Every year on October 31st Halloween takes place. The history of Halloween goes way back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts for the new year. Nowadays Halloween is still widely celebrated with the tradition to dress up and go wild with creative costumes and make-up. And of course these beautiful creations need to be captured! Whether it is for your social media or because you love to do themed photo shoots, in this blog post you will find some cool Halloween picture ideas with tips on what kind of props and locations you can use. So let’s dive into the best .. Halloween photoshoot ideas!

How to plan a photoshoot for Halloween

Before we dive into the Halloween photo ideas let’s first narrow down how you can plan for a photoshoot for Halloween. The most important questions are in what kind of surroundings you want to, or can, shoot and with what kind of props. You can go wild with all kinds of costumes and props you can think of related to Halloween and horror. So first be clear what kind of Halloween themed photoshoot you want to do. Do you want to create something funny or a spooky Halloween picture? Or maybe something more towards fine art? Depending on your model and your own preference you can go from here to plan your Halloween photoshoot and get specific Halloween picture ideas.

Outdoor Halloween photoshoot ideas

  • Foggy forest
  • Old forest with lots of moss, shoot during twilight 
  • Abandoned, creepy building 
  • Dark alley
  • Old castle, as well from the outside as inside

Indoor Halloween photoshoot ideas

  • Graffiti wall 
  • Inside an old castle 
  • Backdrop wall decorated with a fake skull, spiders and candles 

Props you might need for your Halloween photoshoot

  • Black clothes. Such as a black (lace) dress for women and black hoodie or shirt for men. A black suit will work as well for men if you are looking to create a style like that
  • Witch hat 
  • Pumpkins if you want to go for a classic Halloween picture 
  • Fake spiders
  • Fake skull
  • Fake blood
  • Masks if you don’t want to work with make-up
  • Candles and eventually a candle stick holder
  • Old books 
  • Smoke bombs 

Halloween photoshoot ideas for couples 

Some great Halloween photo session ideas for couples is to go wild with make-up and create a Dia de Los Muertos look. The ‘Day of the Dead’ is celebrated around the same date as Halloween, so it is the perfect look to combine for a Halloween photoshoot. You will need a good make-up artist to create the right look on your models and besides that you can make the shoot even more dynamic with smoke.  


Halloween family photo ideas

Family pleasure is guaranteed when preparing Halloween costumes to set up a fun Halloween photoshoot. From Batman, Ghostbusters to Vampire or Skeleton Family Costumes, you can go as crazy as you want to get cool Halloween pictures. Be different and make a family picture in Halloween style. Or just have fun outside in the woods with a photographer during this dress up photoshoot. 

Halloween photoshoot ideas for toddlers

Having a little one and you want to include him or her in the Halloween photoshoot? Then here some Halloween baby photo ideas. Create a setup with pumpkin heads and put the little one in the pumpkin. Most likely this Halloween photoshoot will lean more towards portrait photography, so get creative with props such as a witch hat, magic staff or broomstick. Some Halloween baby picture ideas are to put the baby in a pumpkin or on the floor with a broomstick and photograph from as a topdown. Then it looks as if the baby is flying away. You can either decorate the floor or use photoshop for the after effects and details of the picture. 


Spooky photoshoot ideas for Halloween

If you plan to create scary Halloween pictures then you can go all in with costumes, make up and props. Make your model look spine chilling scary with bloody make-up and find an eerie location that comes straight out of a horror film. Think like an abandoned building, foggy forest or old, creepy castle. 

For a next level creative Halloween photoshoot you can use a slow shutter speed to create a real life ghost of your model. Let your model walk or move from left to right while using the long exposure to fade the model away, making it look like a ghost because of the motion blur. Especially at an abandoned location this can come out as something super spooky. Are you ready for this scary photoshoot?


Pumpkin head photoshoot ideas for Halloween

Using a pumpkin as prop for your Halloween photoshoot is classic. But to make it creative you can use smoke and lights to bring the pumpkin to live. So here some pumpkin photoshoot ideas.

  • Put smoke into the pumpkin and use it as a prop holding or put it in front (or over) your head 
  • Use the carved pumpkin as decoration 
  • Put lights into the carved pumpkin and use it as a prop in front of your face

Additional Halloween photography tips

Some extra photo tips if you want to go all in with your Halloween photoshoot.  

Relocate body parts

You gotta be skilled with Photoshop to create this one, but if you want to go all in with your next Halloween photo shoot then this is a fun horror thing to try. It is also a great Halloween photoshoot idea for couples. For example if you remove the head of one of them and place it in the lap of the other it will look super creepy and will give instant Halloween vibes. Experiment with some fake blood and it’s the perfect horror photography scene. 

Get creative with photoshop and let your model float

This photo technique is a bit for the Photoshop experts but can turn out really cool. The idea is to have your model floating in the air without seeing the chair. Put your camera on a tripod and keep it in place. Take a shot of the scene without person and prop. Then you will need a chair or table and let your subject lie on the back while the arms and legs dangle on the side. Cut the person out and Photoshop it into the scene you want to create. Instant creepy Halloween vibes!


Create a mysterious soft look

To create a soft, mysterious look on your pictures you can use a DIY filter by placing a ripped pantyhose over the lens. This will give the picture a glowing, soft look which you can perfectly use as frame to create a mysterious look. 

Shoot or process in black and white

Black and white is a classic look in photography which never gets old. If the setting is right, something black and white turns out to be better than coloured pictures. Especially at an abandoned building or in the forest you can also make black and white versions to switch things up! 

Do panning to add motion blur to the image 

Create a real life ghost of your model and use a long exposure to create motion blur. Let your model walk or move from left to right while using a long shutter speed to fade the model away, making it look like a ghost is in the frame. Especially at an abandoned location this can come out as something super spooky.


Add a real life ghost to the scene

This Halloween photoshoot idea can work perfectly in the forest, an abandoned building or dark alley. You will need two models, or eventually a child and an adult. One of the models will be placed in the backdrop in a black sheet or cape acting like a ghost or dangerous person observing the scene. You can also put the ‘ghost’ behind a tree, making only the arm or part of the head visible. It has to give the horror feel and would therefore be perfect to add to your horror photography ideas for Halloween! 


More Photograhy tips blogs

I hope you enjoyed this guide with some Halloween photo shoot ideas!

For more photography tips, read our other blog posts:

10 tips to improve fog photography

Waterfall photography tips

Long exposure photography tips

Night photography tips

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