There is something magical about kids in Halloween costumes. If you want to capture that magic, like I did with Everett above, follow these 3 tips.
Here are my top 3 tips and a script for doing exactly what I've done with my little guy, Everett, er, I mean batman ;-).
Start with your goal - the photo you actually want is a photo of your child being their character. The most amazing part is watching your little ones interpretation of that character. So telling them to smile and pose is not what you're after. When it comes to kids in Halloween costume the weirder the better.
Let’s use my son Everett a few years ago as an example. On a side note in my minds eye when I think of Everett during Halloween he will always be Batman. He wore this costume for years on a daily basis.
Here are my top three tips:
Step 1: Find a blank backdrop with good light. If you're in Toronto find a grey or white wall (they are EVERYWHERE if you look for them) and plunk your little one in front of it - before 10am and after 4pm are wonderful lighting times. Bonus points if it's a bit overcast.
Step 2: Before photographing your little one get your camera settings right. If you’re up against a grey wall your kids costumes will be exactly as they are meant to be so you won’t have to edit. If you find a different colored backdrop your camera could change the color of your child's costume or skin color depending on the wall color. Google white balance is you’re curious. If using an iphone or samsung once your little one is in position put your finger on your little ones face and a box with a sun will pop up just to the left of it. That allows you to darken or lighten your image. Don't overthink this - when you like what you see snap your photo.
Step 3: Get your little one into position and start talking to them. The trick to photographing your kids, or anyone really, is setting them up to do what you want them to do. Try following my script below.
Me- Hey Everett? Notice how I didn’t say - look at Mommy and smile. I got his attention by saying his name so he looked at me and I was ready to click.
Everett: Looks up at me.
Once I take that one photo - remember you only need one the lighting is great, you like your backdrop and you can see with your eyes that he looked at you.
Now let’s get them in character.
Me: I bet you love being batman because you’re so strong? Can you show me what that looks like? I know he thinks he’s strong because when he initially put on his costume he started flexing and, in our case, hitting his sister. If you’re little one is a princess you could say - ‘Wow, Chloe you’re so smart’.
Everett: Who believes he’s strong starts flexing.
Me: click click click
Now let’s get a snap of them smiling.
Me: WOW I can’t believe you are actually batman. Wait! Are you Everett or are you batman I can’t tell?
Everett: probably looks at me confused.
Me: Hhahahahahahahhahaahhaahahahahah, just joking I tricked you. Isn’t that funny that Mommy tricked you? make sure you are laughing really loud and hard.
Everett: thinks it’s funny that I’m laughing and starts doing it as well. This fake looking smile below is what he would do when he would laugh.
Remember you know how to get your child to laugh. It’s not by telling them to smile it’s by engaging with them. If you’re child is a potty humour type tell them a poop joke. Getting a great shot is about engaging not telling them what to do.
If you like my teaching style I would love for you to join me at my course - From Chaos to Keepsake.