16 Creepy Halloween Photoshoot Ideas for Spooky Pictures

Plan your spookiest Halloween photoshoot ever with these tips and ideas for adults, children, couples and even babies! Keep reading... if you dare...

If you’re looking for Halloween photoshoot ideas, you’ve come to the right place. 

Here I share some fun and spooky Halloween photo ideas suited for all skills and budgets. 

You’ll also find a section to do Halloween photography using Photoshop and apps.

This way, you don’t need to host a Halloween photo shoot – you can transform regular photos into spooky ones. 

Let’s get started!

What Are Some Creepy Halloween PhotoShoot Ideas for Adults?

If you’re looking for Halloween photo ideas to do by yourself, here are a few of them to get you going. 

1. Paint your face

Credit: Oleksandr Pidvalnyi

No Halloween photoshoot idea is complete without makeup. It’s the perfect way to complement your scary costume and get into the Halloween spirit. 

2. Stage a beheading

Credit: Designecologist

One of the most creative Halloween photoshoot ideas is to serve your head on a platter. It’s very easy to do. You just need to cut a neck hole in a table cloth and a paper plate. You can find nicer plates in shops that sell Halloween props. 

3. Intentional motion blur 

Credit: Elīna Arāja

You need to mount the camera on a tripod and set it to a slow shutter speed. While the shutter is open, you can move to create the effect.

Another excellent technique for a Halloween photoshoot is to use a slower shutter speed and fire the flash multiple times.

4. Eerie self-portraits doing multiple exposures

Credit: Elīna Arāja

Forget about the classic sheet ghost. You can try the multiple exposure technique if you want to look ghostly in Halloween photoshoots.

Most DSLR and mirrorless cameras have this feature. You set the number of pictures you want to stack and start shooting. All the shots will register in the same frame.

If your camera doesn’t have this feature, you can do a faux double exposure in post-processing.

5. Use an abandoned location

Credit: Cottonbro Studio

Even the best Halloween photoshoot ideas won’t look good if the setting is wrong. To take some spooky Halloween photos, try going to abandoned buildings.

There’s always something you can use, whether it’s a parking lot, an old factory, or even an amusement park. Here, you can create many moody scenes for your Halloween photography.

6. X-ray vision


Faking an X-ray vision is an excellent idea for your Halloween photos. You’ll need Photoshop or another software to work with layers. Then, blend your portrait with an x-ray and become a skeleton. 

What Are Some Halloween Photoshoot Ideas for Couples or Friends?

Check out these Halloween photoshoot ideas with your partner, family, or friends!

7. Matching costumes

Credit: Jon

Couples or group costumes create opportunities for many Halloween photoshoot ideas. It can be something fun like the Minions or something spooky like a group of zombies. 

8. Have a spooky but romantic date

Credit: Luis Zambrano

Halloween photoshoot ideas can be fun, but they can also be romantic. Here are a few creative ideas to host a couple’s photoshoot on this spooky holiday.

You can dress up as famous historical couples like Cleopatra and Mark Anthony. Perhaps you can dress as fictional characters like Morticia and Gomez Addams.

Then, make up your perfect scenario in an abandoned location, so it’s already spooky. However, you can make it romantic with candle lights at the table and other props.

9. Do the TikTok pumpkin head challenge

Credit: Luis Zambrano

Whether you’re on TikTok or not, this challenge is great as a Halloween photoshoot idea. You need to carve a large pumpkin to wear on your head. Then, make up different situations and scenarios to act out as this anthropomorphic pumpkin.

10. Spooky silhouettes

Credit: Magwood Photography

If you want to use natural light, you need to do your Halloween photoshoot at sunrise or sunset. This is because you need the sun behind the subject. Otherwise, you can use artificial light. 

There are tons of Halloween photography ideas you can do with this setup. Try doing a ware-wolf hauling at the moon or wearing a white sheet to make classic ghost silhouettes. 

11. Host a Halloween party

Credit: Thiago Miranda

Not all Halloween photoshoot ideas are entirely planned out. You can host a Halloween party and take some more casual pictures.

You can choose a theme to make it more coherent – for example, host a seance. Another photoshoot idea you can do for a party is to set up a photo booth corner with good lighting and decorate it with fun props.

12. Coven session

Credit: Erik Mclean

If you want to host a spooky witch photo shoot, invite some friends over and organize a coven session. You can do this at home or outdoors. The main thing is that everyone needs to wear a witch costume.

As props, you can use bottles with magical potions, brooms, a spell book, etc. 

13. Trick or treat

Credit: Daisy Anderson

Many Halloween photoshoot ideas revolve around trick or treating. You can use candies as props or launch toilet paper rolls in your garden.

Whether you get some treats or you get to do some tricks, this photoshoot can be lots of fun. Remember to dress up in your favorite costumes! 

How About Some Halloween Photoshoot Ideas for Babies?

Here are some ideas to try Halloween photography with newborns, babies, and toddlers. 

14. Use costumes

Credit: Helena Lopes

There are tons of baby costumes available that allow you to dress your baby for an adorable Halloween photo – from the classic pumpkins to a trendy flamingo from Pottery Barn Kids. 

See more pumpkin head photoshoot ideas.

