How to use smoke bombs like a pro in your wedding portraits

April 14 | bijouxandbits  
Photos by: Ashley Sheridan
Cotton candy, smoke bombs, and LED outfits shine at this wonderfully weird Austin wedding
Photos by Ashley Sheridan

Y'all probably remember Jane and Matt's amazing wedding, right? Their colorful smoke bomb portraits are still whizzing around our dulcet dreams.

I needed to know: how easy are these smoke bombs/smoke fountains to use and are there some best practices to make them rock? The answer is totally YES. Here's how to use smoke bombs in your wedding or engagement photos…

Cotton candy, smoke bombs, and LED outfits shine at this wonderfully weird Austin wedding

What you need for smoke bombs:

Smoke safety and precautions:

  • Being outdoors will help with inhalation issues (it can irritate your eyes and throat).
  • If the day is very windy, use caution and maybe pick a different day.
  • Cool burning smoke bombs are recommended, if you can find them. This will make explosions and burns far less likely.
  • The smoke can stain, so be careful if you're rocking a light-colored dress/outfit! Keep the smoke further away to prevent stains.
  • Avoid dry fields, nearby paper or garbage, or anything else that can catch on fire. Keep water handy to extinguish any rogue sparks.
  • Get permission from any nearby buildings/venues so you aren't getting smoke near them or damaging any property.

Cotton candy, smoke bombs, and LED outfits shine at this wonderfully weird Austin wedding

Ways to showcase smoke bombs:

  1. Smoke billowing behind you (allows for lots of atmosphere and you can be fairly far away).
  2. Holding or moving around with hand-held smoke bombs (be very careful and use ones intended for holding!).
  3. Use a big hand-held fan (or an assistant) to gently move the smoke in one direction are swirled around.
  4. Match the colors to your theme and mix and match them in shots.
  5. Contrast the smoke color to the background so it stands out.
  6. Have your photographer take a few sample shots to get the aperture and shutter speed right (smoke bombs only last between 45-90 seconds, so you'll want to have everything right first!).

Cotton candy, smoke bombs, and LED outfits shine at this wonderfully weird Austin wedding

Big caveat straight from Jane and Matt:

We learned that smoke bomb photography is a challenge for certain cameras and you should buy a ton of extras if you plan on trying it.

Are YOU going to try out smoke bombs in your photo session?

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