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Upgrade your photos with these smoke bomb photography tips.

Smoke bomb photography is unique, relatively easy to do, and creates exciting and unique photography effects. Smoke bombs can turn an ordinary day into a surreal and dramatic event. Expecting mothers love to use them in their gender announcements, and newly engaged couples go to town with them, making their engagement photo sessions a cinematic moment.

Even if you just have a smartphone, you can still make awesome photos as long as you know what you’re doing. Here are some tips for making your next smoke bomb photography session a success.

1. You’ll Need More Than One!

Most smoke grenades can be set off with a wire pull just like a traditional grenade. Once ignited, it’ll continue producing large clouds of smoke for up to 60-90 seconds, so that doesn’t give you a lot of time to meddle with posing or props. Get your shots ready beforehand and be sure to have multiple sets for re-dos.

On a side note, don’t go overboard on getting different colors. Try to stick with one or two that you like best. You won’t need to use more than one at a time in most cases.

2. Things Will Get Messy…

Smoke bombs are a mess to deal with, so be wise when thinking about where you’re going to shoot and what you’re going to wear.

Our model was wearing one of her beloved sweaters when some of the orange powder residue left a huge stain on her sleeve. Smoke bombs can be unpredictable, so wear something you can accept as a loss if you can’t wash off those stubborn stains.

3. Good Timing Is Everything!

Smoke bombs shouldn’t be used anywhere but outdoors, but that doesn’t always mean mother nature will be accommodating.

When you’re working outside, your worst enemy will be the wind. Try to pick a day where you can expect calm, sunny weather and maybe a nice spot in a local forest. Trees tend to do a good job of blocking out the wind and add a beautiful touch to your background.

4. Lighting is important.

If you want the best possible light, shoot during golden hour. The last hour before sunset always has the softest natural light and is perfect for portraiture.

More great smoke bomb inspiration from Instagram!


Have you tried smoke bomb photography? Let us know in the comments. 

Video music by Joakim Karud


The Author

Eric Kinney

Eric Kinney

Photographer for Fracture. Passion for telling stories through imagery and immortalizing them through compelling mediums.