Ever wonder how to write a word or draw with light for a photograph? I got my family together and did this for the back of my Christmas card and it was a lot of fun for all 4 of us. I thought it might be fun to give some tips on how to do it.

Equipment needed:

  • Youll need a camera that allows you to manually adjust the shutter speed.
  • A tripod because keeping the shutter open will create a shaky, blurry effect unless it’s kept still.
  • Sparklers are great for writing but since these are harder to find I opted for something safer for the kids, like glow sticks.


  1. You will want to set up the camera so that you have enough space to capture the whole scene or word.
  2. It’s important to remember that you have to write the letters backwards so the photo reads correctly. For example I gave the kids the “0” and the “1” so they wouldn’t struggle with that concept. Tom and I traced the “2” and the “3” as it’s mirror image.
  3. This picture was taken with an aperture of f/8 and shutter speed of 3 seconds but if your camera allows you to change your shutter speed you might want to experiment with going with a slower shutter speed. If you are not getting enough light in your picture you can bring your shutter speed down or your ISO higher.
  4. I was in this shot so I used the timed shutter release on the camera and ran back into position.

The kids had a blast doing this and were so excited about our Christmas Card this year as a result!

Happy New Year!!


Leave a Reply