Our Guest: Rebecca Cooper and a Giveaway!

Hello, my name is Rebecca Cooper and I'm SO excited to be here at the fabulous eighteen25 blog! A few little tidbits about me...

I'm a mother of four, we are currently living in the Caribbean (I know, poor me!). I can't go more than  two days without consuming some form of chocolate. I am a photographer and a scrapbooker and I have a blog where I write about all of these things and more called Simple as That.

What I'm here to talk about today though is taking photos and more specifically, taking HALLOWEEN photos. You ready for a few tips that will help you take some great pictures of your kids this Halloween? Let's get to it then shall we?

1. It's about time - halloween can be a 'tricky' time of year for taking photos. Most of the festivities take place after dark which makes for less than ideal photo taking conditions so what I try to do is take advantage of the available daylight while I can. Think about having your trick or treaters ready a bit early and head out at dusk when the sun is low and you have just enough of that golden sunlight left to capture a few memorable photos.
If you have to shoot in low light you can compensate by increasing the ISO settings on your camera or choosing a higher aperture (AWESOME explanation of ISO, Aperture, Shutterspeed and their relationship can be found here). If you have to use your flash go ahead but turn it off wherever possible to avoid washed out, shadowy photos.

3. Ready, Set, Shoot - planning ahead can make the photo taking process during your annual halloween activities go so much smoother. Have a list in mind of photos you hope to capture. Do a dry run if your child has a halloween function to attend before Halloween. Taking a few photos while they're already dressed up will free up your time on halloween night. Keep extra halloween makeup, safety pins and a hair brush handy for any "emergencies" that may arise. 
Having a few tricks up your sleeve to help you and your child enjoy the photo taking experience doesn't hurt either. Have a healthy snack and water on hand, handy wipes are a must for runny noses or smeared makeup. One thing that is always sure to put a smile on my kids faces when taking Halloween photos is to ask them to act like the character they're dressed up as. All I asked for was a "yee-haw" from my little Carson and I was able to capture this gem!
A game I like to play with the kids when we're taking photos is 'see if you can catch this.' I throw a small, lightweight object to them (throwing back to the camera person is not encouraged) and they see if they can catch it (go ahead and get as silly as you want). Keep a stash of halloween treats in your pocket and play this game during photos and the smiles are sure to come out!

3. Switch things up - don't be afraid to try something new with your photos. Crop in close on the details, take a step back and capture the whole scene. Get down low, stand up on something - change your perspective and see what kind of photos you can capture. The traditional smiling-in-their-halloween-costume photos are great but don't forget to switch things up and you'll be surprised at what photos end up being your favorites. For this shot I was crouched low to the ground behind the kids and the resulting photo is one of my all-time halloween favorites. 
4. What to shoot - there are so many great photo ops during Halloween so be on the look out for unique and creative ways you can capture the holiday fun. Here are some ideas of photos you may want to take:
Pumkin carving
The finished Jack-O Lantern of course (try adding an extra candle or two inside your pumpkin when photographing it. Adding a little extra light and keeping your hand reeeaallly steady can yield the PERFECT pumpkin shot.)
Trick or treating and enjoying the loot afterwards
Connections between siblings, friends, parent and child
Do you have any special halloween traditions? be sure to capture them
Costume details
Halloween decor
Your favorite halloween treat
Getting ready for halloween - putting on makeup, making treats
The kids halloween art projects from school
5. Enjoy the moment - once you've set out capturing the photos on your list allow yourself to put your camera away and enjoy the moment with your kids without the camera around your neck. Let go of the idea that you need to capture every moment and simply enjoy being in the moment.
Happy Halloween everyone and have fun taking those photos!


Thank you so much Rebecca for sharing those awesome tips!

For more quick and easy to follow photography tips check out Rebecca's eBook
40 Top Tips for Better Photos.

Exciting News!!

Rebecca would like to give two of you a free copy of her eBook!
Just leave a comment here (tell Rebecca how much you appreciate these tips)  and we'll pick the two lucky winners on Saturday!!

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