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3 Tips To Great Sparkler Exits!

If you told me five years ago that I’d feel really good and SUPER excited to photograph sparkler exits, I’d call you crazy. I really love these as the perfect send off for those just married, it’s a wonderful way to signal the end of a wedding day, as opposed to turning on the lights and killing the music! I used to stress about photographing them because they are outside, at night, and there is fire. Besides the fire part (if you have an open bar, they won’t be the only thing lit :-)) I feel confident in lighting them perfectly and shooting outside in the dark! Here are 3 tips to great sparkler exits that I’ve found to be super helpful when the magic of a wedding day ends with a sparkler exit!


  • Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need, ask guests to stand closer together, move the bridal party to the end (they are dressed to impress and super excited for the bride & groom), have the bride and groom go through twice or kiss in the middle! You can never go wrong with speaking up and giving direction, just try to do it before those bad boys are lit.


  • Use an off-camera flash directly behind the couple and photograph into any extra light. This one makes sense, but sometimes the line of guests can curve, you want to utilize any light to your advantage. I pop my off-camera flash on the ground (I use these to attach to my light stand during the reception and they work perfectly). The couple will be coming out of the venue, utilize the exit with the most light if you have any say in the sparkler exit.


  • Use a video light with a gel on it (this sounds more technical than it needs to be, it comes with the gel, you just slide on the orange one as sparklers can photograph very cool toned.) This is the exact one I use. Sometimes it’s super dark, I need the off-camera, an on camera flash and my second to hold the video light. You could totally attach this video light to your camera if you are photographing this solo.


I hope these tips were helpful, my philosophy is to always have more than enough light, if you are photographing these with only an on-camera flash, you might find it difficult to get the results you like. I pretty much always convert them to black and white and even ADD grain (they can already be a little grainy due to the low light) but I just love that look.

I’d love to answer any questions you have about sparkler exits, feel free to leave me a comment below! Here’s to capturing the fun of sparkler exits!

Blog post brought to you by an early toddler bedtime, Papago Brewery Orange Bloosom craft beer, Lizzo’s Juice.


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