Have you ever heard of a photoshoot that incorporates smoke bombs? I had heard of these a few years ago but personally never experimented with them. But a fellow Tampa wedding vendor , Karen and Shelby with Eventfull Weddings had the idea to use them in a styled wedding shoot we were planning but we wanted to test them out first. So Karen ordered a couple different colors so we could test them out before the wedding. Here are a few shots of our little practice session. I'm so glad we tested them out before hand because you have to be very quick with the shots! Once the color bomb starts flowing it goes fast it only lasts for about a minute. If you're thinking of doing a smoke bomb portrait session here are a few tips.
1: CHOOSE YOUR LOCATION CAREFULLY
You can't let them off in a public place, so you have to either have permission from a wedding venue or shoot on private property. Ideally with greenery or something pretty and contrasting in the background. That way the smoke is more dramatic and it gives you more depth and texture in the photo.
2: BE MINDFUL OF THE WEATHER
The wind is your arch nemesis. If you do your smoke bomb session on a windy day it will not be as dramatic as you hoped. The wind will quickly take and move the smoke, so ideally you need to shoot on a day when their is hardly any wind. You might consider setting the smoke bomb down on the ground and a little off to the side so it can build in that one spot (for dramatic colorful shots) rather than moving the smoke bomb around. If you choose to set the smoke bomb down make sure it's in a safe area that won't add to much heat and run the risk of starting a fire. Have a large bucket of water close by incase anything goes wrong.
3: PREPARE TO CLICK FAST!
The smoke bombs will last up to 90 seconds depending on what kind you get. So be prepared ahead of time with the poses you want to do and quickly move from one pose / movement to the next with in a matter of seconds.
4: CONSIDER BUYING MORE THAN ONE
Think about buying more than one smoke grenade. Because they go fast the first run might not go exactly how you anticipated, leaving you disappointed and wanting more. I would suggest buying at least 2 maybe 3 if your budget allows. This will give you one really or two really good practice runs and then you're better prepared once you let off the 2 or 3 color grenade.
5: CHOOSE THE COLORS INTENTIONALLY
Put a lot of thought into what colors you're going to use. I say this because if you're doing a couples session ( anniversary or engagement ) and not a gender reveal or maternity shoot people might get the wrong idea and flood your clients with DM's and texts asking if they are expecting. Believe me, I speak from experience. haha Thankfully there are several colors to choose from on their website!
Now here are a few photos from when we got together for our test photo session. Stay tuned for more photos!
Nina Bashaw is a St. Petersburg, FL based fine art luxury photographer that specializes in senior portraits, headshots, weddings, micro weddings, and elopements throughout the southeast and is available for worldwide travel.
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