Glitter + Confetti Shots | Tips & Tricks

Throwing glitter or confetti in the air makes for a great photo, and it’s one of my most frequent requests from my seniors! They are so much fun to do, and I love that each and every one of them comes out unique.

In celebration of the beginning of 2017, I put together some of my favorite glitter photos from 2016, and included some of my favorite tips on how to capture a great confetti toss photo.

Tips + Tricks

  1. Get the good stuff: You’re looking for medium-sized pieces of glitter or confetti. If they’re too small, they won’t show up well in the photos, and if they’re too big, they’ll obscure your subject’s face. I particularly like sparkly and metallic types because they catch the light well and stand out.
  2. Watch the wind: If the wind is blowing from the left or right side of the subject, it’ll carry the pieces to one side and out of the frame while you’re shooting. You also don’t want the wind blowing into your subject’s face, since you don’t want glitter getting into their eyes and mouth. If it’s just a light breeze, put your subject’s back to the wind. If it’s especially gusty out, try to find a wall or overhang to protect you from the wind. (This is also a good reason to do your toss at the end of the shoot, so you don’t have to worry about glitter that’s stuck to clothes or in hair in later shots.)
  3. No puffer fish allowed: I prefer throwing the confetti in the air over having my seniors blow it to avoid “puffer fish face”, but a gentle reminder to pretend like they’re blowing a kiss generally helps 😉
  4. The low-high rule: For my camera setting savvy friends, shoot at a low aperture, like f2.8, and a high shutter speed around 1/200 or faster. The low aperture will blur out distracting background elements and make your subject and the glitter stand out crisply, and the fast shutter will help you avoid motion blur.
  5. Clean-up: If you’re shooting outside, do your glitter toss on pavement, not in the grass. It’ll make sweeping up the mess afterwards much easier. Alternatively, look for biodegradable confetti (yes, that exists), that you can safely leave behind. Leaving traditional glitter behind is inconsiderate and could harm wildlife.

Have questions? Leave them for me in the comments and I’ll get back to you! Now, enjoy my favorites from 2016 🙂




4 thoughts on “Glitter + Confetti Shots | Tips & Tricks

  1. Ali L says:

    Hi! We are doing a gender reveal with 12 in cannons that will shoot up pink confetti. We are doing at my sisters house which has two balconies where is the best place for me to be for these photos ? Ground level or on the top balcony shooting down? Also best settings for camera as it will be outside and sunny
    Thanks so much for your help!


    • Joyce says:

      Hi Ali! Congrats on the baby girl! I personally like ground level for a better perspective on the couple (shooting from above tends to make people look short/stubby). You’ll be able to get quite a number of shots in as the confetti comes back down around them! If it’s sunny, try an ISO of about 100 and an aperture between 2.8-4, with a shutter speed of at least 1/250 (if not faster, depending on how bright it is). Take a few test shots before the cannon goes off to make sure you like what you see!


  2. Kerri Neve says:

    What would you suggest for a family of 4 doing confetti cannons as part of a gender reveal. I’m afraid F2.8 will blur out some of the smaller family members? Thoughts?


    • Joyce says:

      Hi Kerri! That’s a great question! If all the family members are on the same plane of focus (i.e. standing in a line and facing you) they will all be in focus even at f2.8. If you think they’ll move (or there are young kids/pets in the image) I would stop down your aperture a bit more. I think f4 would be a conservative choice to get everyone in focus, but you could go halfsies and pick something between 2.8 and 4 if you’re still trying to get some nice bokeh. Also definitely will be affected by your lens choice, if you’re shooting at a long focal length (i.e. using a 70-200 mm lens) you’ll still get really pretty compression and background blur even at a smaller aperture like f4, whereas if you’re using more of wide angle lens I would consider sticking closer to f2.8. Hope that helped!


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