Photo Tip: How to Photograph a Jack O’ Lantern

It’s this time of the year that a lot of people ask me for photography tips and one of my most asked questions is about photographing a lit jack o’ lantern. Below are some tips for helping you achieve the best glowing photos of your pumpkin. (Don’t forget to take photos while carving them too!)

The Weekend Housewife - 13 Days of Halloween - Tips For Photographing a Lit Jack O' Lantern

Tip 1: Pumpkins that are carved with wide open features photograph the best. This is because more light is able to shine through.

Tip 2: Really bright light from candles is what you need. If you place battery candles or another type of light inside your pumpkin, you won’t get the glow you’re seeking. If you feel like it’s still not glowing enough, put more than one candle in. Just an FYI: all of the pumpkins you see here have a brand new votive candle in them.

Tip 3: I tend to like photos where you can see the actual pumpkin and not just the face glowing in the dark. This is a personal preference but I think seeing the pumpkin adds depth to your photo. Depending on the thickness of the pumpkin, you might even get the entire thing to glow.

Tip 4: Resist the urge to use your flash! Let me repeat this: Do NOT use your flash! If your camera can’t handle the low light, turn on some other lights nearby (but that are not in the shot) to help cast some light but not enough to ruin your photo. Use a tripod and set your camera’s timer to help avoid a blurry photo.

The Weekend Housewife - 13 Days of Halloween - Tips For Photographing a Lit Jack O' Lantern

Tip 5: My camera handles low-light situations really well (crank that ISO all the way up – if you have that setting) but depending on your camera you might want to try taking your photos when it’s not quite so dark. You still get the glow but your camera can handle the light a lot better.

Tip 6: I am always trying to tell the complete story with my photographs so I will also take a photo right there on the newspaper with the pumpkin innards nearby. Don’t be afraid to try something different – a weird angle or lighting from the side to create harsh shadows.

The Weekend Housewife - 13 Days of Halloween - Tips For Photographing a Lit Jack O' Lantern

Make sure when you are photographing your jack o’ lantern, you take a lot of photos! It might take me 20 shots before I get what I am looking for. The more you play around with your camera, the more you can learn about what it is capable of doing. If you have any questions, please let me know.

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About Jules

Hiya! I’m Jules and I am the Weekend Housewife… I am a graphic designer during the hours of 9-5 during the week and the rest of my time is spent being a mommy, a wife, a cook and baker, a memory keeper and photographer and a crafter.

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