Wedding Fireworks and how to photograph them

Wedding Fireworks they’re a brilliant end to any wedding day but they’re notoriously difficult to photograph. Below are a few examples from a recent wedding I photographed.

The first thing is to find out where and when the fireworks will be going off and how long roughly they’ll last and also whether there’s a “big finale”. The higher and bigger the fireworks the more dramatic the shot but also the easiest as there’s just more light. Then get your couple set up, usually ahead of any roped off area and ask them to stay close and as still as possible. I used a manual focus 20mm lens for the shots below, obviously the fireworks will be high in the sky but also as its pitch black lack of need for critical focus is handy too.

Set up your tripod, try and frame the shot as best you can but that’s easier actually after the fireworks start. The first few are usually just low level fizzlers so can be missed. Pop the camera on it’s BULB setting and then guesstimate the exposure time, will run into seconds. I also have my flash gun in my hand and not attached at all to the camera. Then expose the camera and at the end flash the couple. Very trial and error and keep “chimping” away to make sure you’re getting something. 

The main problem I had with this shot was the guests behind me trying to capture the wedding fireworks display on their iPhones with their lights casting shadows on the wedding couple.