5 Halloween Costume Photo Op Ideas

Take plenty of pictures while the kids are all dressed up.
Take plenty of pictures while the kids are all dressed up.

Many holidays offer special photo opportunities. Halloween, however, has a leg up on the rest. It's the one time of year that kids and adults alike are encouraged to "play dress up."

We have five suggestions for great costume photo opportunities. So keep your camera at the ready for capturing the spooky, scary fun of the season. Say, "Boo!"


While Halloween may seem to be about tricks and treats, we suggest capturing how the kids (and adults) transform from their normal human selves to their Halloween best. Tell the story with photos -- create a series of photos throughout the day, especially if you plan to do special Halloween-themed events in the morning or afternoon before the main trick-or-treating event kicks off -- with special attention to the costume and makeup donning.

The devil's in the details, so be sure to fill each frame with your subject (such as you son's new fangs), and pick your moments.

Act the Part

When's the last time a little devil put his arm around his little sister because he wanted to? Right, that's what we thought. Instead of photographing your kids in the kitchen, silly grins on their faces (everyone one in the family knows you posed them), try something new -- capture the spirit of Halloween by having your kids act their part.

Encourage monsters and witches to be growl, grimace and be scary. Make them the focus of the photo by taking close-up photos, and try different angles -- shooting from below will make a little monster seem massive.

Don't forget to take photos of everyone with and without their masks! Years from now you may not remember who is hiding behind which one.

Baby's First Halloween

What's cuter than a little one dressed up like a cuddly monkey? A Teeny Mr. Potato Head? Maybe a pea in a pod? Whatever costume you choose for your baby's first Halloween be sure to capture the moment and make it fun!

Try something a little more creative than photographing your little pumpkin on the sofa in your living room. For example, is your baby going to be wearing a pumpkin costume? Visit a pumpkin patch and take shots of your pumpkin-costumed baby among a field of orange.

Smile and Say, "Woof!"

Not every pet will want to dress up for Halloween -- some love it, some loathe it. Don't force them, but if they love it take full advantage. Don't bother trying to pose your pets; shooting candid photos of your fur-kids will be more relaxing and fun for you and them. Just be sure to shoot dozens of frames (try turning on the continuous mode setting on your digital camera) so you don't miss that one great shot.

For safety, costumes shouldn't constrict your pet's movements, have any dangling pieces or have any pieces that could be chewed off and swallowed.


Channel your inner paparazzi by taking lots of candid photos. Include costumed kids and adults at your next Halloween party, behind-the-scenes costume prepping, candy counting or the random shots of trick-or-treaters. Interactions between adult friends dressed in poodle skirts or of your daughter applying fake blood to her face -- these are priceless moments.

Getting really good candid photos isn't the same as when you're setting up posed shots. Instead of taking one great photo, you'll want to take many to increase your chances of getting that one perfect shot. Oh, and turn off your flash -- nothing's going to kill the spontaneous mood faster than a blinding flash across a little monster's face.