Portrait Ideas: Sparkler portraits – Photofocus

Photographing fireworks is likely one of the most enjoyable issues you are able to do on the Fourth of July — however it’s additionally a good way to destroy your loved ones’s enjoyable. Whereas everyone seems to be making an attempt to benefit from the present, you’re sitting there cussing at your digicam and working round to get a special angle whereas your partner wrangles youngsters who’re throwing potato salad at one another.

Luckily, there’s a good way to redeem your self: Sparkler portraits. I can’t wait to make these this yr — final yr we had been in a forest and couldn’t use sparklers for hearth hazard.


Bear in mind, you’re making an attempt to make a enjoyable exercise for the kiddos, so don’t get caught and centered on making the proper image. Let the children have enjoyable — they’ll shock you with their creativity. Tuck the concepts away for subsequent week when the sparklers are half value and you’ll spend a while with a mannequin making the proper image. Proper now, simply let the children have enjoyable and don’t allow them to burn one another.Digicam settings

The important thing to creating these footage is time, so shutter pace is your artistic setting and also you’ll modify every thing else to provide the time it’s good to let the children make shapes and spell their names.

Begin right here:

  • Guide mode
  • Shutter pace: 3 seconds
  • Aperture: f/8
  • ISO: 100
  • White steadiness: Daylight
  • Concentrate on the children, then change to handbook focus

Do the children want extra time? Make the shutter pace longer.

Is the image too brilliant? Make the aperture smaller — f/11, f/16, f/22

Want extra gentle within the background? Increase the ISO somewhat.

Add flash

Including flash with sparkler portraits is the place this will get actually enjoyable. The flash will freeze the child’s face and make a pointy image with the lights blurring throughout elsewhere. Learn this text for full directions on easy methods to use your flash.



These are footage of my youngsters training this method in the lounge with flashlights this morning. That they had some enjoyable for about quarter-hour after which obtained bored with me telling them what to do. However tomorrow evening with pals they’ll have a blast telling the opposite neighborhood youngsters how cool it’ll be and so they’ll assist arrange the photographs.

Concepts to attempt with a sparkler

  • Have a child write their identify
  • Draw loopy shapes with the sunshine
  • Draw smiley faces
  • Have a number of youngsters every write one letter of a phrase — it’ll be backward, however go along with it
  • Define one thing else, like a automobile
  • Have a number of youngsters dance round one child who holds nonetheless and will get flashed

I can’t wait to see your outcomes. Add them to the Photofocus Facebook Group and tag me. For extra concepts, take a look at my course on Viewbug, “Ten Portraits with One Light.”

Portrait Ideas come out every week, and you can see them all right here.