smoke photography feature image

Smoke bomb photography has been a popular trend in 2019 and is unlikely to fade anytime soon. Smoke is being used by photographers to create a mood or to give a fast splash of color in portrait photography, landscape, and abstract photography. 

Here’s a fast tutorial on locating the correct smoke bomb, arranging the perfect shot, and snapping it safely and swiftly if you want to add this technique to your arsenal. 

Smoke Bomb Photography Tips

Choosing The Right Smoke Bombs

To begin, be aware that there are several sorts of smoke bombs. Some are in the form of a can, while others are in the form of a stick or grenade. Each kind and brand will perform differently, so consider the following aspects before purchasing:

smoke bomb photo

Time to Burn

Some smoke bombs are more durable than others. If you’re just beginning to start, look for something with close to a minute of active output for each smoke bomb so you can make modifications.

Dimensions of Density

The density of the smoke in your shot will have an effect on the opacity of the smoke. Determine if you want a thin covering for a mist-like appearance or a thicker, more opaque layer before you begin.

smoke bomb photo ideas


Is a lighter required, or can you just pull a wire? While a wire pull is more convenient to operate, it might add to the cost. Simply ensure that you follow the instructions regardless of whatever photography style you pick!

Here Are A Few Smoke Bomb Brands

Best Value

Smoke bombs are a low-cost alternative that comes in the shape of sticks and have a burn time of around 45 seconds per stick, according to the manufacturer. However, unlike other smoke bombs, they are not designed to be held in your hand. They are also available in a range of colors, including ones that change color.

smoke bomb

Using The Easiest Method

Peacock Smoke is a fantastic place to start your journey. Compared to Smoke Fountains, it is a little more pricey, but it is still reasonably priced for playing around with. They may be used without the need for a flame, and one smoke grenade can last for up to 90 seconds.

smoke bomb portrait idea

Top-notch Quality

Enola Gaye is a commercial photographer and videographer who is well-known in the industry (just ask Lincoln and Matthew McConaughey). They provide a fantastic portfolio that is jam-packed with features—as well as a price tag that is competitive with their high-output models.

In the event that you are persuaded that this is the brand for you, purchasing in bulk will allow you to save money per unit.

smoke bomb photo capturing

The Sale Will Come Soon

Smoke bombs, like any other item, may be purchased on the black market. Consequently, purchase when the price is right and store them with care to ensure a longer storage life. When maintained cool and dry, most plants will last for many months to a year.

It will cost you between $6 and $20 to purchase a single smoke bomb. If you are a complete beginner, a lower-output, lower-budget option is typically a good place to start, allowing you to proceed to more sophisticated options when you are ready to move up.

what is smoke bomb

Photoshoot With Smoke Bombs

When you add smoke bombs to the mix, you’ll need to think about some additional things in addition to your typical photographic procedure.

Consider Your Color Selections

Consider your color selections carefully throughout the planning process. A smoke bomb can provide a lot of additional color to your scene, which you may employ to your advantage. Do you want your cigarette to feel out of place and in your face? Shoot close to the complimentary color.

Do you want to create a calmer, more cohesive atmosphere? Look for color schemes that are similar.

Photo shoot with smoke bombs

Make Sure You Have Backup Plans

Make sure you have backup plans in case of bad weather. The smoke will swiftly vanish due to the wind, and you will be unable to control the situation. To get a bit more movement in your smoke, you may bring your own wind in the form of a fan with you.

A hand-held, battery-operated version will suffice, and it should be no more than $10-$15 in retail price.

smoke bomb photography in forest

Limited Active Smoking Time

It will be necessary for you to make the most of your limited active smoking time after you’ve gotten started. Before triggering the effect, make sure that your metering and composition are as far away from the action as feasible.

Don’t Forget To Look At The Lights

Don’t forget to look at the lights! With a speed light or a succession of strobes, you can really make your smoke stand out from the background because it will be largely opaque. Some of the light streaks in the fog that isn’t totally opaque may offer you some interesting effects to experiment with.

Keep Your Smoke Bomb In Place

In the event that you want to keep your smoke bomb in place during the picture, move it about gently to generate various trails rather than shaking it in one spot.

Make your model walk about the area with the smoke bomb before settling into position to ensure better coverage. If you’re shooting with a tripod, you may either run the fan yourself or give the task to a friend or assistant.

Here Are Some Inspirations For Smoke Bombs Photography

500px is one of the best places to browse for smoke bomb images, and it has a large collection of them. When you’re putting up your session, have a look around to see how other photographers have used this technique.

Cristian Negroni developed a dynamic sequence of friends running on the beach with smoke bombs, which was shot by Cristian Negroni. When THAT shot a series of images representing traditional Thai costumes, he used smoke bombs to create a mysterious mood.

