How to get the perfect confetti photo
No one loves confetti more than we do, but the wonderful Lesley at Notton House Photography loves to take confetti photographs. We have invited Lesley to share her tips on how to get the perfect confetti photo.
If you're having confetti at your wedding, it's probably for one main reason - to get the perfect confetti photo!
(Image credit: Claire Riley - customer wedding)
Do you know why we have confetti at weddings?
Confetti originated in Italy where they used to throw fruit, mud balls (ouch!) and coins at parades and other celebrations. Noblemen & women started throwing rice, seeds, grain and flowers over newlyweds to bring them an abundance of food, fertility luck for their marriage. In 1875, paper confetti was introduced, which has finally led to the beautiful biodegradable petals we now use today.
What confetti should I choose?
As a wedding photographer, I've seen lots of different types of confetti at weddings and by far, the best confetti for outdoors are biodegradable petals. If you are having confetti indoors (for example released from a balloon overhead during your first dance) then paper, fresh petals and natural petal confetti are all perfect options.
How to Get the Perfect Confetti Photo - Top Tips!
Use small, lightweight petals
These look beautiful as they gently float to the ground and give your photographer time to capture lots of fun moments.
Think about the location
If you are planning your confetti toss to happen outside the church (which usually have dark brick walls), then pick a light coloured petal, such as pastel pink, lemon, white etc. This ensures the petals show up beautifully against the dark background.
If you're having your confetti toss in an open field, along a beach or somewhere else that provides a light background, choose rich colours, such as royal blues, deep purples or bright pinks.
As with everything though, rules are made to be broken - if you know what you are doing!
Let's say you are having your wedding on the beach. Golden sands, pale blue skies and the ocean will be your backdrop. You're planning a soft, romantic wedding and want your wedding photographs to match this style. If you were to choose hot pink confetti, your photographs will immediately have a fun, exciting and invigorating look to them. This is great - unless you want a calming, light and airy feel to your wedding (and confetti) photographs. To get this look, you'll need to pick pastel coloured confetti - therefore breaking the rules above!
More about colours
Another way to choose your confetti would be to base your selection on the season, your theme, or general colours of your wedding day. A Harry Potter themed wedding for example could have deep greens, purples, reds and golds. A large, luxury wedding may want to stay with a timeless white and ivory colour palette.
How much confetti do you need for a perfect confetti photo?
There is no such thing as too much confetti! But there can be too little.
On average, I'd suggest 2 good-sized handfuls per person throwing - which will probably be around half of your wedding guests. Be sure to supply the confetti for them - especially if you want the style of your wedding photographs to match your theme.
Ask your photographer what he or she thinks about where you should have your confetti thrown. As professionals, we're here to help and advice on all aspects of your wedding photography; so don't be afraid to ask! Show them your wedding venue and let them know when you would like to do your confetti photos.
Time of Day
The time of day will make a difference to your wedding photographs - for all of them, including getting the perfect confetti photo. This is because as the sun moves across the sky the light changes drastically - and photography is all about light!
If you're outside, open shade is best (a large area of shade with no dappled light or light rays coming through), so look for a large full tree, pergola, or the shaded side of the building to get perfect even light.
Timing to capture the perfect moments
There are two main ways to set up a confetti shot - and a perfect confetti photo does need to be set up to some degree. Don't worry though, we'll do this discreetly and it will only take a minute!
- The newlyweds stand in the middle of a circle (or semi-circle) of guests
- The guests create two lines and the newlyweds walk through the 'tunnel'
Both options work equally as well, so it's entirely up to you! The perfect confetti photo also makes a great image to have printed and framed on your wall, in your wedding album or as 'thank you' cards for guests.
Having plenty of confetti here is key too. Even though there is usually a countdown, some guests forget to throw the confetti, and some want to get in there too soon! This is why I recommend two handfuls per person! Also, just in case there is a huge gust of wind that blows the confetti all sideways and away from you, you have the chance for another go!
If you're walking through the 'tunnel' of guests throwing confetti towards your wedding photographer, don't forget to go slow! Smile, laugh, stop and kiss, and enjoy the moment as you celebrate your marriage!
If you want to walk through your tunnel of confetti as you leave the church, make sure your vicar and wedding photographer know in advance so your guests can be asked to leave first and the photographer can get everything set up as you walk out together as newlyweds!
Perfect Confetti Photos - The 'Techy' Bit
I love to shoot with my second photographer so we can focus on different parts of the confetti toss - the newlyweds, the guests throwing confetti, wide angles and close up details. Sometimes I shoot with a fast shutter speed so that the motion of the petals is frozen, and other times, I slow down my shutter speed to create some movement in the petals and a softer feel to the photographs.
Another way I love to get the perfect confetti photo is to use a shallow depth of field, which means I can focus on the couple and the background will drop out of focus. This also gives a romantic dreamy look to your images.
There are two fundamentals of photography, we've mentioned one already briefly - light - the other is angles. As a professional photographer, whenever I change the angle of myself, my camera or my Bride and Groom, I understand how it will change the end result.
Getting down low or being up high dramatically changes the look and feel of the photograph. Setting up the shot in a particular way also does. Another fab way to get a perfect confetti photo is for your guests to be standing on the staircase (if your inside) on steps or on a balcony if you are outside. I love it when petals float down from the sky!
Whatever you decide, have fun on your wedding day and enjoy every moment! Your wedding photographs are the one thing you will have left after the big day has finished!
About Lesley Notton
Lesley is the founder and owner of two businesses Notton House Photography and Notton House Academy. Lesley specialises in creating beautiful, timeless wedding photography with a creative and editorial feel. She believes that every woman deserves to look and feel gorgeous on her wedding day and has plenty of tips to help you relax and look amazing!