I love taking campfire photos when there is light in the sky, you are able to capture so much more of the story when more of the shot is visible. Not only will you see more, but you will be able to capture really nice flames. Shooting when there is still light in the sky gives you a bit more freedom as well. You can still shoot handheld and your subjects are free to move around.
STOKE YOUR FIRE
In order to get really nice fire photos you have to have a really nice fire. After you build your fire allow it to grow. Our fire pit is rather deep, so in order to get nice fire photos I have to built it up and let it grow. For the fire you see above I had to make it big enough to be seen over the side of the fire bit. And that is one thing I love about it, it made it so much easier to capture.
There are three main things to do when shooting fire after dark. One, use a tripod. Two, set your timer. Three, ask your subjects not to move. Shooting after dark can be really tricky because one is often trying to capture two things, the fire and the people. What we tend to run into is that the photo is too dark or the subjects are all ghosted. Using your tripod and your timer allows you to set for long exposures letting in more light and having your subjects sit still allows your to capture them without ghosting.
CAPTURE THE DETAILS
I think out of all the tips I suggest, "capture the details," is always on the list, ha! But it's true, in every photography circumstance, capturing the details is just part of it. It tells more of your story, it adds depth and as a photographer it continues to sharpen your eye.