• Aisle
  • celebration
  • Center Framed
  • Evening
  • evening exit
  • exit
  • Laughing
  • night
  • Outdoor
  • Party
  • sparklers
  • unstaged
  • Wide

The story behind the image

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When it comes to working with videographers, we make it a thing to brief everyone where we plan to be for capturing moments that happen once off. And during this brief, we figure out what’s best for everyone, and what shots they need.

However, at this particular moment, we were pushed aside by one of the videographers who simply decided that they weren’t going to allow us our room. Fortunately, we were still able to capture a killer moment for our couple, but it’s things like this that can really make it a challenge.

We spoke to the videographer afterward, explaining that what happened was very uncool and that we risked not getting our shots because of this. They apologized and just simply out of lack of experience, they didn’t do it with any ill intent or on purpose. We left the wedding with no hard feelings, but no connection either.
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Despite having to immediately change our spot due to the little scenario mentioned earlier, we still managed to find a composition that worked. We made sure to try and include guests on either side of our couple while keeping them in the center. The guests naturally form a frame around our couple which helps to direct the attention straight to our subjects.

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Center Framed


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

Focusing during sparkler exits can definitely be tricky as it’s oftentimes in a very low-light situation (minus the sparklers) and there’s movement. For this shot, we chose to shoot through the viewfinder since the focusing happens much faster; and we were able to use our single point to precisely lock on to our bride’s face. Since we couldn’t move backward too much – we kept refocusing as they moved closer towards us.

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Focus Mode

Single Shot Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

Bride's Face

Equipment &

Canon 5D mark IV
Canon 35mm f/1.4 L II
1/125 @ f/1.4 ISO3200 WB-Auto

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.

Light & Weather

Being a sparkler exit, the only light we had to work with was coming directly from the sparklers. We asked the guests to keep their sparklers up and above our couple creating a bridge for them to walk under which not only helped light more of the scene, but it gave us a better chance of capturing a lot more sparklers in the frame.

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Light Type


Time of day


Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

Being an evening, low-lit shot, the editing was a bit more complex than usual and required fine adjustments of the HSL as well as the White Balance, Vibrance & Saturation. We applied our Protea Presets and then took our time to go through each slider and tweaking it to get the tones we liked. We removed signs of magenta & purple (caused by light sometimes). We also added quite a few radial adjustments as we wanted the sparklers to bloom a bit more.

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Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom Classic
Preset Used


The hardest part in this shot besides the usual focusing on our moving subjects in low light was the fact that we had to recompose our shot quickly while trying our best not to miss the moments that were happening right in front of us.

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There is no real solution other than just not hesitating. We didn’t have time to think about what just happened with the videographer or how we felt that they stood in the middle of our frame; we instead focused 100% on getting these shots. No matter what. Even if we had to stand behind the guests.

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Location Name

Quinta da Penalva

Location aDDRESS

Quinta da Penalva, Sintra, Portugal

Loation Type

Wedding / Event Venue



It doesn’t matter what happens between you and other vendors – you are all there to create the best you can for your couple and if anything comes up that’s not the most pleasant – then it’s always best kept for afterward or at the very least, somewhere it will have no effect on the wedding party. In the end, no one wants to give the couple a bad experience and so it’s just important to remember that.

A good tip for sparkler exits is to brief the guests on how to hold the sparklers. A lot of them wouldn’t have done it before and may not know exactly what to do with them. Show them all how to do it, and where to place them. It’ll definitely help you get that awesome shot you were hoping for.

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