Wedding Confetti Chaos
Why I Love This Wedding Photograph
You never know quite what you will get when you photograph a confetti run. It’s one of the few times during a wedding day when it doesn’t matter how much planning or skill you have, it can all change right in front of you as it happens. Of course you can take advantage of what’s happening if you are ready for anything, and that comes with experience. But occasionally it’s not until you get back to the studio and download all the photos that you will actually know what you have shot during the confetti run.
Wedding Photography Planning
For George and Matt’s Sussex wedding, we had a meeting a month before their wedding day and I suggested that when they came out of the church after their ceremony they should head round to the side while I sort out a tunnel of people for them to walk through. So on the day, when they came to the start of the tunnel, they were excited to see what it would be like. Often couples will have been part of a confetti tunnel where they are throwing the confetti, but nothing quite prepares you for the chaos when you go through one yourself! As they walked down the tunnel and reached a small group of the groomsmen, who had been handing out confetti beforehand, they walked into a blitz of petals. Clearly the groomsmen had saved the bulk of the confetti for themselves and launched it at George and Matt all in one go! The effect for me as a Sussex wedding photographer was fantastic, George and Matt’s reaction was spontaneous and I caught two or three frames where they were reacting just to finding themselves in a blizzard of confetti. The first frame I shot had so much confetti I could hardly see them, but by the third frame it had cleared enough for me to see them through all the petals. I love George’s reaction in particular and the way I’ve caught them slightly off centre as they leant away from the groomsmen throwing the confetti. The one big petal in the top left hand corner adds a great balance to the framing of the shot.
How I shot This Wedding Photograph
There are some obvious camera settings for a shot like this. Having a high shutter speed is essential, but like so much in wedding photography it’s not that simple. If your shutter speed is too high then you can lose any sense of action or movement. Too low and of course everything is blurred. I set my aperture to about f5.6, so that I get a reasonable amount of depth of field without getting everything in focus. Again, I’ve found that if you have too much in focus, it changes the feel of the shot and makes it too static. I always shoot with a wide angle lens, usually a 24mm so I can be up close to the action and right in the middle of the confetti. I often have quite a bit of confetti on me when we get to the end!
I also often use flash because if I can I like to shoot so the couple have their backs to the sun. The flash acts as a “fill” light. I usually try to use flash as little as possible on a wedding day but this is one of those situations where it works well used carefully. I set my flash about one stop underexposed depending on the conditions. The flash also helps freeze the confetti itself and also the action. If my shutter isn’t too high then I will try to get a bit of flash blur where the flash freezes the action and then there is a little drag on the image which helps show their movement.
Planning Confetti at Your Wedding
Talking to your wedding photographer is crucial to getting a great confetti shot, but also, it might sound obvious, but make sure you get lots and lots of confetti. Size, colour and type don’t seem to make much difference, but if there isn’t much confetti then it won’t make much impact on the photo.
Here’s another blog post I did that featured confetti, though this time inside – Wedding Day Reactions
My Camera Settings
Camera – Fuji XT2
Lens – Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR
Shutter speed – 1/250 sec
Depth of field – f/5.6
ISO – 1600
Exposure – manual