6 Incredible Ways to Capture the Sparkler Exit


The final moment of the wedding day shoot is when the bride and groom leave in their getaway car to enjoy their lives as newlyweds. Before this happens, they want to say goodbye to their family and friends and leave the reception together. A creative and exciting way to spice up this part of the shoot is to have a sparkler exit. During the sparkler exit, the bride’s guests stand outside the reception hall, form a line, light sparklers, and cheer the couple on as they leave the building.

Not only does this create a memorable moment for your couple and their guests, it gives you plenty of opportunities to capture candid and genuine expressions. The important part of these shots is to know the challenges you may face between the sparklers, additional lights, and the setup. So you can provide your clients with excellent images, here are 6 incredible ways to capture the sparkler exit.

1. Capture the Genuine Emotions

It’s the end of the day, and although the bride and groom are exhausted, they are still excited to say farewell to their loved ones who joined them for one of the happiest days of their lives. Everyone is filled with high emotions during this time, so make sure you capture the expressions on their faces. Take time before the couple exits to snap a few photos of the crowd as they prepare to light the sparklers, and while they anticipate the moment.

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When the bride and groom exit, capture photos of their faces as they are cheered on by those closest to them, and when they look at one another with pure joy. These images are sure to be sentimental and your couple will love to see everyone’s excitement for their day.

Related: Your body matters…your camera body, that is! Download The Wedding Photographer’s Guide to Camera Bodies to discover some of the best cameras on the market

2. Take Test Shots

A way to ensure you will have an easier time taking photos during the sparkler exit is to take test shots before the moment happens. You still have a bit of time when the guests first come outside, as they will spend time passing out sparklers and getting them lit. This is also the best time to position the guests so you can create proper composition for the exit photos.

Tip: Don’t forget to send your images to a post production photography company to ensure they are consistent and match your Signature Style. 

Related: We’ve pulled 26 key tips from Roberto Valenzuela’s Picture Perfect Lighting – use them to advance your lighting knowledge! 


3. Educate Clients

Your couple does not necessarily need to run through the sparkler exit; they can take their time. Just as you educated them to take their time walking down the aisle, or entering the reception, also let them know to take their time as the leave the reception to be greeted by their guests. The benefit of them doing this is you can capture the best images, rather than having to rush and hope you got a few good ones. Since your couple wants to have memories from this day, it’s likely they will take their time and allow you to document this special moment.

Related: Find out what the best images are to take throughout the wedding day shoot, plus how to get them published, with our Free Guide!

4. Move Away from Lights

Outdoor lighting can often be challenging, and this is especially true with sparkler light. To avoid awkward images and better sparkler light, move the group away from exterior lights, such as entry way lights, door lights, or street lights. Strong lighting may take away from the effect of the sparklers. The location of the exit is also something you can discuss with your couple before the wedding day so you ensure you can capture the best photos possible without conflicting lighting.

5. Choose the Correct Sparklers

The wedding coordinator or someone in the wedding party will likely supply the sparklers. Make sure you inform them about the correct sparklers to use during the exit, so you can have the best possible light for the shoot. Since larger sparklers typically last longer, suggest the guests have those so you can have more time to shoot images of the couple as they have their sparkler exit.


Learn Posing From the Pros

6. Use Proper Lighting Tools

Proper lighting tools are necessary during most parts of the wedding day. There are a few ways to use lighting during this shoot to portray your desired look. Use an off-camera flash on your camera to highlight your couple as they walk through the sparkler exit, or place an off-camera flash closer to the crowd, and hold the remote to it, so you can light the couple and not wash out the sparklers. If you want the sparklers to stand out, shoot only with the light coming from them. Keep in mind the angle you shoot at so you can capture the best light in every image.

Shooting Tip: Use Sparklers to Create Messages

If time permits, after your couple runs through the crowd of their friends and family, have them stop and allow you to create fun writing with sparklers. This is a creative spin on the traditional sparkler exit, and can create additional interest for your photos. You can feature just your couple, or include their wedding party in this photo. Utilize your second shooter to draw letters or a heart with the sparklers as you snap away with a wide exposure. While you shoot, the flash on your camera freezes everything in the shot, including the words written with the sparkler. If you don’t have a second shooter, you can ask your couple or their wedding party to take turns drawing with the sparkler.

The images you provide to your couple from the sparkler exit are sure to be incredible with these 6 tips! How can you ensure your photos from every part of the wedding day are as good as possible? Our Pro Photographer Lighting and Posing Guide is filled with tips and tricks from some industry’s pros!


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