Shooting Halloween Portraits

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

One of my favorite tips this time of year is to ask subjects to bring their Halloween costumes to a portrait session. As adults they usually don’t get a chance to wear them more than just once and having them in costume lets you create the kind of images that are fun to shoot and fun for the portrait subject too.

And here’s an interesting aspect of shooing Halloween portraits: When your subjects are dressed in costume, they seems to get more involved in the session. In addition to getting a chance to create some great images that you can add to your portfolio, you also get to add another potential sale from the session. It’s a win-win situation.

Today’s portrait was made during a recent with famed Internet model Maria Cedar. When I know I would be photographing her in October I suggested that she wear an Elvira, Mistress of the Dark because both Maria and Elvira have large-than-life personalities.

Lighting set was simple: at camera right was a Paul C. Buff DigiBee DB800 and a 32-inch reflector was placed at camera left. Camera was a Panasonic Lumix GH4 with Lumix G Vario 14-45/F3.5-5.6 (at 45mm) with an exposure of 1/125 sec at f/6.3 and ISO 200.

The RAW file was retouched in Photoshop, then converted to black & white with Silver Efex Pro with Color Efex Pro’s Glamour Glow filter added to wrap it up.

Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 9.13.43 AMIf you’re interested in shooting portraits and how I use cameras, lenses and lighting in my in-home studio, please pick up a copy of Studio Lighting Anywhere” which is available from with, as I write this, new non Prime copies selling for $17.50 (plus shipping,) cheaper than the Prime price.