Sparkler Exit Wedding


Sparkler photos are becoming a very popular request for weddings, but they can be really tricky to photograph well. If you're hoping for perfect sparkler photos at the end of your wedding day, ask your potential photographer for examples of his/her work. It takes practice and specialized equipment and techniques to create a bright, vibrant, in-focus photo in this situation.

What's needed:

I've photographed sparkler exits at many weddings, and over time I've developed my own technique for capturing these moments as beautifully as possible. It takes a photography assistant, two off-camera lights with gels and triggers, and the right camera settings. Without all of these elements, your photos will likely be dark, grainy, out of focus, and have a mix of incorrect color tones.

How to make it work:

Here are a few general tips for making the best sparkler exit photos:

  1. Purchase sparklers meant for this purpose. They're bigger than your average 4th of July sparkler, and they last longer. It takes a minute or two for everyone to light theirs and get into position, and you don't want to be ready to walk/run under them just in time for them to fizzle out!
  2. Assign one or two people to light the sparklers and arrange the guests into a wide aisle. You need at least 8 feet between the two lines of guests for you and your new spouse to run between them safely. (Don't forget that they will be holding the sparklers out in front of them, which reduces the distance between sparklers!) I've noticed guests have a tendency to line up much closer than that when left to their own devices.
  3. This might seem like common sense, but make sure you know what time the sun sets on your wedding day. If you want the best contrast between light and dark and really dramatic looking sparkler photos, you'll want to schedule your sparkler exit for at least 30 minutes after sunset.
  4. Of course, BE AWARE that sparklers are hot, and you'll want to carefully navigate through them. But, you also want to look like you're having fun in your pictures, and if you run too fast, you're not giving your photographer time to create many images for you. Solutions to this include:
    1. Follow the mentioned aisle width guideline.
    2. Run through more than once.
    3. Get through the aisle and stand just outside of it together for a few more pictures. Hug, kiss, etc. for the camera. The sparkler aisle will show just behind you in the photos and be just as beautiful if you had stopped in the middle of it - but less dangerous.

Fun Wedding Photography: Sparkler Exits

Check out more of my wedding photos here.