Kate, Halloween, 2006
Kate, Halloween, 2007
Kate, Halloween, 2007
Kate, Halloween, 2008
Kate, Halloween, 2009
Sparky, Halloween, 2009
Family,  Halloween, 2010
Kate with her “loot”, Halloween, 2010
Halloween Party & Trick Or Treat
Kate & Sparky, Halloween, 2011
Halloween Party & Trick Or Treat
Kate & Sparky, Halloween, 2011
The Logemann Kids
Nicki, Kate & Sparky, Halloween, 2012
The Logemann Kids
Sparky, Halloween, 2012
Family, Halloween, 2013
Kate & Sparky, Halloween, 2013, Studio Portraits on Location
This Friday is Halloween and our house has been buzzing for about a month as the kids get ready for the big night.
It’s always been a wonderful holiday for us as there is nothing like watching kids revel in the holiday spirit.  Nicki plans ahead for it and once Halloween is celebrated, it seems like it’s all downhill at Mach 5 to Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Prepare your equipment.
Have fresh batteries in your camera and external flash (if you use one) with SD cards that are formatted and ready to go.  I always bring a spare battery or two because my mirrorless cameras do tend to use batteries faster than my previous DSLRs.
My typical “go to” camera and lens combination is a 55mm lens on a full frame camera like a Sony A7 or a 35mm lens on a Sony a6000 camera.  Both are the “normal” perspective for their respective sensor sizes and help make a flattering image with a great look.
A medium range zoom such as a 24-70 can also come in handy, though the prime or fixed focal lenses tend to be a bit smaller and a bit lighter.  I tend to use the 35mm and 55mm focal lengths for much of the afternoon and evening (on a full-frame sensor camera like the Sony A7) since I’m working close to my subjects.
Work with available light. 
Late afternoon light in the fall has a wonderful feel to it.
Non directional light at the edge of a doorway is also a great source of light to do portraits. The portrait of the kids made from overhead (# 9 ) was made with late afternoon light reflected off a nearby white house and coming through the window in the office. I typically try to avoid direct light except for the late part of the day when it can often look great because of the warmer color temperature and longer shadows.
Use a reflector to help direct soft light back to your subjects to make a more interesting quality of light (#11).
If you use flash at night, try using a slower shutter speed to incorporate the light from homes (ambient light) that are in the background.
Many cameras now have a mode like the Sony a6000 called “Night Scene” In the Creative Styles part of the camera.  This will try to balance the flash with the ambient light.
If your camera doesn’t have this setting, a good starting point is 800-1600 ISO, 1/60th or 1/80th of a second on the camera and f2.8 or f4 on the lens.  Experiment by making a test exposure and if the background is still too dark, increase the ISO to brighten that area of the photograph.  Be careful about shutter speed, anything slower than 1/60th might work but you might have more camera or subject movement.
Mix “action” photographs in with posed photographs.
I love a great portrait, but I also love to capture the kids just being themselves and that often comes through in the way that they move.  It takes practice to get the exposure and moment just right but that is part of the fun of photography.  Try Program Mode or Shutter Priority and make sure you have a fast enough shutter speed to stop the action.
Don’t forget to be IN the photographs too
It’s easy for me to hang out behind the camera and capture things going on around me, but I think it’s especially important to be IN the photographs too.  In 20 and 30 years I really want my children to have photographs that include me in them and they’re not just made by me.
Why it matters for me is because these events are milestones in our kids’ lives and we love being able to see how much they’ve grown and changed from year to year.  The photographs are a wonderful yearly reminder and only gain strength and value as they accumulate over time.
Have a safe Halloween and I hope this helps you make some great photographs of your family!