Have Some Fun Shooting Halloween Portraits

by | Oct 28, 2021

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

One of my favorite portrait photography tips this time of year is to ask portrait subjects to bring their Halloween costumes with them to a photo session.

As adults your portrait subjects and potential clients don’t usually get a chance to wear them more than just once and having them pose in costume lets you create the kind of images that are fun to shoot and fun for the subject too.

Here’s an interesting aspect of shooing Halloween portraits: When your subjects are dressed in any kind of costume, they seems to get more personally involved in the session. In addition to getting a chance to create some great looking images that can be added to your portfolio, you also get to add another potential sale from the session. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

How I made this photograph: Today’s portrait was made during a shoot that I had a few years ago with the famous Internet model Maria Cedar. When knowing I’d be photographing Maria during October I suggested she wear an Elvira, Mistress of the Dark costume because both Maria and Elvira have larger-than-life personalities and this pose was one of her reinterpretations of that icon.

The lighting setup for this portrait was simple: A red Paul C. Buff DigiBee DB800 with a Plume Ltd hexagonal Wafer soft box attached was placed at camera right. A 40-inch Westcott 5-in-1 reflector was placed at camera left. That’s it. She was photographed against a black Savage Infinity vinyl backdrop that was hung from my JTL background stands. The camera used was a Panasonic Lumix GH4 with Lumix G Vario 14-45mm f/3.5-5.6 lens (at 45mm) with an exposure of 1/125 sec at f/6.3 and ISO 200.

The RAW file was initially retouched in Photoshop before applying Imagenomics’ Portraiture plug-in. My original concept for this image was that it would be am image that would be converted to black & white using Silver Efex Pro but I also like this color version, that has an touch of Color Efex Pro’s Glamour Glow filter.

If you’re interested in learning how I shoot portraits and use cameras, lenses and lighting in my in-home studio and on location, please pick up a copy of Studio Lighting Anywhere which is available new from Amazon.com for $27.90 and starting around 20 bucks used, as I write this. The Kindle version is $19.99 for those preferring a digital format.