It’s hard to believe we are on the brink of cooler, shorter days, but we are. My kids left for their first day of school yesterday, and despite the fact I swore I would be jumping for joy as they left on the bus, I’m a little sad to see them go. The house is so quiet without their constant bickering and asking me for food. On the plus side, I am getting a lot of work done.  Being a work-at-home mom with four kids in the house is no joke!

Here are some tips for taking better pictures of your kids in their Halloween Costume

1.  Try for at least one full body shot. A head to toe shot allows you to get the full picture. Chances are, you spent a ton of money, or time, or BOTH on that costume! Make sure you have proof!

2.  Get a close up. Getting a full shot is important, but it’s equally important to be able to see your kiddo’s face, the age they are, their expressions. Obviously, a mask makes this more difficult, but I would still make sure to get a close up even with the mask on.

3.  Turn off your flash and embrace the grain. Regardless of which camera you are using, unless you’re taking pictures early in the day, you’re likely to have at least a little bit of grain or noise in your images. It totally adds to the mood of the images, and you won’t end up with icky shadows from your flash.

4. Turn your images to black and white or adjust the white balance. I have a tendency to like my Halloween pictures a little warmer.  Once the sun goes down, before it’s dark your images are likely to be very cool. You can either change your camera’s white balance setting to “shade” or adjust after the fact in post processing. If you’re still unhappy with the color in your images, try them in black and white.

5. Don’t forget the neighborhood kids! I love making it a point to take pictures of all the friends my kids trick or treat with every year. They always go with the same kids,and it’s so much fun to see how they all grow every year!

6.  Have a photo shoot before the night of trick or treat. I will admit that this is really unlikely to happen for me if I have to apply make-up. But If you’re not doing that, it’s usually pretty easy to pick a day before trick-or-treat night and take your pictures. This is one time most kids are absolutely willing to play along!

7. Try a plain backdrop. I’m definitely not suggesting that you skip the picture of your child standing in front of your decorated door, or next to his jack-o-lantern. I am suggesting that you add this to your list of shots. It take the focus and points it all at your kid and his costume!

8.  Don’t forget the candid photos! My wild things love to pass out candy after we fill our bags. Some of my favorite pictures come when they are just sitting around passing out candy.

Regardless of whether you choose to follow these tips or not, just make sure you take lots of pictures this Halloween, by next year, your kids will be practically grown up compared to this year!