15. Include the family

Credit: Gustavo Fring

Don’t just take photos of your baby, the most fun Halloween photoshoot ideas include the entire family. You can wear group costumes and recreate more complex scenes. 

16. Photoshoot in a pumpkin patch

Credit: Mauricio Castro

One of the cutest Halloween photoshoot ideas is to take your baby to a pumpkin patch. You can dress him up in costume or regular clothing. To complete the look, you may include props like a wheelbarrow and a basket.

What Props Should I Use for a Halloween Photoshoot?

Credit: Cottonbro Studio

  • Balloons
  • Skulls
  • Pumpkins
  • Blood
  • Costumes
  • Smoke or dry ice
  • Skeleton
  • Candle stick holder
  • A carved pumpkin
  • ‘Magical’ potions
  • Spider webs
  • Grinch mask

How Do You Do a Halloween Photoshoot at Home?

Credit: Ferdinand Studio

  • Choose a theme – Hosting a Halloween photoshoot is too generic. If you want to take great photos, you have to think about a specific theme. This will help you to have a coherent ambient, costume, lighting, etc. For example, you can draw inspiration from a horror movie.
  • DIY a backdrop with Halloween decorations  – A blank wall won’t make for very interesting photos. Instead, to make a spooky Halloween photo shoot, you should make a backdrop that matches the theme. 
  • Host an outdoor photoshoot  – Instead of using a backdrop, you might want to build a set outdoors. A great Halloween theme you can do in your backyard is a cemetery scene. To get the right mood, it’s best to shoot at blue hour.  
  • Choose the right light source – for example, candles give a nice ghostly feel to any scene. However, if you want cooler tones, maybe shoot in the evening to use the moonlight. 
  • Don’t forget about the props   – Whether you host your Halloween photoshoot inside or outside, you’ll need the right props. That’s how you’ll transform your home into a fun location suited for spooky Halloween pictures.
  • Dress up in costume – Great costumes are essential in Halloween photography. Whether you want a fun or a scary one, make sure it matches the Halloween theme you chose for the photoshoot.
  • Prepare your makeup  – The makeup will help you to render your Halloween photos at home into a professional-looking photoshoot.
  • Mount your camera on a tripod  – While selfies are easy to do, using a tripod and a remote shutter opens up your possibilities. Using these accessories, you can be more precise in your framing and composition. Also, you can step further away from the camera to include more props and a bigger background area. Finally, it will give you the time to get into position to make perfect Halloween pictures.

How Can I Make My Face Look Creepy?

Credit: вадим морозов

There are many techniques to make your face look creepy. Most commonly, you can face paint or do special effects with makeup. However, there are also lighting techniques to make you look spooky.

  • Fake Blood – You can buy fake blood online or in costume shops. However, you can also do it yourself. There are different techniques, like mixing corn syrup with food coloring. Even if you use non-toxic ingredients, avoid using them too close to your eyes. 
  • Skeleton – One of the most trendy Halloween photoshoot ideas is to paint your face like a skeleton. You can do only a part of the face or all of it. You’ll find lots of tutorials online. 
  • Fake scars – Fake scars are great to complement many Halloween costumes. You need to glue tissue paper to your face and use multiple layers. Then, using your regular makeup, blend it with your skin. Now you can cut the paper and use eye shadows or costume make up to make the scar look more authentic. 
  • Cast a light from underneath – If you want to look creepy in your Halloween pictures without any props or makeup, all you need is light. Use a hard light – like the one from a torch, and point it at your face from below. We associate this lighting with something scary because it’s used in many horror films. It also creates deep shadows that enhance creepiness.

How Do You Add Halloween Effects to Pictures?

You can create scary Halloween pictures using almost any photo editing software. Here are some examples that are easy to use and offer many possibilities. 

Photoshop Elements

You can do many Halloween Effects using Photoshop Elements. 

Here, you’ll learn how to do a ghostly portrait. However, you can do an x-ray effect, face swap, body parts composite, and others. 


You’ll need a photo with the background and one with the portrait. Each one should be on a separate layer with the portrait on top. 

Add a layer mask to hide the background of the portrait. Use a soft brush to soften the edge and make it fade into the background layer.

Duplicate the portrait and turn it into black and white – then invert it. Now, apply a motion blur and lower the opacity. 

Duplicate it again and drag it to the top of the layers. Then, change the blend mode to Luminosity and lower the opacity. Move this layer slightly so that the one below looks like a glow. 

Here’s a beginner’s guide to Photoshop Elements.

Halloween Photo Editor App

If you don’t like to use Photoshop Elements, you can download a Halloween app as an alternative. 

This app allows you to photograph yourself as a ghost using the in-app camera or cut yourself out of any photo and paste your ghostly self into another photo.

On top of that, you can apply spooky Halloween frames and stickers or add scary text. 

Get Some Good Ideas for Halloween Pictures?

I hope you find these Halloween photography tips useful and they sparked some inspiration for your next creative Halloween photoshoot!

You’ll find tons more Halloween photography ideas on Pinterest and Instagram – just do a quick search using hashtags like #creepy and #scary for lots of Halloween photoshoot ideas, whatever the time of year.

Have fun!

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Shotkit Writer & Camera Gear Reviewer

Ana Mireles is a Mexican researcher that specializes in photography and communications for the arts and culture sector.

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