A Guide to Sparkler Photography

Posted by Chris Pappas on 8/15/2015 to Creative Ideas

How to Achieve Sparkler Photography

Sparklers Photo

Have you ever wanted to do sparkler photography? This guide will teach people using sparklers at weddings and other events how to take stunning sparkler photos !

First, you will need to get all of the appropriate materials:

  1. DSLR camera (A phone will not work)
  2. Tri-Pod
  3. Sparklers (20 inch)
  4. Matches
  5. Flash
  6. Family or Friends

After you have gathered all of your materials, set up your tri-pod and camera outside. You must take the photographs in the dark in order for the camera to be able to capture the light from the sparklers. Your camera setting should be similar to the ones below:

  • Manual Mode: Your camera needs to be set to manual mode not Automatic.
  • Aperture: Around f/9. The higher the aperture the more defined your sparklers will be.
  • Shutter Speed: 10-30 seconds. You need to write your message before the shutter closes. This will be trial and error so take your time to find the best shutter speed.
  • Flash: Manually set out burst of light or put camera in REAR Curtain mode. This means that the flash will go off right before the shutter closes. If you camera does not have this mode; no worries!
Sparkler Photography

Here is what you want to do for sparklers photography:

  1. Set-Up: Set up your tri-pod and camera in a dark setting. Any street or porch lights will affect the final photo.
  2. Come up with ideas: Are you going to draw words, make images, or stand with the sparklers?
  3. Positions: Figure out who is going to stand at the camera and who is going to write with the sparklers.
  4. Getting Ready: When you are ready, double check to make sure that your settings are set like the ones above and get your flash ready if you are using it.
  5. During the Photo: Countdown how many seconds are left for the people to draw the image so they do not run out of time.
  6. Using the Flash: When they are done, if you want to them to come out in the image, have them pose and shine the flash on them quickly before the shutter closes.
  7. Look at your photograph and adjust your settings to your liking!
  8. Repeat the steps above if you want to redo or try out another idea.

While the shutter is open, you want to make sure that any message that you are writing is spelled backwards! The camera will be picking up exactly what is in front of it. This will be a little tricky so be prepared to take over 20 photos to finally get that perfect shot. If you want to get the person in the photograph drawing or standing around your sparkler writing, then take a flash that you can manually use and release a burst of light onto the subject. As you can see in the image above, the flash was used to bring out the couple. If you are looking to just take photographs of individual sparklers, the settings will change slightly. You want to have your shutter open for less than 10 seconds since you will be holding the sparklers. It will take a lot of practice to finally find the settings that you like best, but this is a good start to becoming an expert at sparkler wedding photography!

Extra Information

  • If you draw slowly with your sparkler, the lines will appear thicker in the image. The faster you draw the thinner the lines will be.
  • Without a flash, the background will be black and you will only be able to see the light trails.

I Love Sparklers: Using Sparklers at Weddings

People using sparklers at weddings or for other events should know how to take these fun photos! If you are looking to do some sparkler photography for your wedding, buy your sparklers from I Love Sparklers. Are you looking for some ideas for your wedding? Check out what some of our customers have done with our sparklers! We offer low-smoke sparklers that will make your photos and wedding day sparkle!

Photo Credit: Lowe, Paige. DEVON + BUD. 2011. E N G A G E D | P R E V I E W. Paige Lowe Photography. Web. 5 Aug. 2015. Schnettelker, Christian. Sparkler. 2013. Flickr. Web. 5 Aug. 2015. Sources: http://learnmyshot.com/long-exposure-photography-with-sparklers-and-fireworks/ http://societybride.com/tag/how-to-write-with-sparklers/

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Patti Faison
Date: 10/18/2016
Interested in wedding day sparklers.

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