Capturing Northwest Arkansas fireworks on camera

This weekend we celebrate Independence Day and as Americans, one of our favorite ways to celebrate is with fireworks. Whether you’re using your DSLR or your smartphone, you have the opportunity to capture some festive and beautiful pictures!


Here are a few tips that will help you get great pictures during the show:

  • Use something stationary like a tripod or a railing to stabilize the camera. Even the slightest natural tremor from your hands and arms would be noticeable in the pictures (especially because it’s at night).
  • Turn off your flash. It will make the picture too bright for close up shots when your kids are using sparklers near you and using it for the fireworks in the sky won’t allow for the right exposure for something that far away.
  • Include the scenery with the fireworks such as people watching the fireworks, water, landscape, etc. This could also include getting photos of fireworks before they are shot off.
  • Take a lot of photos and check to see if the photos are turning out okay during the fireworks show. Are you snapping the photo too soon or too late? Adjust your timing and focal point to adapt to what you want to change in the photos.
  • Check the direction of the wind and shoot upwind. Smoke from the fireworks can get in the way of a great photo.
  • Have fun with your pictures and experiment. You may want to play with some funky images when everything is blurry and showing great movement blur.


One bonus tip exclusive to DSLR users: Use the “bulb” mode on the camera, which lets you hold the shutter open for as long as you need. Using this mode, once you hit the button to take the photo the shutter stays open until the hit the button again. I used the black case to my iPad because I didn’t have a black card, to block the lens when no fireworks were in the air. I removed the black card each time a firework exploded. When you are ready to complete the image once you have a few firework explosions in your image you hit the button to close the shutter.

Believe it or not, some fireworks shows have already happened. Check out the Fayetteville Flyer for a list of available shows in Northwest Arkansas.

Looking to get a new professional headshot? Give me a call and we can get your Northwest Arkansas photoshoot scheduled.