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7 Techniques to Effectively Photograph Fireworks

wedding fireworks
wedding fireworks

Anyone can photograph fireworks as long as they plan and have some essential camera accessories. This blog post will teach you the basics of how to photograph fireworks yourself.

The first step is to choose the perfect location. Consider where the fireworks will be displayed and then plan out a strategic spot. None of the advice in this guide will help if you choose a poor shooting location.

Take a lay of the land by taking into consideration the angle of the photograph and the potential backdrop. For instance, fireworks viewed against the night sky are brilliant to the naked eye, but that would make for a boring photograph. Instead, you might capture a building behind the fireworks – or maybe a city skyline in the distance!

You’ll also need to get to the spot early to claim your spot. Remember that the view needs to be unobstructed.

Here are some other preparations that you need to make:

1. Create a Schedule: It’s easy to get distracted and forget things. Creating a schedule will prevent that from happening. It helps to prepare yourself better.

2. Pack your Gear: Create a checklist of the necessary gear for your shoot and be sure to pack it all.

3. Know the Technique: You’ll want to make sure your camera settings are set before the fireworks start.


How to Photograph Fireworks – Seven Powerful Ways

Now let’s discuss the techniques for photographing fireworks.

Switch Off Flash and Set Your Camera to Manual Mode
There are so many amateurs who will try taking photos of fireworks while leaving their flash turned on. This is usually done by accident because they leave their camera on automatic mode. Your first step is to make sure your camera is in manual mode.

Once in manual mode, set your camera to an ISO of 200 with an aperture between f/8 and f/13. Usually, f/11 will suffice. That way, all you will need to worry about on location will be the shutter speed. In most cases, a shutter speed of between 1 to 4 seconds is enough.

Use a Tripod
You must have a tripod to capture fireworks since the camera will need to remain motionless. Each shot will take several seconds, so there is no way you can stay motionless while holding the camera. Furthermore, you will be taking hundreds of shots in succession. But you don’t need to invest in a fancy tripod here. You will be able to take the picture comfortably as long as the tripod is sturdy and doesn’t shake.

Invest in Remote Release Device
One problem that people run into a lot when photographing fireworks is that their tripod shakes a bit when they press the capture button on their camera. Invest in a remote release device to prevent this. Most digital cameras will have an accessory that is designed for remote capturing. The only other option would be to use the timer on the camera, but that’s hit or miss. Just go ahead and invest in a remote release.

Set the Right Exposure
Setting the right exposure requires some trial and error. Set the range to f/13 and take a picture to determine how exposed the shot is. Then adjust the camera accordingly. If the shot is underexposed, then lower the setting to f/12 and try again. Repeat until you reach the perfect exposure.

Although this should be tested before the fireworks start lighting up the night sky, pay close attention to your first few shots and be prepared to adjust the camera on the fly.

·                Use Manual Focus
The above settings are quite optimal for fireworks, but you might need to make slight adjustments. That’s why it’s highly recommended that you put your focus on manual and then adjust it yourself. You don’t want your camera trying to refocus itself after every shot. You’ll end up with a ton of blurry images. Using manual focus will create consistent shots. The only time you’ll have to refocus is when you change the angle of shots. Otherwise, it will remain the same throughout the entire shoot. Photographing fireworks is a bit of a lottery so the more shots you can take, the higher your chances of capturing the perfect moment.

·                Use Drone to Photograph Fireworks
Drones present us with a unique opportunity to capture the best fireworks photos, but there is a challenge. Many times, the operator will need to be certified to fly drones in a populated area. However, never attempt this without checking the local laws in the area.

With that said, drones can capture angles and create backdrops that are impossible from the ground. In most cases, if you want to use drones to capture fireworks, you’ll need to hire a company that specializes in drone photography. You can also buy fireworks images from companies like The Video Caddy.

·                Frame Your Shot
Proper framing is an essential skill in photography. You will have to worry about framing once the fireworks start blasting off into the sky. Then use the zoom feature on your camera to reframe until you have the desired effect. For instance, if you are taking fireworks photos in a big city where buildings are lit up around you, then it might be a good idea to capture one of those building in your frame.

