Halloween is probably my favorite holiday of all.  When I was a kid until I was in my mid thirties I would dress up in elaborate costumes.  I have been known to win several Halloween costume contests.

Now as a father of two, I prefer to let the kids dress up and I take the photos :)

Back in 2014 we were invited by the Horvitz family to trick or treat in their neighborhood.  They invited several families from our kids school, served a great dinner and we had a wonderful time.  I brought my camera (shocking, I know!) and one flash and took dramatic portraits of all the kids in costume.

Last year, 2015, we were invited again, and again I made one light portraits on the grass in their backyard.  The sun was setting but there was still plenty of daylight.  I killed the ambient light, in camera, and let the gridded softbox do the work to light the subject.

Again (2016) we were invited to the Horvitz' for their annual Halloween party and of course we RSVP'ed "YES!"  I could not wait to make portraits of all the kids again this year....but I really wanted to step it up.

Recently the Horvitz fixed up the garage in their backyard.  I thought this would make a great studio and asked them if they were planning on using it on Halloween.  They were not and they were fine with me setting up shop.  I was not going to blow this opportunity to step up the annual Halloween portraits.

Halloween 2014 - One light portraits shot in natural light

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Halloween 2015 = One light portraits shot in natural light

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So, what was I going to do differently to step up my Halloween portrait game?  Well, having the space to setup a studio was going to afford me the opportunity to use more lights as well as a black portable background.

For the key light I was going to keep it the same...a 360 watt light with a softbox.  With more room dedicated to my lights I would not have to worry about the kids running around and knocking a light over, so I could add two fill lights with gels.  A red light to my right and green to my left would add another dimension of drama to these portraits.

The studio setup

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The results

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I had a great time making dramatic portraits!  I think the added, gelled lights really made a difference in adding additional drama.

Thank you Michelle, David, Jake and Zack for having us again this year!!!  I hope to continue the Halloween portrait tradition in 2017!

All images shot with the Fujifilm X-T2 and Fujinon 50-140

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