We’ve finally arrived at my favorite picture-taking time of year – Halloween!! YAY! All the little kids in their adorable costumes, the creepy haunted displays, and the creative pumpkins. My favorite thing is to take pictures of Jack o Lanterns, and it’s actually really easy.

If you have an SLR, you have a couple options. You can put your camera on the auto non-flash setting, or you can put it on shutter priority. I took these on shutter priority:


I set my shutter speed to 1/25 and my ISO to 800. The catch is that you need your camera on a steady surface. I used a tripod, but anything would do – porch bricks, tables, etc.

I know a lot of people out there don’t have an SLR, but don’t worry, you can still take pictures like this! I used my dad’s old point and shoot which has been in the family since I was in college, and I was able to get this picture:


It has no manual settings, so I simply put the camera in no-flash auto mode. You still need to put the camera on a steady surface to avoid camera shake (which would ruin the picture) but I think both of these pictures are great and show off the pumpkin’s face.

Now, what good are pictures if you can’t print them? That’s where my awesome friends at HP come in. They are giving away their HP Photosmart eStation e-All-in-One Printer to one of my lucky US readers (Sorry international pals, I really will have something for you soon!).

I have to tell you about this printer. First of all, I want it.

There are so many amazing things about it that this post would be miles long, but let me highlight a few.

First, see that control panel up there? It’s actually a detachable touchscreen tablet that you can use to surf the internet, play games, AND print your photos.

Second, it’s Energy Star Qualified, and can automatically do two sided printing to help save paper.

Third, it has ePrint. It’s demonstrated in Annie’s favorite commercial and You-Tube sensation here:

So, say you have a sibling, and the holidays are coming. You obviously want to give your parents the best gift to prove that you are way better than your brother. Imagine if you gave them this printer. You could send them PICTURES OF THEIR GRANDCHILDREN. LIKE MAGIC. Sorry Kyle, I am totally winning Christmas this year.

The best part to me, though? HP picture printing. I print all my pictures at home with my HP printer and they are gorgeous, vibrant, and frame-worthy.

So how do you win? By telling me either your favorite Halloween costume that you dressed up as, or what your children are going as this year. As you know, my daughter Annie is still struggling with what to be. Maybe your ideas will help her!

The nitty gritty – the winner must live in the United States. Only one entry per person. Contest closes Friday Oct. 29 at noon pacific time. Winner will be chosen by Random.org. Prize: One (1) HP Photosmart eStation e-All-in-One (ARV $399.00) to be shipped to winner. No substitution, cash redemption or transfer of prizes, except in Sponsor’s discretion.

OK Disclosure over. Time to enter!

Edited 10/29/10: the winner is…