Arman Sharma photographs the smoke bomb without including a human subject in the frame, allowing the smoke bomb to take the spotlight. Smoke bomb photography Amazon is a very common term in this photography

Additional inspiration may be found by typing “smoke bomb photography” into the 500px search box located at the top right of the page.

smoke bomb photo collapse

The Best Way to Use Smoke Bombs for Your Wedding Photography

The fireworks display is about to begin! We enjoy a good smoke bomb photograph and judging by the response to this particular photograph, we’re not alone. Whatever you use them for, whether it’s engagement photos, a fun trip, or simply adding a splash of color to your shots, the effect is undeniable.

Let’s go through the fundamentals of how to do smoke bomb photography and how to smoke bomb work because we get a lot of inquiries about them!

smoke bomb wedding photography

After finishing your wedding photography capturing. To make your photos more appealing you may need your wedding photos retouching services. You can get that services at a very reasonable price by clicking through the link.

Are Smoke Bombs Staining?

They certainly can. If you’re not careful, the sparks might potentially burn you. Set them off in the distance and enlist the assistance of a vendor or a friend. If you are 2-3 feet away from the smoke bomb and simply stand in the smoke cloud, it should not stain your shirt or anything else. They can, however, discolor the earth if left on their sides.

Definitely, something to consider when deciding when and how to utilize smoke bombs throughout your day. 

How Long Do Smoke Bombs Last?

The longest ones last about 90 seconds, so you’ll want to be ready for photos! Once you pull the trigger, the trigger will take up to 10 seconds to release fully.


During the night, can smoke bombs be used?

Definitely! In fact, it can be really cool. To get the best effect, use some good backlighting.

Romantic Couple

How To Manage Smoke Bomb Photography’s Risks

Given the fact that smoke bombs are essentially pyrotechnic devices, they should be handled with care. As a result of the possible dangers associated with this type of photography, you should exercise caution during your session to avoid injury.

Use Extreme Caution To Avoid Igniting Or Exploding

Keep your smoke bombs away from water and other sources of moisture. The presence of moisture within the smoke bomb may cause flaws, which may result in an unanticipated explosion. However, smoke bombs should not be used if the weather is exceptionally dry or if there is a fire ban in effect in your area.

When you’re through with a smoke bomb, make sure to properly dispose of it by burning it. It’s a good idea to have a metal bucket to store discarded smoke bombs until the shoot is completed. Make careful to soak each one with water as you finish each one out.

Stay Away From The Flames

Regardless of the form you choose, make sure to maintain your grip on your smoke bomb away from the firing end. When lighting a fire, make sure to keep it away from people’s faces and other body parts. If nothing happens after a second or two after lighting the cigarette, step back and wait.

This might suggest that moisture has infiltrated your smoke bomb and that it is about to detonate when you least expect it.

Always maintain a first-aid kit available, and make sure you have a way to call for assistance in the event of an accident or other emergency.

Avoid Causing Stains On Clothing and Other Materials

Do not direct a smoke bomb directly toward a person in order to prevent destroying their clothing (or the rest of you). If you take every precaution, there is a chance that the colored powder will end up on your model’s clothes despite your efforts.

Make a darker wardrobe or choose clothing that will not stain in order to minimize the appearance of any powder that does remain after washing.

Please Do Not Stir Up Trouble

Smoke bombs are known to shock those who aren’t expecting them and for a good cause. Smoke bombs should only be used for photography smoke bombs in areas where it is legal, and permission should always be sought in advance.

You should warn anyone who you believe may come across your shot unexpectedly if you believe this is the case (if you know who it may be) or post a DIY note if you do not.

In a similar vein, avoid catching your model by surprise with this method. In advance, inform him or her of the dangers and precautions you intend to take to protect yourself and others.


Equipment List For Smoke Bomb Photoshoot

After covering a lot of territory in terms of what you’ll need for your smoke bomb shoot, here’s a quick checklist you can refer to as you’re putting together your preparations:

  • A colored smoke bomb photography or photoshoot or many smoke bombs
  • For smoke bombs that don’t self-ignite, you’ll need to use a lighter in conjunction with them.
  • Lighting to make the color of your smoke stand out more prominently
  • A fan to assist in moving the smoke into position
  • A metal bucket with a handle
  • Water

These components are unquestionably necessary.

As soon as you’ve mastered the fundamentals, it’s time to assemble your equipment and plan your shot. Remember to experiment with several types of smoke bombs as you go in order to find the one that works best for you. Take the necessary safety measures, keep an eye on your color theory, and enjoy yourself while experimenting with your new photographic style.

Related Article

FAQ | Smoke Bomb Photography

How does smoke bomb photography work?

Smoke photography is a method for enhancing your portrait, street, or wedding photography photographs with a realistic and distinctive impression of smoke. Colored smoke bombs may offer eye-catching and unusual outcomes when used in photography.

Is it legal in the US to use smoke bombs?

Other forms of fireworks were legalized by Pennsylvania Acts 00-198 and 06-177. NO. Although the draft bill had further provisions, sparklers were the only ones that made it through the process. Smoke bombs, poppers, snakes, and glowworms remain unlawful.