While preparing the ultimate wedding timeline from a wedding photographer’s POV, it is very natural to skip one of the most beautiful parts of a wedding “the wedding fireworks.” Photographing fireworks at the wedding will require you to take complete manual control over your professional camera lenses and functions. So if you have never switched from your camera’s auto mode up until now, it’s time to do it. You will be clicking photos at nighttime, so you will require certain wedding photography tips and preparations beforehand.

Professional fireworks photography is one of the most trending photography types throughout the year. For instance, photographing fireworks during important celebrations 4th of July, Christmas, New Year, and sometimes even during sports events. Wedding fireworks photography is intense because you are unsure about many things like how long they will last and where exactly they will be positioned in the sky. Some couples go as far as customizing their wedding fireworks with their initials or full names which makes it incredibly important for you to get the perfect shot. Fireworks photography at weddings can be executed in many ways to get the ultimate professional photos without editing! From wedding exits amidst sparklers to first dances under a sky full of sparklers, keep these wedding firework photography ideas at hand so that you are fully prepared and get the best wedding firework display shots.

Tips For Photographing Fireworks At A Wedding:

Start early 

If the wedding fireworks are scheduled to start at 9:00, slip out of the ballroom with your bride and groom five minutes earlier. Why? There are a number of causes behind this tip. First, in order to capture the perfect shot, you should move the bride and the groom away from where everyone will be gathered so that only they and the fireworks are visible in the wedding photos. Moreover, because it is impossible to predict the direction from which the fireworks will be launched, a wide perimeter surrounding them is essential in case you need to reorient them. Second, before things get too noisy and chaotic, it will provide you a chance to test your camera settings and give posing instructions before the shots.

Gather certain information beforehand

Get in touch with the couple to gather as much information as you can in advance. How long will the fireworks last? From which point they will go off? How far are the married couple and the fireworks apart? How much ambient light will there be when your couple is there? All of this knowledge is really helpful for your wedding photography plan. The wedding coordinator at the venue can also be one of the ideal people to contact for this set of information.

Shoot with a tripod 

A tripod can be used if you plan to photograph fireworks at weddings. The camera needs to be secured firmly in position because you will be working in the dark and exposures will probably last 10 seconds or longer and any camera movement could damage your photo. Additionally, make sure that all three legs are securely fastened to prevent slipping. Don’t risk ruining the wedding photos with even the slightest amount of movement. When using a tripod to hold the camera, remember to turn off any image stabilization in the lens because it won’t be essential and might even produce a tiny blur in the image.

Shoot without a tripod 

Try to shoot without a tripod. The tripod sometimes can be more of a hindrance than a help, especially during the first few times you try to photograph fireworks. Sometimes using a wide lens while hand-holding the camera steadily works best. Since you would be able to hand hold the camera, you can quickly change your composition based on where the fireworks are flashing before moving on to capture additional shots of the scene.

Bring the right camera equipment

You should always carry a few pieces of equipment for shooting fireworks. First of all, a professional 24-70mm lens can be amazing since it will allow you to stay there once you start shooting and simply zoom in and out to obtain the shots you want. Once the fireworks start, you would have no time to switch lenses. Another Canon Ex-Rt Speedlite is being controlled by a Canon 600 Ex-Rt Speedlite that can be put on the camera. Although the on-camera flash is turned on, it wouldn’t currently shoot. It only serves to manage the off-camera flash.

Changing the camera exposure 

Your fireworks photographs might easily be overexposed or underexposed. If your fireworks appear to be excessively bright, experiment with your settings to get a darker sky and more defined pyrotechnics.

Position yourself better 

Once your exposure is set, you must decide where you will be and what your subject couple will do. According to photographers’ advice, fireworks typically shoot so high that you should be on your back a few feet right behind the pair at a focal length of 24 to 35mm in order to capture them as well as the entire display. Take portrait shots rather than landscape ones.

Use a remote or cable release

It serves no purpose to set the camera on a tripod if you jolt it when you press the shutter release manually. For a safe and jog-free operation of the shutter, use a remote or cable release instead. If you don’t have a remote release, you can use the self-timer on your camera, but you risk missing the best moment to shoot the picture because of the delay between hitting the shutter button and the exposure beginning. Set the time it takes from pushing the button to the shutter release to the shortest amount that your camera will tolerate in order to avoid this as much as possible.

Check your settings

You can test your professional camera settings as they are already there with you a few minutes early to ensure that your exposure is just correct. In this manner, all you will need to worry about when the fireworks start is your composition and concentration. You can consider a few factors while adjusting your professional camera settings. First, you would want to maintain a moderately high ISO so that you can maintain a low flash power. Since the Speedlites can only shoot at high power for a limited number of times per minute before they need to recycle. Remember that when taking photographs of fireworks, time is not our friend. Additionally, try to not use any filters when using auto white balance or flash. Also don’t try to use filters, Kelvin, or special white balance settings. In such cases, flash or auto-white balance work just fine. You may need to make slight adjustments to all of these camera settings here.

