Three Devilishly Good Photography Tips For Shooting Halloween Portraits

We have always admired the creative ways that Conceptual Photographer Eva Creel uses color in her work. Eva recently shared how she solely relied on the filters inside our Digital After Dark® Flash Pack to create the ominous and eerie moods for several of her Halloween portraits this year. The Rosco gels in this kit were originally chosen to provide useful colors for light painting and nighttime photography. Below, Eva describes her “dabbles with the devils” and how she put the filters from the Digital After Dark Flash Pack to work in her fiendish photo series.

Extension 666
Halloween Portraits

Ever wonder who’s on the other side of the Ouija board? In the case of this supernatural photo shoot, it’s Model Kate Dailey. I loved working with Kate on this shoot. Not only did she possess the perfect enigmatic look for the shot, but she also provided her own makeup design and wardrobe. Isn’t that red devil’s tail on her dress just to die for?

The setup for this “from the beyond” photo shoot was pretty simple. A fancy old chair on a black seamless background that allowed me to suspend Kate in the vast nothingness between science and superstition. In order to create the inter-dimensional glow, we added an off-camera flash with R2001 Storaro Red attached to it that lit up some smoke from a fog machine.

Halloween Portraits

For a second pose, we added a second flash with R389 Chroma Green bouncing off an umbrella. This not only added just a kiss of otherworldly sallow into Kate’s skin tone, but I also loved how it changed the color-dynamic of the overall composition. The devil is definitely in the details of this shot. Note how the green subdues the vibrancy of the white-collar and cuffs on Kate’s dress. It also added a little drama into the background by neutralizing the red in the areas of the fog right around her face.

Pestilence
Halloween Portraits

This COVID-friendly photo session featured Model Laura Morris all masked-up with a handful of posies to keep the plague away. She is surrounded by dried up autumnal flowers, a little fog again, and a mix of blue and amber light. For this shot, it only made sense to use R74 Night Blue. But I fell in love with the arid warmth that the R3441 Full Straw (CTS) created. The CTS “Straw” correction filters warm up the light the same way that CTO filters do. The difference is that the Straws have less red than a traditional CTO, so you end up with an amber color that’s a little “drier.” Definitely less lush and healthy, which added the perfect barren feeling into the area with the dead blooms.

Take a look at the devilishly clever setup we created for our “Pestilence” shot. In some ways, the setup shot for this pose was creepier than the final! We had Laura lie down in an empty kiddy pool and took the shot from above. This enabled us to stage the flowers exactly how and where we wanted them. We also used the white sidewalls of the pool to bounce the light into the shot from the sides. Plus, the pool walls also captured our miasmatic fog and gathered it ominously around her head.

Soul Collector
Halloween Portraits

This is Model Jana Ashing, and she is here to collect your soul. We kept the R74 Night Blue to illuminate the ground-level fog. I love how you can almost feel the saturated blue rippling across Jana’s feathers in this shot.

Halloween Portraits

The concept of this second pose was that the warm-colored fog represented a soul that captures the attention of the Soul Collector, and draws her out of the darkness to hunt her prey.

We didn’t use any gels to create the warmth in these shots. It’s just a warm constant light that contrasted soulfully with the foreboding R74.

Halloween Portraits

After everything was shot and done – we ended up with a fantastic composite of phantasmic photographs. You definitely don’t want to be out “After Dark” with these characters on the loose. Happy Halloween everyone!


Thanks to Eva Creel for sharing her photography – and her behind-the-scenes techniques – with all of us. If you’d like to stay up to date on Eva’s projects (and see more images from her Halloween photo series), follow her on Instagram – @evacreelphotography. You can also see her portfolio by visiting her website: www.evacreelphotography.com.

If you’d like to learn more about the Rosco gel kit that Eva used to create the eerie, supernatural lighting effects in her Halloween photos, please explore the Digital After Dark Flash Pack page on our website.

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Joel Svendsen

About Joel Svendsen

Content Marketing Manager: Joel's Rosco career began in Rosco's Hollywood office in 1999 – first in sales covering the Western US and the Los Angeles Film & Television market, and then as Product Manager for Rosco's Film & Television Products. Joel's knowledge about Rosco's products and how they're used in each of our different marketplaces makes him well suited for bringing the stories in Spectrum to life.