Halloween Save the Date – Jacksonville Engagement Photographer

Happy Halloween, with a special how to create an awesome Save the Date for your upcoming wedding on Halloween Eve in less than 4 hours.  Yesterday as I was editing through hundreds of wedding photos from this past weekend, I realized that tomorrow being Halloween I should create a unique Save the Date photo that I could offer my Brides and clients for their engagement sessions.  First stop to the grocery store to pick up two above average pumpkins for carving.  Unfortunately they were sold out of the carving knives.  Next Ace Hardware, SOLD OUT.  Kmart, SOLD OUT.  Fourth and final try, CVS, they have them!  Back home an only about 45 minutes in.  This is where the usual excitement of having purchased the pumpkins and telling all your friends how you’re going to carve pumpkins this year excitement, wears off.  But in less than two hours I managed to push forward and get the Save the Date and Date Pumpkin both designed (by hand), cleaned, and carved.

Below you’ll find our Save the Date “Halloween Edition” and how we created it.  The photo is straight out of camera, only resized for the web and slight contrast correction.

Engagement Photographer Jacksonville David Walters Photography

Halloween Save the Date!  We actually met in 2004 at a Halloween Party, when Julie accidentally took my cell phone home and returned it to me the next day.

Jacksonville Photographers Save the Date Halloween

Equipment Needed: (2) Pumpkins, (2) Candles, Pumpkin Masters Carving Set.

Photo Equipment: Nikon D800, Nikon Sb-910, 35mm f/2, tripod, light stand, CTO gel, and Lumiquest SoftBox LTp

Pumpkins photographed at Engagement session

To light this photo you will see below that I have placed my flash inside of the Lumiquest LTp Softbox with a CTO (orange gel) on a light stand just above where Julie and I will lean over to kiss.  The softbox is feathered to the front to light both us, a bit of the pumpkins, and prevents light from spilling on to the background.  If did not use the softbox or opted for an umbrella, the light would have sprayed everywhere, lighting up our background.  I used the Nikon 35mm f/2 lens to feature the pumpkins front and center as this would be used as a Save the Date invitation, and the wider lens makes the pumpkins appear larger in the frame.  Pocket wizards were used to trigger the off camera flash.

Cameras Settings: Nikon D800, 35mm f/2 @ f/6.3, .6 seconds shutter speed, Sb-910 Flash manual 1/64 power, iso 200.

The CTO gel is used to bring the color temperature of the flash to the same color as the pumpkin light.  The longer shutter speed controls the ambient light of the photo, giving the pumpkins their glow.  All the lights were off in the room to prevent ambient light.  The flash is triggered at the end of the shot as light us and bring the pumpkins out of complete shadow (to show they are real pumpkins).  To do this you need to set your flash settings to rear sync, Note: hold the lightning bolt on your Nikon  (front left on the camera) and spin your back dial.


Here you can see the lighting set up above.  I would have loved to have our black cat bunny be featured sticking his head out just between the pumpkins, but he would not cooperate with the photo session.

Pumpkins photographed at Engagement session

If you love this idea, and have questions, leave them in the comments section below.  Even better if you have a unique engagement session or save the date idea and want me to photograph it, Contact me today and we’ll set up a date.

You can photograph all your families awesome pumpkins this year with the same set up.  Adjusting the power of your flash will allow you to control how much light is put on to your pumpkins.  Important things to remember, prevent light spill, rear sync flash, and gel your flash (CTO).


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