Getting the Perfect Shot

Now that you’ve seen the techniques required to learn how to photograph fireworks, let’s recap everything we’ve learned:

1. Find the right location and get there in advance to secure it before the fireworks begin.

2. Use a tripod and remote release device to capture your images.

3. Put your camera on full manual mode and turn off the flash.

4. Set the exposure on your camera and take a few test shots to make sure it’s right.

5. Play around with angles until you capture the perfect frame.

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Why you need an engagement photos and 9 quick tips to nail the shoot

engagement 4

The feeling of being newly engaged! Ah! It is different altogether. If you are like most brides-to-be, you should be feeling ecstatic, nervous, over the moon, happy, overwhelmed, and most importantly, totally in love!

How do you hold on to the fresh memories of being just engaged? With an engagement photo shoot, of course!

Engagement photo sessions are not compulsory. Nevertheless, it is a wonderful experience—capturing pictures of the two of you as a couple, and saving it into your treasure box of wedding memories. There are several reasons why we think engagement photo sessions are a brilliant idea, and here are some of them.

  • It is a way to document the happiness you feel as a couple

Being engaged and committed to one another is a whole other thing to dating or just being in love. Yes, it takes a lot to decide that you will be spending the rest of your life with this person, who you now are head over heels in love with, and whose proposal you just accepted. This article on the Huff Post puts this point across beautifully.  We wholly approve, when the author tells us that the most important reason to have an engagement photo is because your engagement is a historic chapter in your life; one that is priceless and deserves to be preserved for yourself and your future descendants to revisit and remember.

  • Engagement photos help you keep the window of time you found each other, alive forever

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As I mentioned before, the time you got engaged is perhaps one of the most important milestone events in your personal life. Not only does it have to be celebrated, it should also be preserved. Give it the due importance it deserves, by freezing it into a frame for all eternity. If you will be having a long engagement before getting married, your engagement photo will be a fond memory to hold on to and keep that special feeling alive.

  • It gives you the opportunity to test the skills of your wedding photographer

Moving onto more practical details, wedding planning begins almost immediately after your engagement. One of the crucial planning tasks is finding an ace photographer to shoot your wedding. You may have chosen the person for the job based on recommendations from friends, after looking at their portfolio and holding lengthy discussions. Nonetheless, we suggest having an engagement photo session done by the same photographer to personally find out how talented he is. This will give you an actual idea of how well he does his job, and if you like how he shoots the two of you.

  • It gives you a test run of what you will go through on your wedding day

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Wedding photography is entirely different from all the other photos you’ve taken in your life. While you can always just go with the flow, remember that you will be investing quite some money in it. Preparing for your wedding photo shoot with a trial session will help you get a better idea of what to expect on your D-day, and how to make the most of it so your photos end up great. You can understand your photographer’s style of work and it allows you the opportunity to make suggestions if you want something extra or different.

  • Get your first proper couple photos done professionally

Nowadays every moment is instantly captured as selfies on our phones or hand-held devices. But, just think of how nice it would be if you could have a few photos where you aren’t straining your necks and smiling at the camera from close contact? Your engagement photos will be a beautiful and unique presentation of yourselves looking your best, one that can be framed and made a part of your home décor forever.

  • It gives you the perfect picture to personalize your wedding stationery with

Wedding invitations with a picture of the couple are a growing trend. Make the most of it, by having a great engagement picture added to your wedding stationery. You can also use the same picture on wedding favors like coasters, photo mint tins and Christmas tree ornaments. This personal touch will make your favors and invitations very endearing.

In short, we can say that engagement photo shoots are fun and something you shouldn’t miss. Now that you know why you should consider an engagement shoot, let’s get down to more serious business. Here are the tips we promised you.

How to nail your engagement photo session

1.What to wear

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The best engagement photos are those in which the couple look natural and relaxed. So, choose outfits that you are comfortable in. It is a good idea to make sure that your outfits complement each other, but skip the perfectly matching combination unless that is the look you will still love when you look at your pictures five years later. You can also consider having pictures taken in more than one outfit, as it can spice up the imagery. If either of you chooses a bold solid color or vivid and bright patterns, make sure that the other complements you by wearing a neutral or softer shade in the same color palette that goes with it. Clashing colors can look wild and some patterns may look dated in few years.

2.Get the details right

One important factor to consider is the location where your shoot will be organized. How well will your dress work in this location? Since your photos will be shot from different angles and in both wide and close-up style, make sure that you get all the details including jewelry and accessories like shoes and belts right. Since the focus is to be on both of you, it is best to avoid flashy accessories that can distract. Simple accessories that just enhance your overall style are the best choice.

