Photographed by Melli & Shayne

Story

Shortly before the sparkler exit was going to happen, we went and spoke to our couple and offered them a few ideas of what they can do once they walk through. It helps to give these suggestions as sometimes couples get lost in the moment and forget what they’re meant to do.

Fortunately the guests had some of those super long lasting sparklers which meant that our couple could run through them twice before they were even close to burning out.

We told our couple that when they have a chance, to just stop in the middle of the sparklers and go in for a big fat kiss with each other. Apart from that, we let everything happen organically. It was a moment full of energy, fun and good vibes and those are always best left naturally.
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Directions

EnergeticNaturalKissing

Calm Energetic
Planned On the spot
Tricky Easy
Posed Natural
As we had already asked our couple to go in for that kiss when they had a chance, everything happened organically. We also asked the guests if they could stand a lot closer to each other so they could form this tunnel of sparklers our couple could go through.
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“Give her a big kiss! Hold her close and celebrate with her!”
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Composition

Center FramedBroken RulesMid RangeNatural Frames

We chose to frame this shot in portrait since we wanted to capture their full bodies as well as have the sparklers in the frame. We also positioned ourselves so that we could compose them in the door of the building as it created a natural “frame”.
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Keep your eyes open for natural frames and leading lines. The tunnel formed by the guests works really well here for composition as they create a leading line to your couple.

Focusing

Single Point Focused on The couple Single Shot Autofocus
Focusing in low light can be tricky, and in this case we were fortunate enough to have the sparklers emit quite a bit of light to work with. This meant that our cameras, while not fast, did lock onto our couple and assure a sharp image.
Light & Weather

DarkNatural LightNightSparklers

We love to shoot sparkler exits without flash simply because most sparklers (depending on the amount of guests as well) emit a lot of light. We waited for our couple to get further down the tunnel so that we could frame the rest of the sparklers in the background which naturally created a rim light. This always looks great and really helps to separate your couple from the background.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/320 f/2 ISO 2000 WB Auto

Camera

Canon 5D Mark IV

Lens

Canon 35mm f/1.4 L II

Editing

Adobe Lightroom Classic M&S The Roots Presets

Software used:

 

The edits are made to be warmer with a big focus on skin tones and light play with shadows and highlights. A few minor local adjustments were made (Gradient and Brush) as well as finishing off with a fine layer of grain. The whites are not blown out nor are the blacks 100% crunched.
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This image was edited with

M&S The Roots Presets

Challenges & Solutions
The biggest challenge was nailing our focus while doing our test shots. We always like to get our exposure and settings correct before the couple exits so we don’t need to worry about it as they start. However, when doing the tests – if you don’t have the sparklers lit, it can be hard to dial it all in.

Location

Wedding / Event Venue United Kingdom

Shustoke Barn

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

Final tips & Advice

If you have a few ideas you’d like to do during the sparkler exit, make sure you find your couple just before (and not 2 hours before) they go for the exit and give them a heads up.

If it happens that they get through the exit and forget, then just gently remind them. If it’s too late, no worries at all.

When you have a group of guests holding the sparklers, chances are they are going be a little too far away from each other through fear that they might burn the couple (which we don’t want to happen), but asking them to stand a bit closer (check in your framing) can make all the difference.
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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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