victory.
Carving isn't the only way to decorate a pumpkin. Painting pumpkins is slightly less messy and allows kids to take over their own masterpieces. Try photographing this activity with an overhead shot. Babies love to get involved too!
Don't wait until Halloween night to get the perfect costume shot. It's likely your child won't want to wear the wig, refuses to have her face painted or ditches the idea of the costume all together. I usually do a "dress rehearsal" shot a few weeks before Halloween, and I use these photos to make cards to send out to friends and family before the holiday.
Invite trick-or-treating friends over early—before it gets dark—to get great photos with natural light. Once the dark sets in and kids are candy-buzzed, it can get frustrating to get the perfect shot, especially without a flash.
Because I'm not the biggest fan of flash photography, I try and use light sources as much as I can—street lights, lamps, candles, etc. I usually put a small lantern in my kids' candy buckets, and the result is a nice enchanted glow in photos.