Smoke Bomb Portrait Photography
Tips & Tutorials

Hazyplay with Smoke Bombs – Everything you need to know about Smoke Bombs

A true photographer always strives for capturing something unique and to add a magnificent aura to his selected frames smoke bombs are proving to be very effective nowadays. A smoke bomb has always been a weapon of choice for those who like to experiment. Mostly smoke bombs are famous among teenagers but it is not surprising to see many wedding and fashion photographers playing it cool with them. You can even see ample use of the smoke bomb in works of popular photographers like Kirsty Mitchell, Kyle Thompson, Rob Woodcox, Laura Williams some of them have done an absolutely fabulous job in self-portraiture.

Additional resource: 71 Coolest Examples of use of Smoke bomb in Photography

Smoke Bomb Portrait Photography
Photo by: Louis Kerckhof

What exactly is a Smoke Bomb?

Smoke bombs are also referred to as smoke grenades, smoke balls, smoke sticks, smoke canisters, and smoke candles. They all are the same (with little difference in their designs and handling) as they all work similarly. The main purpose of these smoke bombs is to emit colorful plumes when you ignite them.

How long you will get the Smoke out of them?

Depends on the bombs you are using. The ideal time for getting a good amount of smoke trail after lighting a smoke bomb ranges from 15 seconds to 60 seconds and if you are lucky than more than that also.

Favorable conditions for shooting with them

Smoke Bomb Portrait Photography
Photo by: Marta Pietruszka

Open space preferably outdoor locations like farm and forest are best for such shoot but during summers such places should be avoided or should be used with extra care as dry leaves can cause serious fire problems.

A little breeze is perfect as wind blows can ruin the shoot by making the plumes flat and your smoke will evade fast.

You can shoot with this colorful bliss anytime but dusk and night time are preferable as the fading light will help you in extracting maximum alluring effects out of them.

Do they pose any Risk?

Smoke Bomb Portrait Photography
Photo by: Alex Currie

Smoke bombs are in general non-hazardous if handled properly and the instructions written on their packaging are followed correctly. Like any ordinary firework, they pose a risk of burning, explosion, and fire. The smoke can be a major risk for individuals with respiratory problems like asthma. The use of these bombs is prohibited in certain countries and cities and requires legal permissions hence they can pose a risk of legal action too.

Do’s and Don’ts for Safety during Photoshoot

  • Do not use smoke bombs in overly dry fields, forests, or any place with a lot of flammable components especially during summer.
  • Use open spaces with minimum things in the background.
  • Always keep water with you during the photoshoot for disposing of the bombs. Once the bomb has burnt out, immediately dump water over it as it will make the smoke bomb safe to dispose of in a trash can.
  • The smoke is often very thick and can irritate the eyes and throat of some people. Always ask your models if they have any allergy or respiratory problems to decrease the risk. You can instruct your model to take a deep breath and hold it while facing the smoke.
  • While it is unlikely that a smoke bomb will explode, it can happen. There can be a risk of explosion if the bomb fails to emit plumes shortly after the fuse has burnt, in such cases move away from the smoke bomb and allow it to burn itself out.
  • Chances of getting burns are more when you’re not using a cool burning smoke bomb, as other bombs will get hot. Do not hold these bombs and if you choose to hold them, place your hand as low to the base as possible as the base will be the coolest part due to the bomb’s tendency of burning from top to bottom.
  • Check carefully before using them, that they are legal in your state or country. Consult with the local fire department to avoid any legal action.
  • Do not waste time in getting the haze and perfect color effect just click the candid shots because you can do the changes later during post-processing work.

Tips to buy Smoke Bombs

    1. A smoke bomb has got many names and different manufacturers and suppliers may use different names to sell it. So, you should know all the common names for these smoke bombs.
    2. Do not buy them for indoor parties. Choose a location where the smoke can easily get out.
    3. Ensure that you buy smoke bombs from a licensed firework manufacturer or authorized shop. Enola Gaye is a nice top-selling brand for these smoke bombs (smoke grenades).
    4. Choose your color wisely. Depending upon the time and type of a photoshoot you should always choose the color wisely. These Smoke bombs or Smoke Grenades are available in different colors like White, Purple, Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, and more. If you are planning for Black and white photoshoot then the White Smoke bomb will be a great option. You don’t have to go for a colored $15 smoke bomb when you are getting a white one for just $10.

For buying good quality and variety of safe smoke bombs you can visit and order online:

You can check out and appreciate the whimsical effects and creative use of smoke bombs in photography through our showcased collection so, here we are presenting the 71 Coolest Examples of use of Smoke bomb in Photography. To see these images in high resolution you can click the image which will direct you to its rightful owner.

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