Getting great sparkler photos of your wedding sparklers involves some creative thinking and plenty of pre-planning. Whether you’re having a friend take pictures or hiring a professional photographer to capture those shimmery shots, here are some tips that can help you take great sparkler pictures that are perfect for framing.
Planning Your Shots
Practice makes perfect. You probably want to plan out exactly where the photographer should shoot from and what positions you, your new spouse and your guests should be in when it’s time for sparkler photos. Decide what time of day you want to do your sparkler exit or take sparkler pictures with your wedding party. Some ideas include taking sparkler pictures during the cake cutting, the first dance or the champagne toast.
You can practice ahead of time using some short regular sparklers to determine whether certain shots work as expected. Make sure your photographer knows the exact type of shots you want. The camera’s exposure is likely to be different for still shots and action shots, so make sure the camera operator has time to switch modes if you want a lot of different sparkler-related pictures.
Consider unusual angles when you’re composing wedding sparkler photos. A picture taken from a high vantage point offers a different perspective than standard ground-level shots. This works best if you have more than one photographer, since you can have one person taking the primary images while another captures the scene from above.
Picking Your Sparklers
When you’re taking photos of sparklers, you need to ensure there’s enough burn time to capture multiple shots. Sparklers that last 90 seconds or longer are ideal, since these long sparklers let you get into the right pose for that perfect image. The longer the sparkler, the longer the burn time, so aim for the longest sparklers available if you want to get multiple shots for your photo album. Wedding sparklers from Direct Sparklers are also designed to burn clean, so there’s mimimal smoke to cloud up photos.
Choosing Your Time
Sparklers show up best in photos when there’s not too much light. The goal is to get a good image of the shimmering sparklers without throwing the happy couple into shadows. A camera with low-light capability helps ensure that everything stays in focus even when light levels are low. You can also use external lighting to brighten facial expressions and other details in the scene.
Another option is to take wedding sparkler pictures at sunset when the natural lighting adds gentle illumination to your scene but the ambient light is low enough to make the sparklers stand out.
Setting Up the Subjects
Because sparklers have limited burn time, you should get everyone into position before you start lighting them. One of the most common ways to use wedding sparklers is for a sparkler send-off. If you’re planning a sparkler-lined exit, make sure someone is on hand to get everyone in the proper places to give you a great photo backdrop.
When you’re getting action shots with sparklers, positioning is especially important. Stay away from streetlights or bright doorways to avoid having external light wash out your picture. For a sparkler send-off wedding picture, the couple should stop just past the halfway mark on the path. Stopping at this spot ensures that there are sparklers both in front of and behind the couple at the moment the camera shutter fires, and this positioning provides efficient lighting from all sides. Walking slowly instead of running also helps since the slower motion lets the photographer capture the couple from a few angles and reduces the chances of blurring.
Capturing Creative Sparkler Photos
Sparklers let you get creative wedding shots in ways you might not have considered. One fun option for sparkler pictures involves writing in the air with the shimmering light to create words or images in the photograph. You can draw hearts, write the word “Love” or sign your initials in the air using sparklers. This kind of long-exposure wedding sparkler photo is best taken late at night instead of right at sunset because the motion shows up as words or images better when there is less light. Sparklers in the 18-to-20-inch range might work better than longer sparklers for air writing because they offer a sufficiently long burn time while still being small enough to easily control as you swirl them through the air.
Another cute long-exposure idea is to have someone walk around the couple or the wedding party a few times with sparklers in hand to create a dazzling rope-like beam of light that encircles the subjects of the photo. Long wedding sparklers that burn for longer than a minute make it easy to twist light around the group multiple times before the shimmer fades.
Remember to get photos of your wedding sparkler display before guests arrive, as well as candid shots of wedding guests lighting their sparklers. After the wedding, you can use these images in a collage surrounding your best sparkler photos to depict the moments leading up to the big event and bring viewers into the scene.