How to Photograph Fire Performers


One of the best entertainment ideas I have ever seen for a wedding is fire juggling by Juggling Inferno. Hiring the team of creative performers from the Juggling Inferno as a wedding entertainment idea is something that I would definitely not mind having for my own wedding.

It was so fantastic to be there, even just as the photographer because fire juggling is something that I love to see. The performers and their fire juggling as well as fire breathing made for a really cool night time entertainment piece.

After a long day of wedding ceremonies and after a few alcoholic beverages the fire juggling made for a spectacular show that all of the guests including the bride and groom really loved; it’s dangerous, it’s exciting, and people just couldn’t keep their eyes off of the fie being juggled through the air.

From a photographer’s stand point it was really neat, but at the same time there are some challenges when it comes to shooting this kind of thing. Here we have some tips on how to get the best shots possible when photographing something like fire juggling.

The Focus

One of the main things to keep in mind here is that even though you are at a wedding, when shooting the fire juggling the main focus of your shots needs to be the fire and the performers themselves. A good way to get a diverse array of fire juggling pictures is to choose a few different aspects of the performance to focus on.

You should ideally get a shot of the whole group of performers doing their thing, you should get a shot of an individual performer in the middle of juggling, and you should also get a shot of the burning objects up close (maybe with a pair of the performers hands included).

What is The Fire?

What is meant by this is that when taking a picture the fire can be one of 3 things; it can be the subject of the picture, the accent of the picture, or the primary light source of the picture. When photographing fire jugglers you need to choose which of these 3 things the fire is going to be in each shot.

Ideally the fire is going to be the accent of the picture or the main subject. The fire can also be the primary light source, but that is kind of a given seeing as a fire juggling performance in the night time isn’t going to have flood lights shining on them!

Shutter Speed

Probably the most important thing to remember when trying to get a picture of fire as well as the people who are moving at light speed in order to juggle it, is that fire moves very quickly and that means that you need to use a quick shutter speed. The quicker your shutter speed is set to the more details and nuances within the fire you will capture.

A good starting speed is 1/250, however that is the slowest speed and anything faster is recommended. Something to keep in mind is that as your shutter speed increases you will also need to use a wider aperture and a higher ISO setting.


This may sound like something obvious, but fire moves so fast and has so many little details and different colors that the resolution really is very important. You want to use a high grade DSLR digital camera that will ensure maximum resolution quality so that you can really capture every last angle and detail that is going on in the fire juggling show. Without adequate resolution the fire juggling pictures will just look like a red and orange mess.

The Flash

On a side note, you probably don’t want to use flash for this kind of even because it will minimize and distort the brightness as well as the colors within the fire.

For more tips check out this and this article.

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