The Perfect Weather
To get that spooky and mysterious atmosphere you must pick a day for your photoshoot when it’s cloudy, rainy or best of all - foggy. I would say a foggy day makes your photos 10 times spookier and it really brings out the feeling of mystery that I want to have in my photos this time of the year.
The Right Location
I always come back to the forest for these kinds of photos, especially when it’s foggy because then you get those layers of trees slowly fading away into the fog. The trees in the forest also makes it a little darker on cloudy and foggy days, which adds a spooky feeling and is also perfect if you want to use props such as candles or other light source.
I try to look for a forest with older trees because there tend to be more space between the trees which makes it easier to find a nice composition and to move around to get a good angle.
Props and Clothes
Before you head out to shoot, think about what props and clothes you can use to increase the spooky feeling. It’s easier to get a good shot if you have thought about a theme or feeling that you want your photo to have.
These two photos are taken at the same location within minutes but thanks to different outfits and light source they don’t radiate the same feeling. In the left photo I wanted to create the feeling of a woman from the 1800s searching for a safe place in the dark forest. In the right photo I wanted more of a “Stranger Things” feeling with someone trying to figure out what made that noise.
Composition and Settings
The forest can be a bit confusing to shoot in – there are trees everywhere! But I always try to look for a small clearing so that my model has at least a few meters to the trees in the background. Sometimes I frame the photo with trees which kind of works like a vignetting. I always shoot with a wide aperture to get the focus on my model and make the background a bit blurry and mysterious. To increase the spooky feeling I underexpose the photo a bit to make it a little darker.
I always shoot some “test shots” when shooting self-portraits to make sure the composition and settings are ok. During this photoshoot I chose to go a bit closer to the tree I was going to shoot with. I placed a flashlight between the roots in the tree to make it look like there was light coming from within the tree and I also changed to more suiting clothes for the photoshoot.
Now that Halloween is closing in - charge your camera, think about a theme for your photoshoot, gather props if needed, look for a cloudy or foggy day and head out to create your spooky fairytale!
Bio - Louise Nordström Pettersson
ABOUT LOUISE NORDSTROM PETTERSSON
In love with nature and fairytales.
Louise is a photographer from Sweden who loves to be out in nature and always tries to capture the magic.
One of her favorite things is to get up before sunrise during summer and drive around on small dirt roads with my camera, listening to inspiring music while looking for sun rays and magical views.
She started photography when she was 14 years old back in 2005 and later started up her own business as a photographer in 2016. Since then she has been working with brands and companies all over Europe, selling digital photos and prints. She also launched online courses in photography and workshops.