A fantastic photography trend, smoke bomb photography has been popular since 2019 and is here to stay. Whether adding a pop of color to portraits or maintaining a great photography portfolio, this atmospheric photography can be a fast, impressive, and easy way to elevate your photography skills. Smoke bomb photography ideas are all about using techniques to add an innovative and realistic effect of smoke to your photographs, whether you are into portrait, street, wedding, or landscape photography. If you have been following the latest photography blogs, you must have already seen how colored smoke bombs are used in photography to create unique and eye-catching photographs. The colors and textures of smoke can create unique backdrops to accent the mood of the photos. For instance, if you are making a wedding photography timeline as a photographer, you can add smoke bombs to your creative props list to suggest to prospective clients.


Smoke bomb photos can add a fun element to any kind of portrait session. Smoke bomb photography has remained one of the best practices for professional photography portfolio updates as many professional photographers have joined the bandwagon of this trend by going all out using smoke bombs in their photography sessions. You need specific smoke bomb photography tips to use this creative element in your professional photoshoots. For instance, you don’t need to shoot with the best camera lenses or even need to scout the photography locations for clicking smoke bomb portraits. From subtle textures to full-blown smoke bomb clouds surrounding your subject, photography smoke bombs are great for themed portrait sessions. Almost every photography theme can benefit from this photography element.


You do need to fully understand how to handle them and their associated risks. From finding the right smoke bomb for photography to planning the perfect photography lighting to clicking photographs with a smoke bomb at the right time efficiently and safely, there are many smoke bomb tips for photography in this article. Read on to find more.


Smoke Bomb Photography Tips: 


Choosing the type of smoke bomb

The first thing you need to think about when choosing a smoke bomb for a shoot is safety. The type of smoke bomb used for photography, also called smoke grenades, colored smoke bomb sticks, or smoke cans, must not be too hot to handle to prevent burn injuries. There are some smoke bombs that can’t be held and have to be put on the ground. To choose the right product for your smoke bomb photos, you should think about your budget, your skill level, and the effect you want to achieve.


Here are the things you should think about:


  • Presentation: For smoke bomb photography, you can use smoke grenades, smoke sticks, smoke cans, smoke tubes with one or two vents, smoke clouds, etc. Each of these makes a different trail of smoke.


  • Ignition: The ring or wire pull is the easiest and safest way to turn on the engine, but it costs a bit more. Unless you have a lighter, you’ll need one.


  • Duration: This is the amount of time it takes for the smoke to be visible, usually between 40 and 90 seconds.


  • Density: This is how you change how your photo looks. Do you want a foggy effect or a thick, opaque coverage?


If you keep these four things in mind, you can buy smoke bombs for your photography with confidence. Also, it’s not a good idea to buy smoke bombs that shoot smoke from both ends at the same time. Even though they smoke more than regular smoke bombs, they don’t last as long. This also makes them more expensive.


Choosing the smoke bomb colors

The colors of the smoke can help set the tone for your photos. Dark smoke bomb colors like deep purple and blue can make a photo feel dark and gloomy. On the other hand, bright orange and pink make your smoke bomb shots brighter. Think about what your subject is wearing. Use colors that go well together to keep them from clashing.


Safety first

The smoke grenade is an explosive item, just like any other pyrotechnic object. It’s best to be careful. Read all of the instructions and ask your photography subject to follow safety procedures as well. Even grenades that are supposed to burn slowly can go wrong, and sometimes things don’t go as planned. Be careful when you set the grenades off. Sparks could fly, and perhaps forcefully. Keep them away from faces and eyes at all times, and don’t point them at anyone. Like any other fireworks, it’s a good idea to have a bucket of water nearby just in case! Even cold-burning bombs get hot after a while, so you will need a place to throw them away when they are spent. Don’t leave them on the ground, especially near trees or dry plants. There is a chance that the smoke canisters will not work right. If the outlet gets clogged for any reason, it could burst. If you light a smoke grenade and after a few seconds it doesn’t make much smoke, drop it on the ground or in a metal bucket and move far away.


Practice beforehand

It’s not hard to take pictures with a smoke bomb, but it can be tricky at first. You need to get a feel for how fast the smoke comes out, how fast you need to move it, how to light it, and the best camera settings. Most of the time, you will need to play with your shutter speed to take advantage of how the smoke moves, but the aperture is also important to make sure everything is in focus. You should definitely practice before taking smoke bomb photos at a wedding or other important event. Before the real smoke bomb photoshoot, take some test shots in another place.


