{K.I.S.S – Halloween Photo Tips #1} Westfield, New Jersey Photographer

Halloween is approaching.  There is no doubt that moms across the U.S. are going to be trying to get a great picture of their child(ren) in costume.  Over the next week, I’m going to be giving some tips on how to get a great picture of your child(ren).  Today is the first post in the series, and today my message is K.I.S.S.

Keep it simple and straightforward – what an awesome message.  I find that so often people add so many unnecessary elements to their photos. Props, location, background elements – if the shooter isn’t careful, these additional elements can be incredibly distracting.  By keeping it simple, you give the viewer an image that is clear and concise. I believe that the images in this post reflect that idea.  Instead of presenting the pumpkins amidst some extravagant table setting, I’ve decided to keep it simple – just the pumpkins on my window ledge.  This causes the viewer to focus directly on the subject, and it allows me, the photographer, to present the subject in a visually appealing way because there are only two things that I need to think about – the subject and the light.

Try taking some picture of stationary objects before you get your child(ren) en garb.  Take a picture of your pumpkins on your front porch.  Take a picture of a pile of leaves or acorns.  Practice taking one subject and making it the focus of your image by filling the frame or using depth-of-field to add sharpness to the subject – making any other element of the scene a secondary focus.  When you are happy with your shots and you feel you’d like to try a living being, replace whatever was the focus in your other images with your child! Stick your child(ren) on the steps and frame your shot so they are the focus.  Plop your little one(s) in front and to the side of the leaf pile, again making your child the focus of the image.

Remember, keep it simple.  You really don’t need a little guy in a lion costume in a pile of leaves holding a trick or treat bag, sitting on a gigantic pumpkin balancing a gourd on his maned head.  Keep it simple. Keep it simple.  Don’t forget that your child is the focus and everything else is secondary.  This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pay attention to location/setting.  This is just as important as your focus – but you need to understand the importance of making your subject feel like they are apart of the scene while simultaneously making them stand out.

The next post in the series will be on how to choose a good location.  I’ll cover what you need to look for in a backdrop, and for those of you who are limited in locations, I’ll give a few tips on making what you already have work in your favor.

Happy Friday! Happy Autumn!