Photographed by Melli & Shayne


With sparkler exits, we’ve always been a fan of switching off our flashes and using the ambient light as much as possible. Even if it means we have to really push our camera’s ISO up high; the end result can be incredibly atmospheric and beautiful. When this couple planned to walk through the sparklers, they mentioned to us how big the sparklers actually were and how long they last. So, instead of having them walk through just once – we encouraged them to go back and forth until there was no more sparkles. It was super good fun, for everyone involved too as the crowd got to cheer them on more than once, and the energy was super high.
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Center FramedLeading LinesWideFull Body

We shot this both landscape and in portrait and chose to stick with the portrait version since we liked how it kept just enough sparklers in the picture to make it exciting, but it also removes things taking the attention away from the couple. Having them down the center of the lines of people means we naturally framed them with leading lines. All the lines converge towards our couple and this naturally brings the attention straight to them.
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There is no shame in playing it safe. If you know that your composition is going to be strong by having your subject very simply in the middle, go for it. Especially for moments that can’t / shouldn’t be repeated because you missed the shot.


Single Point Focused on The Brides face Single Shot Autofocus
Focusing was a bit of a nightmare for this one. Since the sparklers were held quite high above our couple, we didn’t have too much light to work with, plus the fact that they were moving quite fast at the same time. So, we chose to use our single point to focus on the couple and refocus as fast as we could. For this shot, our couple, fortunately, stood still long enough for our cameras to find its lock.
Light & Weather


The only light we had to work with were the sparklers being held above our couple’s head. Fortunately, our couple stopped with still quite a few people in front of the, so the light from their sparklers lit up their face just enough for us to get a focus & an exposure.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/320 f/2 ISO 2000 WB Auto


Canon 5D mark IV


Canon 35mm f/1.4 L II


Adobe Lightroom Classic Roots Presets

Software used:


This image wasn’t the most straight forward to edit as there was quite a bit of noise that had to be reduced, plus it was quite underexposed to begin with. I added on the protea presets, increased the exposure and usual adjustments, and then took my time by going in and adding in some radial adjustments to create manual vignettes as well as to brighten our couple.
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This image was edited with

Roots Presets

Challenges & Solutions
There were quite a few challenges in this shot, but mainly the focus. We certainly came back with a few out of focus shots.


Wedding / Event Venue United Kingdom

Shustoke Barn

Shustoke Barn, Coleshill Road, Shustoke, Coleshill B46 2BL, United Kingdom

Final tips & Advice

It’s never a bad idea to play things safe if you’re unsure on being able to capture a moment right. Especially if you’re alone and you don’t have someone around to get the “safe” shot for you. However, if you happen to be in a team and you know you are going to face a tricky situation – take a moment to talk to each other and even do a few test shots.
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Melli & Shayne

Photographer Germany Canon 5D Mark IV Canon 50mm f/1.2 L
We are Melli & Shayne, a couple coming from vastly different worlds but have been inseparable ever since we met in Zanzibar. We have been passionately capturing love stories since 2014 and have loved every step of the way. We love to meet fellow photographers, to share our knowledge amongst a bottle (or two) of wine and support every one wherever we can.
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Everyone fails. It’s how you take it that will separate you from the rest. Failure is a lesson. And knowledge is a win.

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