Analyze weather forecast

It’s best to shoot on a day when the weather is good and calm. A light breeze is fine since slow currents may help bring out the smoke. Stronger winds, on the other hand, will make it hard to control the smoke in the scene and could even blow away your colorful smoke. Taking pictures on a sunny day can help you get a well-lit scene, which can make the color of your smoke stand out. If the weather isn’t good, it’s fine to cancel and reschedule the photography session. Tell your client how the weather can affect the quality of the photos. For a dreamy, calm look, you want the smoke to spread out as much as possible to make a misty effect. This is what you will get on a gentle windy day. If there’s no wind, you can try using a fan to make a light breeze. If, on the other hand, you want a thick cloud of smoke, you don’t want any wind so that all the smoke can swirl around and cover the subject. Rain is another important thing to know about the weather. During the dry season, the chance of starting a fire by accident is much higher, so you should stick to urban photo spots.


Training your subject

Your photography subject should also be taught how to use smoke bombs and what to do if something goes wrong. They are probably closer to the object than you are and might even be holding it. Make sure they know where to put it if it gets too hot to hold or seems to be broken.


Avoiding public places

Also, pay attention to your surroundings and stay away from big groups of people. People can get in the way of a photoshoot with a smoke bomb, so it’s best to do it somewhere empty. People get nervous around smoke, and you don’t want them to call the fire department on you!


Watch out for the face

Be careful not to take too many pictures of your client with smoke in front of their faces. We all like artsy photos, but you still want most of the photos to show your client. If you can’t see your subject’s face, ask them to move toward you and away from the cloud of smoke. So, you can still see all the pretty smoke in the background. A small fan that runs on batteries can be used to blow the smoke away from your model’s face. It’s important to show the face of your subject unless it’s part of the art. If the smoke is covering the model’s face during the shoot, you can ask them to move closer to the camera.


Make the most of the lighting

You need good lighting for your colored smoke to really stand out. Sunlight at noon or any other hard light made with flash or strobes gives a nice effect. Photography lighting is also important because you need enough of it to capture details with fast shutter speeds. If you use a slower shutter speed, you will get a totally different effect, more like a fog.


Go for a minimalist effect with black background

To make a modern and simple photo of a smoke bomb, use a background that makes your smoke bomb stand out. This can be done with a black background because the colors of your smoke bomb won’t blend into it. A black background will also make it easier for you to change the size of your frame while editing your photos.


Experiment with other subjects

Overall, the smoke bomb has a creative effect that brings any photo to life. The colorful mist surrounding the scene gives it a lively feel that brings the picture to life. Whether you are taking pictures at a wedding, for a local magazine, or to add to your portfolio, always add a bit of fun. Even though portraits are the most common subjects for smoke bomb photography, try still life, abstract photography, conceptual photos, and landscapes. The average smoke bomb can be used in many different ways, so let your imagination run wild.


Enclose the smoke bomb in an object

Using a prop that you can put the smoke bomb in is another creative way to make the most of smoke bombs. It could be a lantern, a basket, a birdcage, or anything else the model can hold. The colored smoke that comes out of it is a mystical hit! A lot of photographers use this method to make their pictures more interesting. The brightly colored smoke from everyday objects can make your photos look magical.


Make it cinematic

Many great movies set the mood with a certain color tone. A smoke bomb can help evoke a similar feel. Mist, mountains, and costumes can all be used in a movie still. As a photographer, you can look at your favorite movies and think of ways to use the smoke bomb to give your pictures a movie-like look.


Always carry spares

As you probably figured out from the other smoke bomb photography tips, you might have to try a lot of smoke bombs before you get the right smoke bomb pictures. When you find a place to buy smoke bombs, be sure to get a lot of different colors. You should have a few options and extras in case the wind picks up, or you want to try different spots.

Are you planning to shoot without a tripod? Do you want to enhance your videography audio while shooting with smoke bombs? There are so many tips and tricks to get this right. Mastering smoke bomb photography can create portraits with beautiful effects. Whether you are taking portrait shots or you are into landscape photography, the creative effects and stunning backgrounds created by smoke bombs can enhance the ambiance of your professional photos to maintain a great portfolio. Read the above tips before you start experimenting with your camera, as it can save you money and time, giving you some of the greatest professional shots.

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