Halloween photography tip

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Three-year-old Jacob the Gnome. - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • Three-year-old Jacob the Gnome.
It’s fast approaching the spookiest night of the year.

One of the great joys of Halloween is photographing your children in their costumes. They have transformed themselves into characters and though normally they may not want to pose for the camera, on this night the opportunities are limitless.

Costumes give your children all the permission they need to act. They’re really excited and you won't have to worry about that fake grin that usually happens when you ask a child to pose for a photograph.The problem is that there is little light to be had when trick-or-treating. And if you bring a camera along, direct flash is the order of the evening — it’s ugly, unflattering and overpowering. Capture the moment before you leave the house to go trick-or-treating, take some time to photograph your little ones in the perfect lighting.


To add to that, one of the finest hours of the day for photography, especially in the fall, is dusk. The light is incredible; soft, pleasant and warm. It’s almost never like this any other time of year. (At least not when your kids are wearing costumes.)

Two years ago, my wife Cathy was stuck in New York City during Hurricane Sandy on this very holiday. It was up to me to make sure the kids were dressed and ready for Halloween. Homemade costumes including the Springs’ finest chef, the scariest bat and the most adorable little gnome you ever saw were ready to go that evening.

Five-year-old Harper the bat. - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • Five-year-old Harper the bat.

Normally, I stay at the house and photograph the neighborhood children as they come by, but I couldn’t that year. It paid off in spades.

Seven-year-old Abby the Chef. - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • Seven-year-old Abby the Chef.

Take it from me. Make a couple of pictures in the late evening light before you leave your house. They will turn out great and maybe become the ones you treasure the most.

Spooky costumes on Halloween! - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • Spooky costumes on Halloween!

Colorado Springs wedding photographer Sean Cayton loves remarkable photographs and the stories behind them. You can see his wedding work at caytonphotography.com, his personal work at seancayton.com and his editorial work in the Colorado Springs Independent. Submit your photo and the story behind the image - no more than two a week, please - to sean@caytonphotography.com for consideration in upcoming blogs.

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