How To Capture Beautiful Firework Portraits - Fireworks Couples Session

My sunset surf and fireworks couple session was one of my most popular Adventurous At Heart styled shoots I have planned so far. It was an absolute blast ;)

We began at sunset photographing silhouettes of Nick and Ashley with their surfboards as they paddled out into the ocean, splashing and kissing as the sun went down.

Once the sun set we got out of the water and prepped our cameras for the fireworks portion of the session. I used a video light as my off camera lighting source and had my camera in a water protective housing to protect from the ocean…. If you have ever tried photographing a couple using off camera flash, try doing it in the middle of the ocean as you hold your camera in one and your light source in the other. It is tough!! But oh so worth it!

(Ps: I recommend having an assistant hold your lighting source in order to free your hands and photograph your couple without distraction). I do think that a video light is the easiest form of off camera lighting and recommend it when photographing couples in front of fireworks.

It also worked great for me because I had five other photographers shooting at the same time as I was. The fireworks were short, only lasting 1-2 minutes and having a consistent light source allowed everyone to get their shots without having to worry about individual flashes firing at the same time or pausing and taking turns shooting with individual flashes.

Below are my settings for the firework portion of the shoot


Everyone’s settings will differ depending on camera, how dark it is outside, what lighting source they use, and how many people are being photographed. (These settings are for two people, using a video light, and photographing with a little bit of city lights in the background). When I shot this session I was chest high in the ocean with my camera in one and my light source in the other all while teaching other photographers and directing my models. If I can get these shots you absolutely can too!

Video light: half power (dial turned half way up)

Lens: Sigma 35mm (wider lenses are better)

Camera: 5d Mark iii

Recommended Camera Setting Range:

F/ 1.4-2.0

ISO: 1600-2100

SHUTTER: 1/30 - 1/50

Please note that not every picture will be perfect, in focus, or have fireworks in them. The best part about learning a new skill is going out and having fun! You will learn what to do, what not to do, and add one more awesome photography skill to your bag of tricks!

If you are in Hawaii and interested in joining one of my upcoming styled shoots or retreats visit the Adventurous At Heart Retreat and Styled Shoots facebook page

If you want to find out my about my upcoming 2020 Retreats to Kauai, Oahu, or Kenya follow the link:

Jasmine AbbeyComment