MZ Productions
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Melissa Zimmer Photography

Photography that moves your soul.

how to capture great halloween pictures

It's October and that means it is time for pumpkins, cider, ghosts and goblins! For those that know me, you know I absolutely love Halloween. And if you didn't know, now you do! I love everything about the month of October - trips to the pumpkin patch, carving pumpkins and of course, taking my kids trick or treating. 

If you're like me, each year you want a great capture of your children in their costumes. But, the day comes and you are busy at their school party, trunk or treat, decorating your house or carving your own pumpkins and all you get is a picture with your iPhone - no doubt a very adorable picture on your phone, but what ends up happening to that picture on your phone? Do you print it? Post it on Facebook and forget about it? What happens to that picture?

Well, as I'm a photographer I strongly believe in the importance of printing your photos and showing them off around the house, having real prints in baby books or memory journals and giving photos to friends and family as gifts. Is there any better gift (I don't think so, and remember after Halloween, is Thanksgiving and after Thanksgiving.. well I don't need to spell it out for you).

So I wanted to provide my top 3 tips on taking great pictures of your kids - with your DSLR! Many of us have them, and yet they are rarely used! So my challenge to you this Halloween is to get your cameras out, take some snaps and share them with me on Instagram using #MZPhotoHalloween - I can't wait to see what you come up with! I will select one winner on Halloween who will receive a $50 gift certificate to MZ Photography!

Now, let's get down to business - here is my advice on snapping great images of your children this Halloween season.

1. Don't take the pictures on Halloween. That's right - don't do it! The day is busy enough as it is - and this year, Halloween is on a Monday, making it all the more hectic. Not only will this lessen your stress load, but your kids will love being able to wear their costumes time and time again. And you get your money's worth - all in all, a win-win. 

2. Go somewhere fun! There are so many great options around the Chicago area where you can head to get some fun pictures. I personally love unexpected choices, the beach, an alley, outside an old movie theatre - or somewhere right on theme with the season like a pumpkin patch, forest preserve or haunted house (maybe not for the little ones). But if you are short on time, like so many of us are, you can always use your own backyard and get creative! The snaps above were taken in my backyard - my youngest wasn't feeling the pictures so I'm glad I started early and didn't wait until Halloween to get a picture (see point one...) 

3. Don't play it safe. It's Halloween - try something new! Now is not the time to be boring with your ideas. My oldest daughter is being a witch this year, however we decided we would take some scary ghost pictures just for fun. We had a blast! My favorite part was when she told me that our youngest shouldn't look at her or she would get scared. I experimented a little bit with editing and definitely ventured far outside my normal field of play. I LOVE the results - they are perfectly haunting, just what we were going for!

Here's a before and after of the first image I shared so you can get a sense of what was done to alter the image to give it a ghostly vibe.

There you have it! Take great pictures this October with your kiddos and be sure to share them on Instagram using #MZPhotoHalloween - remember one lucky pumpkin is winning a $50 gift certificate so get out there and get clicking!