How to Photograph Sparkler Exits!

How to Photograph Sparkler Exits :: Abby Waller Photography

One of my favorite moments of a wedding day that goes by SO quickly is the sparkler exit!! I know most photographers may not be big fans of this, but for me they are so much fun! Part of the reason why they are my favorite is because I have mastered exactly how I want them to look and be able to consistently capture it every time! Running through a tunnel of fire, backwards, and trying to talk to your couple at the same time isn’t an easy task – but not having to worry about if your camera settings are accurate helps allow you to actually be in the moment and join in on the fun and sending your couple off on their honeymoon!

So here is my EXACT method to shooting exits!

  • My favorite way to set up a sparkler is exit is by first looking for a location that has some form of light already available! Something as small as a porch light or even a street light if available! This allows me and my camera to stay focused on my couple at all times because of all of the movement that takes place during an exit!
  • I then set my off camera flash up at the beginning of the walk way that my couple will be walking down. This allows me to get a nice boost of light behind my couple and allows them to pop off the background! I set my off camera flash to manual and set it to a flash power of 1/64. This allows enough light to come out and add “pop” without needing to recharge after every photo.
  • TIP – I always put fresh batteries in both of my flashes before the exit!
  • Next I get my camera settings together! I set my camera to 2.8 aperture, 200 shutter, and 800-1,200 ISO. – Those are my settings every time!
  • TIP – The mid range ISO allows enough sparkler flare in the image but will not make it too grainy. 
  • Then I set up my on camera flash! I put my flash on Manual and adjust the power to get enough light to expose my couple! ( usually around 1/64 power )
  • TIP – don’t add too much flash because the sparklers will add in extra light! Too much light will over expose your couple! 
  • Finally, as the guest begin lining up and walking out of the reception I take a few photos of them walking out to ensure that the settings are ready for my couple!

Trust me when I say, this is so simple to set up and takes me a matter of minutes on a wedding day! The best part is, you don’t need anyone to help you execute this – so if your second shooter has already left, it’s not a problem!

P.S. this approach works with ALL exits! Not just sparklers!

Here are a few of my favorite exit shots!

 

 

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