Halloween parties are the best! Great decorations — unbelievably creative costumes — and terrific seasonal colors. All make for a perfect photo opp — that would ultimately evolve into a very clever photo story capturing the event, the people, the ambiance and the fun that everyone had that day.
Plan Your Party Photo Story
If you’re not the party planner, talk to the host or hostess ahead of time to let them know you want to take party photos. Then make a plan to ensure you get the best and most fun photos.
- Know the party agenda — games, bonfire, apple dunking, costume judging, etc. Be alert to when events will take place.
- Start photos before other guests arrive. Take photos of the house, yard, doorway and the decorations inside the house. These will add rich flavor to the party’s photo story. Check out some of my sample photo shots — don’t be afraid to do closeups, angular shots, photos from above or below eye level. Mixing it up adds texture to your story.
- Photograph every guest. If needed, have a list of each guest handy — even make a note next to their name about the costume they’re wearing. This will help you make sure you’ve photographed every guest and it will help you identify photos later.
- Shoot individuals and small groupings. Again, remember how cool closeups can be. You don’t always have to shoot a full body photo. If the costumed guest has props, get a closeup of him using the prop. See my photo of a medical person close in to the camera with a stethoscope. Think of unique positions in which to capture the fun moment with that individual.
- Position guests with party decorations. If there’s a pile of pumpkins at the doorway, try placing one or two of your photo subjects in that setting. An old wooden bench outside? Put a small grouping out there — maybe positioned on/around it in an unusual way. Is the dog in costume? Get some poses with a couple of costumed guests.
- Food and Fun. Masks and face makeup can create obstacles to enjoying the Halloween treats. Catch a few guests in the act of sampling the treats — again, think about closeup shots.
- Host and Hostess Pix. If you’re giving the party, be sure you are included in some of the photos. Don’t be camera shy — you need to be part of the party memory.
- End of the Party. Wrap up your photo shoot with some pictures that say it all — “this was a great party.” That might include some costume pieces dragging out the door with their owner. Or party favors on the floor. Maybe a smashed pumpkin or two. The dying embers of a bonfire also make a nice closing for a party memory.
NEXT: The Party’s Over. Now Put Your Photo Story Together.
Tip: Check out this birthday party post by Darren Rowse of digitalphotographyschool.com. He offers children’s party photo tips plus a few pointers on using your camera, lighting, etc.