Smoke emitters can look absolutely epic in your wedding or engagement photos. They really add extra oomph to an already pretty outlook or they can completely transform the feel of a plain space. So you’re thinking, awesome, let’s do it! Well, there are a few things you need to consider before you lock it in. That’s why I’ve put together “The Do’s & Don’t’s Of Using Smoke Bombs In Your Wedding Photos” from me – Laura from Girl and the Wolf Photography.
It’s important to note that not all wedding venues (or portrait locations) will allow you to use smoke (just like sparklers) so check well in advance so you’re not disappointed.
In Australia, there are quite a few places that offer smoke emitters but I really like Coloured Smoke Australia. They have great quality products and wonderful service. I always recommend the 60g bombs as they are more bang for buck (pun intended). And if the wind picks up right at the wrong moment the 18g will fizzle out in no time.
Now we can’t talk about how fun they are without also talking about the risks. I know, I know, don’t rain on our parade. But I’m in my mid-30s and still think “slip slop slap” as I leave the house so I’m all about following the safety rules. First things first, smoke bombs should never be done with just the two of you and one photographer. This is a group effort. At least one other person needs to be there to help out, but two are even better. Why do you ask? Let’s get into it!
Smoke bombs can cause a fire
Yep, seems pretty obvious right? But you need to make sure you have water on standby in your location just in case something catches fire. You could place the emitter, on a holder, inside a glass jar to save the ground.
They can stain your clothes (and your skin)!
And look, you might use them at the end of the portraits section and not mind that your white outfit is now stained a bright pink, but you just need to know that’s a possibility.
Smoke can cause issues for asthma sufferers and can cause breathing problems. Not just to humans but to our fur friends too.
So what can you do to make them fun, safe, and just generally amazeballs?
1. Chat with your photographer beforehand to discuss how to get the best photos. If you’ve booked a 2 photographer team they may be comfortable allowing their second photographer to be in charge of the smoke emitters or they may suggest bringing along 1 or 2 trusted friends to be in charge.
2. If you’re planning to hold the smoke emitters for the photos, you can actually buy little smoke holders to help. They don’t guarantee they won’t stain you but it definitely helps.
3. Check that your smoke emitters are in date. Yes, they do expire. It’s also important that they have remained dry while they have been stored.
4. Bring water (not a fire extinguisher) with you just in case!
5. Listen to your photographer while they direct you as the smoke will burn out quicker than you expect.
6. With number 5 in mind, if you’re having a wedding party involved in these photos, maybe hold off on starting the bar tab until after these photos are done (!).
7. Make sure everyone involved is on board and knows the risks.
8. Once you’re all done with your photos and the smoke is done, make sure to pour that water you have with you on the remains to ensure no further issues.
9. Send someone out there later (when they’ve cooled down) to pick up the mess.
And with all that in mind, if you plan ahead, and understand that smoke is super fun while also being careful with it, you can get some absolutely INCREDIBLE images. Ask the wind gods to give you juuuuust enough wind for some beautiful movement without so much that it all blows away and just have fun with it!
About Girl and the Wolf Photography: Professional third wheel based in Brisbane, but happy to travel. Capturing natural, candid, love-filled photos. Lover of love. No awkward photos, just genuine, colourful, fun photos. Obsessed with babies and dogs.
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