The photo was taken from an elevated position in order to achieve this kind of top view, to picture the whole scene in one shot. We kept the couple in the center of the image, surrounded by all of their guests. Since the guests were forming a circle it brought a lovely aesthetic to the photo.
Our focus point was on Melanie’s face since we see more of her expression here. Due to the distance between photographer and couple, we still have a lot of sharpness in the entire picture so we could also see the guest’s expressions.
Single Shot Autofocus
The way the EXIF is written out follows the common photographic method (with the inclusion of White Balance at the end). Here it is broken down:
Shutter Speed @ Aperture ISO White Balance.
The only light source in this room was the sparklers. Since the sparklers were lightening up all at the same time we had a beautiful, equal lighting on the couple as well as the guests faces.
Since the light was balanced, we didn’t need a lot of adjustments. We used our CxR Preset to give the pic the color look we love. We increased the whites to create a bit more contrast. Also we used the brush tool to brighten up the couple a bit, since the guests were brighter than the couple in the face. We then used Photoshop to get rid of the phones!! YEAH.. the phones were super distracting..
The most challenging aspect when it comes to sparkler photos at the first dance is time. Normal sparklers burn for about 30 seconds… the long ones, about a minute. Melanie and Thibaut used the long sparklers. This shot was just a creative add-on… We did it in the very beginning and then had about 40 seconds left to do all the other angles. Also, the sparklers must burn all at the same time – the picture wouldn’t be the same if only half of the circle would have been illuminated.
After booking, we always send our couples a welcome brochure that includes tips and tricks for their big day. There’s one point where we recommend the large sparklers. On the wedding day, we talked to the planner about the timing and they made sure that all the sparklers were lit at the same time. Also, the fact that we are two gives us the possibility for some creative shots besides the safe shots.
Les Bonnes Joies
Les Bonnes Joies, Paris, France
Wedding / Event Venue
When it comes to the first dance, we all have to deal with some crazy light installations every now and then. Mostly it is the DJ who brings a bunch of colorful lights but also the venue lighting can be a problem sometimes. We always talk directly to the DJ and ask them if he could turn off his lights for the first dance or to change to more natural color. If your couple uses sparklers during the first dance it could be better if there’s no other light source.
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