I adore getting my “spook” on for Halloween. Sadly this year, I had planned several really cool themes that may have to be put on hold until next year. Being in lockdown for yet another three weeks in Australia means I won’t be able to shoot for the entire month of October like I normally do. Still, I can share a few of the totally amazing shoots I did with my team did last year.

I’m going to share some shots and behind the scenes, for what was NOT one of my favorite studio sessions. But the finished photos have to be among some of my favorites, all predominantly due to the lighting.

Keep it simple

Keeping everything super simple, a simple black backdrop, an antique chair and a candelabra, I threw in a few props like a skull, some black lace and a smoke machine. I kept to a three-light system, using a 48-inch octabox as the main light, up high and pointing down on my subject, feathered and turned down low.

Also used on some shots was a 20-inch beauty dish as a partial fill light. A small off-camera flash (behind the chair) to illuminate the smoke and to act as a faint rim light. The flash angled to light up the smoke further illuminated the shot, as did the lit candles.

A run down on the lighting

Mapping out the position of the lights in the studio. This is one of my go too setups, with the 48-inch octabox as my main light, 20-inch beauty dish for fill and a small flash for rim light.

By moving them further away for deepen the shadows or moving them in closer (especially the octabox) I can completely alter the mood and feel of each shot. Sometimes I remove the rim light. Also, no gels were used in this series. I often don’t use them.