My Family: Halloween Pictures 2016

Someone recently watched Top Gun. And then watched it again. And again. All just before Halloween costume planning time. So none of us were a single bit surprised when Maverick was Jay’s character of choice. He rocked it too and lucky for me, he gave me one shot tonight. One shot. Lucky for him, I LOVE it. Here’s Maverick on Halloween night.

Halloween pictures - Child in Top Gun's Maverick costume

You might assume I was freaking out with only one shot. But I was not! Why? Because Jay agreed to a quick 5-minute photo session the night before Halloween. It wasn’t hard to convince him. I think he was pretty excited to wear the costume as many times as possible. He looks tough.

PARENT PHOTOGRAPHY TIP: For special events like Halloween, don’t wait until the actual event to take your first photo. Everyone will be distracted and running in 50 different directions. Stopping to let mom snap a few obligatory pictures is just inconvenient, even to my kids who are used to it. Set aside a few minutes earlier in the week, or even the day of, to take pictures without being rushed. Here’s the Maverick collage I photographed of Jay yesterday, the day before Halloween. With these in the can, I was so relaxed during the actual festivities . . . and didn’t annoy my kids . . . too much.

Halloween pictures - Child in Top Gun's Maverick costume

There was no time to pre-shoot Nemo and Dory. They made their own costumes and worked on them right up until the very last minute. In hindsight, I wish I’d photographed “the making of” but I honestly didn’t even think about it. It’s my busy season and they did all the crafting at Nemo’s house, so yeah I missed it. They went trick-or-treating with friends in Nemo’s neighborhood so we didn’t see them much tonight but I know they had a blast.

Homemade Nemo and Dory costumesHomemade Nemo and Dory costumes

Here are a few of our neighborhood kiddos in costume.

Halloween costumes 2016 - Charlotte NC children's photography

And Maverick starting the post trick-or-treating candy negotiation with his dad. It usually begins something like this, “why can’t I eat it all right now?” The white balance in this picture is very warm. See the yellow reflecting on their skin? It’s coming from the fire pit flames camera left. For this shot, the warmth helps set the tone and environment of our Halloween night. White balance is just one of the many creative choices photographers make. Father and son starting the candy negotiation on Halloween 2016

Abbe McCracken is an award-winning photographer serving Charlotte, NC and the surrounding areas of Matthews, Ballantyne, Weddington and beyond. She specializes in joyful family and children’s photography. Abbe is a member of the National Association of Professional Child Photographers and is the two-time winner of Charlotte Smarty Pants’ Best Family Photographer (2016, 2015). Other recent local awards include Hulafrog South Charlotte’s Most Loved Family Photographer and Charlotte Parent Readers’ Favorite Family Photographer.

Abbe McCracken, award winning photographer

meet Abbe

Welcome to my blog! I’m a child and family photographer based in Charlotte NC.


Parents always ask, “what if my kid doesn’t listen?” My answer: that’s actually perfect. Don’t tell your children I said so, but personalities shine when listening ears fail. I welcome the silly. I want the giggles. I watch for honest smiles, real connections and stolen family moments.


This applies to your big kids and high school seniors too. Wink, Wink.

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