Tired of the dark, blurry photos you get while trying to capture the cuteness every Halloween? If your family chooses to trick-or-treat this year, you will rule social media with a dizzying array of your photogenic kids, in all their crystal-clear glory. Here’s the plan to follow for the perfect trick-or-treat pix.

Leading Up to the Big Night

It’s going be hard, if not impossible, to get kids to stand still at trick-or-treat time to snap that perfect pic. The moment the sun dips below the horizon and one person announces that it’s time to start trick-or-treating is the moment all the kids scatter.

They, too, suffer from FOMO.

However, in the weeks leading up to Halloween, kids will happily don their costume and pose tirelessly. This is your opportunity to get them to do all the cute things for your trick-or-treat pix.

Start with candid shots of the process leading up to the big event. A little kid in the big costume aisle, helping a parent sew the costume, putting on makeup and adjusting colorful wigs – these can make great photos.

Ask the kids to do things that their character would do. Try to get dinosaurs roaring and stomping, wee witches spell casting, or pirates swash-buckling.

Lastly, find or create an appropriate setting and let the kids to go into character. Show your ninja clinging to a fence post, or your mini police office in front of the local station. Favor action shots over still ones: a princess just standing there is not as visually compelling as one who is dancing and twirling her skirt.

On Halloween

Use daylight while you can. The golden hour is a special time for pro and amateur photographers. This is shortly before sunset, during which daylight is warmer and softer than when the sun is higher in the sky.

The golden hour bathes everything in its glow, creating a warm and cozy look, and makes everything more vivid and dramatic.

Once you run out of natural daylight, you’re going to need different methods for getting those moody, spooky nighttime trick-or-treat pix. Cue the expert advice…


Pro Tips for Low-Light Strategies

Raise the ISO Level: One of the easiest changes you can make to compensate for low light is to raise the ISO setting, which makes it more sensitive to light. The more sensitive it is, the faster the camera can take a photo, which will reduce the amount of blur caused by camera shake.

Use HDR mode for composed shots: Many cameras and smartphones have a shooting mode called HDR, for high dynamic range. Basically, in this mode, your camera takes two or more shots at different exposures and then combines them so you get detail in the lightest and darkest areas.

Use a tripod: One reason why so many low-light shots don’t come out well is that it’s really hard to hold a camera or phone still long enough to take a crisp picture. Also, try using the camera’s self-timer mode to avoid the movement that inevitably occurs when you press the shutter button.

Use a fast lens: A fast lens will let more light through so you can take your pictures faster, reducing the potential for blur. Even smartphones can have fast lenses, like the iPhone XR, LG G7 ThinQ and Samsung Galaxy S9.

– from Suzanne Kantra of Techlicious. Read the entire article.

Get group photos as the kids naturally gather together. Some of the funniest photos consist of characters that don’t really belong together, like The Hulk and a ballerina. And this is key: don’t even try to get everyone looking at the camera, smiling, and posed just so. The whole point of this is the slap-dash, fun mix of color, size and personality.

Your trick-or-treat pix can get a color boost from streetlights, glow-in-the-dark jewelry on the kids, and your neighbors’ decorations.

Find a spot where there is fence that the kids run by; if you stay still there and snap them on the go, you can get cool, blurred effects. Keep an eye out for any kind of “spooky” lighting, and take full advantage of lanterns and fog machines.

Embrace the murky darkness and don’t use a flash. It’s Halloween; it’s supposed to be dark and murky.

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