Get Your Teen Weekly Newsletter in your inbox! Sign Up
YourTeenMag Logo

Do Your Teens Say No to Family Fun? Try a Pumpkin Head Halloween Photo Shoot!

Your kids have their Halloween costumes. You’ve hung Halloween decorations outside. You’re watching scary movies together as a family. Maybe you’ve even staged family Halloween photos or a pumpkin photoshoot here and there. But now, if you really want to create some unique Halloween memories with your teen, get your family ready for a pumpkin head photo shoot.

What’s a pumpkin head?

Simply put, a pumpkin head is a jack-o’-lantern made to fit over your head. Clever, right? What started as a TikTok trend is now a fun way to spend some silly time together. Remember to stage a photo shoot when you’re done, and you’ll get some unforgettable memories to treasure and share.

Okay, but how do I make a pumpkin head?

Step One: Purchase the pumpkins.

These can’t be just any pumpkins. They have to be HUGE! Big enough to fit over your head. Buy an extra pumpkin, too, in case of carving mistakes (speaking from experience).

Step Two: Set the scene.

This fall season is all about the ambiance, right? Hopefully, you and your teen can agree on the best spooky playlist. Pour yourselves some cozy drinks and prepare to get creative.

Step Three: Prep your pumpkins.

Before you start dipping your hands into pumpkin goop, remember to leave the top of the pumpkin uncut and with the stem intact. You want to cut a hole from the bottom that’s large enough to fit over your head. Yes, that’s a big hole; and it’s the reason you bought the giant pumpkin in step 1. Next, remove the pumpkin guts as you do for a traditional carving. Set the seeds aside if you’re interested in roasting them.

Step Four: Carve!

The face of your jack-o’-lantern can be as silly or as spooky as you like. Let your personality shine here. If you lack inspiration, search Google or Instagram for Halloween photo ideas. There are all sorts of Halloween Instagram photo ideas to be found. You can also try using these hashtags: #pumpkinheadchallenge or #pumpkinchallenge. Of course, you can find tons of templates for jack-o’-lanterns online, but if you’re like me, you can freestyle your carving and hope for the best! (See previous note about purchasing an extra pumpkin.)

Step Five: Select your outfits.

Try choosing a color palette that matches your Halloween theme, or try finding attire that matches the mood of your pumpkins. If you live in a family of sneakerheads, as I do, you’ll want to make sure you have the perfect footwear selected. Oh, and here’s a handy tip: make sure you have a shower cap to keep all that pumpkin goop out of your hair.

Step Six: Pack up and go shoot fun photos!

If you’re tech-averse like me, now is a good time to research the photo timer settings on your phone or camera. Pack a tripod if you have one. Let your teen pick their favorite fall locale for some photo magic, and head out on your adventure. (Be prepared for some funny looks and slight discomfort. It’s fun, but it’s not easy to wear a gigantic pumpkin on your head.)

Parenting teens means we sometimes need to find creative ways to connect. So, if you see other parents doing out-of-the-ordinary things in order to spend time with their teens, give them a nod of solidarity. Activities like a pumpkin head photo shoot might seem strange and silly, but I encourage you to do them anyway, especially when they’re low-cost and high-reward.

Kimberly Witt is an Iowa transplant placing roots in St. Paul, Minnesota. With the help of her husband, she is raising two amazing teenage sons who were born in Ethiopia. She enjoys writing, running, and (surprisingly) helping her sons with math homework. Find her at

Related Articles