Smoke bombs can turn an ordinary day into a dramatic and dreamlike event. Although very popular, smoke bombs are still fairly new in photography. That means there are endless possibilities to be explored. Smoke bombs can be used in many ways:
- Baby gender reveals
- Wedding and Engagement photo-shoots
- Creative Art, Lifestyle, and Fashion photography shoots
If you’re interested in shooting with smoke bombs, here are some tips from what we learned:
- Stock up – you’ll go through more than you expect! Purchase a few extras in case something doesn’t go as planned.
- Avoid hot and dry climates. It only takes a spark to start a fire, so use caution and common sense.
- Avoid windy days! A slight breeze is probably doable, but stillness is preferable. If it’s a very windy day, it might be worth rescheduling the shoot to another day.
- Stay away from crowds or groups of people. You need some open space to pull this off!
- Go over poses with your client before you light the smoke bombs. The smoke lasts 40-90 seconds. That may not sound like enough time, but it’s plenty if you have your settings ready.
- Make sure your camera settings are good before the bomb is lit – higher shutter speed helps with the movement to ensure you won’t have blurry photos. When shooting smoke, it’s better to be slightly underexposed to bring out the highlights in the smoke.
- Have an assistant handy. If your model feels more comfortable hands free, have your assistant circle around the model or wave the smoke bomb up and down out to the side.
- Have your model walk or move around so the smoke is always moving. It will accumulate into a cloud if it’s held in one spot and the subject will disappear into a cloud of smoke.
- Try mixing two different contrasting colors.
- Smoke bombs can be a mess to deal with, so be wise when thinking about what you’re going to wear. Wear something you can accept as a loss if you can’t wash off those stubborn stains.