How to photograph a glow stick wedding exit

My top tips for photographing a glow stick wedding exit

  • Slow shutter
  • Rear curtain sync
  • 1 Off camera flash
  • Assistant to hold ocf on a boom

Why Rear Curtain Sync with glow sticks

For glow stick exits I use a slow shutter to capture the motion of the waving glow sticks. I set my camera to rear curtain sync to freeze the couple after the camera has taken in all the blurring of the waving glowsticks. If the flash flashed when the curtain opened I run the risk of someone waving a glowstick in front of the couple’s face before the shutter closed. Then they could have a blur in front of their face. I don’t want that. I want to see the joy on the couple’s face.

Lighting placement

I have my OCF carried on a boom by my assistant at a 45 degree angle to semi side light the couple. My assistant walks on the outside of the line of guests ahead of the couple. I use a small speedlight for this and zoom in a bit, as I’m looking to light only the couple.

I love back lighting, though it’s not necessary. I have a second OCF behind the couple pointed upward. I think I had both OCF at about 1/32nd power

I also used a video light at it’s lowest power to add a little bit of fill light to keep my camera focusing quickly. This isn’t always necessary

Settings for this Glows stick exit at the end of the wedding

  • f/3.5,
  • 1/25sec
  • ISO-800
  • One Off Camera flash at 1/16th
  • One OCF behind and pointed upward for a little backlighting
  • This is optional, I used a Video light on low power for enough light for the camera to quickly focus.

Gear list, What I use and where to get it

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4 Comments

  1. Melissa Love says:

    Oh I love this! I didn’t realise glow stick exits were a thing. Even harder to capture well than sparklers! Great advice.

  2. Super interesting and great tips! I’m not a wedding photographer but I’d love to try this if I were!

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