Do a little fixing 

How are you going to concentrate if you can’t see your hand in front of your face because of the darkness? Manually focusing the camera to infinity, which should be recorded on your lens, is the simplest technique. Normally, you will be far enough away from the fireworks to leave the lens at infinity after setting it. Alternately, place a point of focus about a third of the way into the area and illuminate it with a torch. These might be the heads of the visitors taking in the fireworks show.

Use reflections 

Reflections are great for fireworks photography if you’re fortunate enough to be close to water. Being further away from the show can also mean having fewer visitors to deal with.

Shoot in portrait mode

You will be able to include the couple and the fireworks in the portrait. Landscape mode makes it nearly difficult because the top of the frame isn’t tall enough. The sides are primarily black as well. With a portrait, you may include both of the desired subjects in the frame: people and fireworks. Additionally, instruct your couple to face the fireworks with their backs to you and their arms around each other. Then tell them to alternate between kissing and laying their heads together and gazing up at the show. The mood won’t be killed, but it’s better to talk about it beforehand just in case they can’t hear you when you cry these out when the fireworks start. Just instruct them to maintain maximum stillness to lessen the “ghosting” effect brought on by the slow shutter.

Use a head torch 

A head torch is a remarkably useful piece of camera equipment that is ideal for anyone who frequently photographs nighttime photos. When making modifications, you can use it to help brighten the camera or to shine on specific subjects. Both hands are free to control your equipment because the torch can be fastened to your head.

Position the couple strategically

Make sure the couple is in the bottom third of the frame in the middle, or out to the bottom left or right, with the fireworks above, for the main wedding shots. Second, areas of contrast are the easiest to focus on. In most cases, that is where the groom’s white shirt should be meeting the collar of his suit or his suspenders. Everything should be in good shape because you will be shooting at such a wide aperture (f/2.8) and from such a close distance.

Check the wedding venue during the daytime 

It is definitely worthwhile to check the wedding site in daylight if you plan to photograph it at night. Find out where the front of the guests will be and where the fireworks will be launched to help you decide where to set up your camera and equipment. Find a high spot to photograph from, and pay attention to the background and anything else that might be used to give your photo a unique spin.

Bring a box or a step ladder 

If you are fortunate enough to locate a high vantage point from where you can shoot, you are in good space! If not, you risk being snarled up behind a group of visitors. Your tripod must be stretched to its highest point in order for them to be perfectly framed at the bottom of your photo. This makes it challenging to look through the viewfinder to frame the picture or change the exposure unless you are at an equal height. So take a cue from the paparazzi, who frequently use boxes or tiny step ladders to increase their heights.

The grand finale

Since there will be many explosions going off simultaneously instead of just a few, the grande finale is usually when you will get the best wedding firework photos, so spend the first few minutes checking your settings, focus, and composition. When the big moment arrives, you will know.

Useful wedding firework step-by-step guide:

1. Set up your photo and center the focus either at infinity or about a third of the way into the scene.

2. Switch your camera to manual or flash exposure. Since exposures rarely last more than 5–10 seconds, manual exposure is usually best to try first. Because the shutter remains open until you push the shutter button a second time to close it, flash is preferable when you need to keep the shutter open for a significantly longer period of time.

3. Choose a low ISO setting, like 100 or 200. Because the camera is attached to a tripod, this will assist reduce background noise, and you won’t need to worry about choosing a quick shutter speed.

4. Set your exposure to 5 seconds and your aperture to f/8 as a starting point. Use the remote release to open the shutter when a firework is set off, and then see the outcome on the back screen.

5. Take a little black card that you can place in front of the lens to ensure that you capture more than one fireworks explosion in the scene. If you don’t have a card, you can use a cupped pair of black gloves, but be careful not to touch the lens. Hold the card over the front of the lens between explosions to block out any ambient light and extend the exposure time. Even though the shutter may be open for 15 or 20 seconds, the camera will only record the light trails from each individual explosion since you are delaying the exposure with the card. When using this method, flash mode is ideal, especially if you need to increase the exposure.

As a professional wedding photographer, you would have many things on your to-do list. From preparing a solid timeline to scouting the best locations for photography to creating the ultimate posing checklist from a professional photographer’s POV, you have a lot on your plate. And if you are looking to photograph wedding fireworks in a seamless way to get the best wedding shots, the above-mentioned fireworks photography tips can be your go-to before every wedding.

There are many wedding firework shot challenges that you might encounter as a photographer. As the wedding fireworks display continues the clarity of photographs decreases due to the increase of smoke. Firstly, determining the direction of fireworks until they start going off is almost uncertain. Secondly, there is no way to determine whether they are going to be far off in the distance or right over the head. Thirdly some of the photography composition rules might not apply as you would be shooting in the dark. Fourthly you would need an off-camera flash! And lastly, time is limited and there will be no redo shots. But we have a few good news as well.

Photographing fireworks at weddings is remarkably easy. Unlike mastering golden hour and blue hour photography which requires on-the-job training, firework photography at weddings is not a wildcard. A professional wedding photographer photographs fireworks at almost every wedding. Fireworks at weddings generally come during a time that isn’t super stressful as they are pretty predictable. Hence you can practice these wedding fireworks photography tips at home. A little preparation and thinking will help you to get the best wedding firework shots– so when you see the word “fireworks” in your professional wedding photography timeline checklist, you will know exactly what to do.

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