For Halloween this year, I attended and photographed a Halloween party for kids. It was lots of fun.
My friend Ryan and his wife Yeojin own and run an excellent hagwon (academy) called Lion English. This was their fourth year holding a Halloween party for their academy students, and I was thoroughly impressed with the activities, planning, and organization of the whole event.
Photographing the kids playing the games and trick-or-treating was great, and to be honest, it was easily the best Halloween party for kids I’ve ever attended (or any kids’ party for that matter).
The party lasted from 7:00-9:30 pm and was held in a circular gathering area in a small park. About 45 students showed up dressed in costume, eager to play games and ready to have a good time.
First, each student was given a ‘passport card’ which listed the games that they needed to play (ex. Spider Walk, Bone Dig, Frankenstein Putt). Once they finished each game, they would get a stamp on the card. In total, there were 8 games that the kids could play, each manned by a different foreign teacher/older student who volunteered to help out. It goes without saying that after they played a game, they got candy to put in their trick-or-treating bucket or bag.
As you’ll see from the photos, the games were painstakingly created and put together to have an authentic Halloween feel. The effort put into making the games went a long way because they were seriously fun for the kids!
After each student got a chance to play all of the games, they were divided into groups, given a map, and lead by a teacher around the neighborhood where 6 or 7 designated families were giving out candy to the trick or treaters.
To me, this was the most exciting part of the evening; it really made me remember Halloween when I was a kid, costumed and running from house to house with friends trying to maximize my candy output for the night. It’s really impressive that Ryan and Yeojin were able to recreate that authentic American Halloween feeling for kids.
Photographing the Party
It was totally dark in the area where the party was held, so I used my trusty but very reasonably priced Yongnuo YN-568EX II Speedlite atop my Canon 6D body for nearly all my shots.
I was planning on mostly shooting with my Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens due to the low light, but I realized the kids were quite shy if I tried to take individual shots of them, so I switched to my wide angle Canon 17-40mm f/4 L lens. I knew I would need lots of group shots and some wide shots to capture kids participating in the games, so this lens was my go-to for the event.
Personally, I love shooting with a wide-angle lens on a full-frame camera body because it actually allows you to see a much wider depth than the human eye can perceive. I just had to be careful and keep the subject of the shot centered, as this lens on a full-frame tends to really distort around the edges.
Below is a gallery of the best of the rest shots. Click on any photo to view it in Lightbox.
First bonus photo is this black and white shot I took before the kids started trick or treating. I saw this boy sitting next to the Jeju dol hareubang (grandfather) statue, under a cool circular bench, and thought I could make an image with a nice balance and contrast. A touch of B/W editing and cropping and I got this creepy shot (which doesn’t exactly fit with the rest of the images).
For a lighter bonus, a cute video:
Earlier in the day, I was hanging out at my mother-in-law’s house in Seogwipo (the southern city in Jeju) with my wife, daughter Lila, and niece and nephew. We all bought some small, silly costumes and were trying them on when I took this video of Lila. Enjoy the cuteness. Hope you had a great Halloween 2015!