Even if you usually take light, cheerful photos, Halloween is the one time of year when you can take scary, horror-themed pictures without anyone thinking it’s odd. You can get creative with creepy props, costumes, and special effects, or simply shoot the best decorations in your neighborhood. Here are some fun ideas for Halloween photos to inspire your photography this Halloween.
Inspiration for Halloween Pictures
Although Halloween is celebrated differently depending on where you live, the following ideas could work anywhere in the world. Even if your country doesn’t celebrate Halloween, you could use these images and ideas as inspiration for a horror-themed or autumn-themed shoot at home. If nothing else, it’s a good excuse to try something new!
Set up a still life photo.
Like Christmas, Halloween comes with a lot of decorations, such as jack-o’-lanterns, skeletons, and spider webs. Along with special drinks and candy, the holiday has a lot of interesting subjects you could use for spooky or lighthearted still life photos.
Go out and photograph seasonal decorations.
If your area doesn’t have any Halloween decorations, you may still find beautiful harvest-themed decorations around your neighborhood or town. Though less scary, these decorations go back to the pagan roots of Halloween, celebrating the end of harvest and the beginning of winter. They capture the feel of the season surrounding Halloween, minus the ghosts and zombies.
Find a crow, spider, or black cat to photograph.
Like pumpkins, these ominous subjects have the Halloween vibe without the Halloween decor. You can take an intense close-up or use them as the focal point in an eerie scene. Best of all, it doesn’t matter where you live! You’re likely to have at least one of these three subjects in your area.
For tips on photographing crows, check out our post with cool photos of crows and ravens.
Take a moody portrait.
You don’t actually need any props to create a nice Halloween image. Just make yourself look foreboding and take a self-portrait. You can go crazy with props or special effects, but sometimes, shooting in black and white is all you need to create a moody portrait.
When directing your subjects for a spooky Halloween portrait, be sure to match their pose and expression with the mood of the image. A serious, or even frightening portrait that features a subject sharing a goofy smile won’t work, unless slapstick humor is the goal. You can find additional posing, lighting, and compositional tips for Halloween photography here.
Capture a cool costume.
For some people, costumes are the highlight of Halloween. The holiday provides a great excuse for trying on clothes and makeup you normally wouldn’t wear. Even if you’re not going to a costume party, you can play with the idea of costumes in a Halloween photo shoot.
Create a creepy photo.
Halloween is a good time to dabble in conceptual photography. You have permission to experiment with creepy subjects and settings you typically don’t explore. While you might not want an entire portfolio filled with horrifying pictures (or would you?), it can be fun to step outside your comfort zone and play with horror for once.
Practice shooting in low light.
If you have no interest in Halloween decorations or scary photos, you can embrace the holiday by shooting in the dark instead. After all, darkness is a big part of Halloween. Whether you’re out in the city taking street shots or in the middle of nowhere, shooting the stars, you can use Halloween as an excuse to stay up late and learn more about capturing great photos at night.
Many of the images above were selected from our creative Flickr community.