Wedding Sparkler shots in Kent

"Hi Matt, would you be able to do us one of those sparkler shots at our wedding in kent please".  I'm starting to hear this more and more now - I performed (and yes perform is the right word as I often look quite crazy running around twisting and turning) this photo at a recent wedding to help add to the primary photographers amazing work throughout the day.

For me they are still popular for brides and grooms but often less so for the photographer due to the time taken to set up and get right in camera - the more you do right on the night the less you have to do afterwards. 

So why do I think Wedding sparkler shots are still popular?

1) The thrill of watching the photo unfold:  

Most bride and grooms understand the general premise of running around with the sparkler to impose the light on the photo, but often once you start the bride and groom get caught up in the majesty of it all and get excited to see the photos unfold.  I don't think (unless you have tried this before) that people really understand the work that goes into these shots - normally for me it's the following (before the bride and groom come out):

  • Get the focus set up and set to manual - this involves getting a guest holding a torch on themselves so I can set focus
  • obtain the iso/aperture/shutter speed settings for the ambient light and slightly underexpose
  • check the exposure whilst running round with a torch/sparkler to make sure the exposure remains where I want
  • fire some hand held flash shots to make sure the bride and groom will not be overexposed - often at this point its a reduce or increase flash power until I am happy.
  • Then a couple of quick practices - especially if writing words as you need to do it backwards

Only once I am happy will I bring the bride and groom out - I don't want them away from the reception for any longer than necessary and this minimises the time impact for them.  I will then walk through what I need them to do and when (a crowd normally gathers at this point) and then we start.  The Bride and Groom watch me frantically run round at this point - talking to them and anyone assisting, instructing and preparing them for when the flash is going to fire and then you hear the shutter close.  I run over to the camera (i'm excited, have I got the heart right, did I spell the right word correctly) then they wait for my reaction, if it's a fist pump- who isn't going to be excited about the photo as they understand the effort that has just been applied.

2) They create a story for the bride and groom

It's more likely to be the photo that gets commented on as it's unique and people can tell it's involved - for the bride and groom they can then talk about their experience of having the photo taken and talk about what I did from the reverse angle

3) They create a visual focal point if displayed in your home

Most people will hang some memory from their wedding day - sparkler shots are often chosen for that purpose as they instantly stand out.  You cant help but stare at these type of photos and all the hundreds if individual sparks that fly off in all directions.  Photo or acrylic prints work the best - canvas is ok but some of the sparkle detail can get lost.

Sparkler shots and exits are still very popular, popular because of the above but equally to be involved in one on your special day creates a fun memory that you feel part of.

 

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