It’s always a fun moment for the couple, guests and even the photographer. In fact it’s generally the first time that everyone gets a chance to go a tiny bit wild after the formality of the ceremony, the congratulations and the meeting and greeting. I always enjoy forming the guests up and getting them ready to throw, and it’s normally the first time that I get to speak to them en masse. Depending on the number of guests and the available space I might arrange them into two lines so that the couple get to run down a tunnel (I won’t say gauntlet) of confetti, or I might get them into a horseshoe shape with the couple barely moving as they are deluged.
I’ve observed and learnt a few things over the years. Firstly get everyone into place before it begins. Make sure people with confetti are best placed and not standing too far back. Try to encourage a sharing out of the available confetti so there’s an even distribution in the air. A little technique coaching helps – always throw high not directly at the couple so it goes over them in an impressive cascade.
Something I can’t influence on the day, but always advise on beforehand if I’m asked is that – big is better or more is even more. The most impressive and dramatic confetti photographs always come from using larger pieces and I’m always going to come down on the side of using real petals. They can be chosen to fit in with the colour scheme or theme of the wedding. Even popping to the local convenience store or garage to buy a few bouquets to rip up and throw into the air can make for a colourful shower.
Shooting confetti being thrown is all about positioning and getting a fast shutter speed to reduce blur. It’s one of the moments in the wedding when I set up the camera for something more akin to sports photography. After that it’s all about the guests.