Post by Joe Farace

This time of year, one of my favorite portraiture tips is to ask subjects to bring their Halloween costumes to the shoot. Sure they can bring their regular clothes too, but this is a fun set to shoot in addition to what they already had placed to wear. As adults they don’t always get a chance to wear the costumes very often. It adds an amusing element to a portrait shoot that allows you to create the kind of images that are fun to make. You will also find that when wearing a costume the subject usually gets more involved in the session. There is something about being dressed up that’s fun. As Muffy VanderBear always said, Life is just one big dress-up. In addition to getting a chance to create some great images to add to your portfolio, you also get to add another potential sale from the session. For the portrait photographer, its a perfect win-win situation.

Mary Farace photographed this butterfly at a group photo shoot in Northern Colorado. This is one of ten different shots and three different poses that she made. Using the hay bales gave the subject something to interact with, and Marys pose created a diagonal line that showed off the costume effect as well as giving her a chance to make a horizontal portrait, something thats not always easy to do with a single person. This image was made with an Olympus E-500 and Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/4.0-5.6 lens. Exposure was 1/160 second at f/4.5 and ISO 100 with the cameras pop-up flash used as fill.

Joe Farace is the author of Studio Lighting Anywhere the second book in a trilogy or glamour and portrait photography from Amherst Media. Its available on