3.The style to wear

You can save the professionally dressed hair and face for the actual wedding. Even if you choose to get your hair and makeup done professionally for your engagement shoot, make sure you still look natural and like yourself. I like this suggestion on the Every last Detail blog that suggests you make use of the engagement photo shoot to give your wedding makeup artist a trial session. This way, you can see if you are happy with your makeup artist’s skills as well as look great in your pictures.

4.Casual, candid or posed?

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This is a decision that you and your partner have to make, prior to your engagement shot. It depends on how you like to see yourselves in pictures. Formal shots can be done in a studio, while casual shots are best taken outdoors. Also think of where you will be using these pictures to decide the style you want to opt for. If you want to share it with your parents and relatives, properly posed pictures with the focus on your faces will be ideal. For your wedding stationery and your own homes, turn to your general decorating style. Is it casual and eclectic, or serious and perfect? Candid photos look best in casual settings while posed photos are a better choice for serious interiors. You may also like consider the color of your outfits or whether you want the actual shots framed or converted into black and white, to find the ones that will look best on your walls.

5.Plan the backdrop

In continuation to the previous point, the backdrop for your picture impacts the overall effect you get with it. You should find a comfortable location, whether it is indoors or outdoors, to get the perfect pictures. If you feel uneasy posing in an outdoor location, but still prefer a natural background, consider having it taken at a good spot in your own backyard. If you want a monochrome background where it’s just the two of you in focus, your pictures can be shot in the studio itself. You can also consider having your pictures taken at a place that is meaningful to the two of you—like the place where you were proposed at, where your first met or where you always hang out.

6.Do you practice for the session?

This reminds me of Monica’s and Chandler’s engagement photo session in the sitcom Friends! Unless you or your fiance has trouble like Chandler and freezes in front of the camera, practice isn’t really necessary. Just follow your photographer’s suggestions and all will be well. If you have any favorite poses, that highlight the best of both of you, you can share that with your photographer and adapt your shots to match this idea. Given that your photographer is a professional, he should ideally be able to identify your best angles and shoot accordingly. When you look at the photographer’s portfolio, make a note of the poses you really liked, and ask if you can do the same. Or if you have your own ideas, bring pictures along, so your photographer knows what you are after.

7.Chalkboards, signage and other props

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Not necessary, unless you are particularly fond of them. Remember that in a few years time, these may look cheesy and you may not appreciate the funny engagement photo that you love today. So, while you may want the bushy mustache and tiara now, make sure you take a few pictures without any paraphernalia, so you have a safe bet for the future, should your tastes change with time. One prop you shouldn’t however forget, is your engagement ring. That will be a valuable addition to your pictures.

8.Get creative

This goes for all the factors, from poses to outfits to using your pictures. Make the most of your engagement session by breaking free and finding yourselves. Strike a few poses, but if it doesn’t seem to work out, be yourself. You may even set a new trend that way! Try an unusual location or a dress style that you may not wear otherwise. Draw all the inspiration you want from Pinterest and the beautiful pictures floating around on the internet everyday, but ultimately let your engagement photos be a reflection of who you are as individuals and as a couple.

9.Have fun

Don’t worry too much about how your engagement photos will turn out. Just make sure you have the best time you can, and trust the rest to your photographer. A good professional will know how to make the best of what is available, and will make sure that your pictures reflect the best. Or, if you have a friend who is an amateur photographer with exquisite photography skills in the outdoors, ask him to do your pictures instead. Ultimately all that matters is getting a few fabulous photos that are perfect for the frame. Plan your photo session for a time when you are relaxed, calm and free from stress. This will allow you to enjoy yourselves to the most, and capture the best photographs you can possibly get.

So, what do you say? Will you be having an engagement photo session?

To help you understand what type of photography would best suit your personality, we suggest you take a look at this article on Best for bride on the different styles of wedding photography.

At Best for Bride we offer brides-to-be a range of photography options and specialized package deals to cater to every requirement of yours. Check out the samples we have online, and you can easily identify the style of photography that suits you, and the photographer who can accomplish it. Or you can get in touch with us and we can help you identify the best choice for your taste as well as customize the available packages to suit your specific requirements.

Our team will make sure that your photographs are a befitting addition to your wedding package, and will help you relive the biggest event in your life, through these memories captured digitally. Whether you have a modern or traditional wedding, and whether it is held indoors or outdoors, we will make sure that you get the best choice, and that your wedding memories live on forever, in style.