Making Halloween Portraits

“Halloween is an opportunity to be really creative.”— Judy Gold

This time of year, one of my favorite photo concepts is to ask portrait subjects to bring their Halloween costumes to a shoot±even if it’s after Halloween, as I expect to shoot this Thursday.

As adults they don’t get a chance to wear them more than just once and it lets you create the kind of images that are fun to make for both the photographer and the subject. And when they’re dressed up, they seems to get more involved in the session. In addition to getting a chance to create some great photogaphs that you can add to your portfolio, you also get to add another potential sale from the session. It’s a win-win situation.

Halloween Butterfly

Mary Farace photographed this “butterfly” at an outdoor shoot in Northern Colorado. This is one of ten different shots and three different poses that she made during the session. Using the hay bales gave the subject something to interact with and create a diagonal line showing off her costume to good effect as well as giving Mary a chance to make a horizontal portrait.

The nexthalloween Halloween costume works great with this particular subject and I like the pose of having her lean on a cobweb-filled fence in a friend’s back yard.

To give it a Morticia Addams look, I though the portrait needed to be black and white but although originally  shot in color, I used Silver Efex Pro plug-in to tweak the image as seen here. The Glamour Glow filter from Color Efex Pro was also used. Since both plug-ins are free, you should download a set and put’em to work, Halloween or not. If you don’t like it in black and white, got back to the color original.

If you’re interested in shooting portraits and Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 9.13.43 AMhow I use cameras, lenses and lighting in my in-home studio, please pick up a copy of Studio Lighting Anywhere” which is available from with, as I write this, new non Prime copies selling for $17.50 (plus shipping,) cheaper than the Prime price.


Author: Joe Farace

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