Have Fun Shooting Halloween Portraits

by | Oct 31, 2019

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

One of my favorite tips this time of year is to ask portrait subjects to bring their Halloween costumes to a  photo session. As adults they usually don’t get a chance to wear them more than just once and having them in costume lets you create the kind of images that are fun to shoot and fun for the subject too.

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

Today’s portrait was made during a shoot with the famous Internet model Maria Cedar. When I knew I would be photographing her last October I suggested that she wear an Elvira, Mistress of the Dark costume because both Maria and Elvira have larger-than-life personalities.

How I made this shot: The lighting setup for this portrait of Maria Cedar 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. 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 retouched in Photoshop. My original conception for this image was as a monochrome 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 $17.07 and starting at $6.95 used, as I write this. The Kindle version is $11.99 for those preferring a digital format.