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DIY Spooky Halloween Photos of your Kiddos in the Hudson Valley

Updated: Nov 6, 2023

Looking for a fun and easy way to take some memorable photos of your littles this Halloween? How about some DIY Halloween photo help? Welp, it doesn't get much easier than this, all you need is a car (yes, you heard right!) and a sheet!

DIY How to take easy, spooky Halloween photos of your kids from a Hudson Valley family photographer

Turns out that a car's headlights are the exact height of most children between the ages of 3 and 5, depending of course on what kind of vehicle and how tall your kiddo is. The idea is spooky, not perfection, so if it casts some eery shadows you're all the way there.


I discovered this on the way back from a shoot one evening when my 4 year old came to greet me, he was lit up by the headlights and it was only a week from Halloween, so I had ghostly on the brain!


DIY How to take easy, spooky Halloween photos of your kids from a Hudson Valley family photographer

DIY How to take easy, spooky Halloween photos of your kids from a Rhinebeck family photographer

DIY How to take easy, spooky Halloween photos of your kids from a Rhinebeck family photographer

Here's some HELPFUL TIPS for your DIY Halloween photos...

  1. TIME OF DAY: This may seem obvious, but it also may not depending on how much of a hobbyist photographer you are. This needs to be done at sunset, and if it's a sunny day the sun should be almost completely down otherwise the headlights will not show up and your shadows won't be dark enough and where's the spooky in that?

  2. SMART PHONE: Our phones are great, but they are also almost too smart when it comes to photography. Your phone will read a scene and balance out the light to give you the clearest, most readable image. If you are looking for dark shadows you will have to bypass the automatic exposure. To do this click on the exposure "lock" picture (Samsung and Android users, so sorry, but no iphone knowledge here, I assume it works similarly) when you open the camera and then bring the meter down to lock it in place at the darker exposure.

  3. PROPS: It's Halloween so they will have their costume and whatever accessories may come with it, but as always with photographing children, props, props, props! Whether it's their Halloween basket, a flashlight (they can use this for spooky faces, or even to shine towards your lens for a cool effect) or a small pumpkin, props are great to keep kids involved and interested.


DIY How to take easy, spooky Halloween photos of your kids from a Hudson Valley family photographer

DIY How to take easy, spooky Halloween photos of your kids from a Rhinebeck family photographer

All of the above images were taken on a DSLR camera, Canon 5D Mark IV, which gives me a ton of control, but I did grab one shot at the end on my smart phone to show you really can make great images with anything, you just need to know all the quirks and options to make it work for you. Bypassing your smart phone's auto exposure is one of those keys to creating better images. Also, highly recommend using Adobe Lightroom's mobile app for editing! It's a must have for everyone, in my opinion.


DIY How to take easy, spooky Halloween photos of your kids from a Hudson Valley family photographer

I hope you enjoyed this DIY Halloween photo idea and learned something about getting creative behind your camera or your phone! I am a big believer in image making in any form with any tool, sometimes it just takes a bit of finagling. It's not the camera, it's the eye to see things a bit differently.

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