Here comes the smoke show! We love a good smoke bomb photo and according to the reaction to this photo, we aren’t the only ones. Whether you use them for engagement photos, as a fun getaway, or just set them off to add some color to your portraits, the effect is undeniable. We always get questions about smoke bombs and how they work, so let’s cover the basics!
Do smoke bombs stain?
Yes, they can. And the sparks can also burn if you aren’t careful. Set them off in the distance and get some help from a vendor or friend. After setting the smoke bomb down, if you are 2-3 feet away and just standing in the smoke cloud, it should NOT stain your clothing or anything for that matter. They can stain the ground though if left on their sides…definitely something to think about when you’re planning on when and how to use smoke bombs in your day. If you plan to use on your wedding day, we recommend doing a test run prior to the wedding day (not in your wedding clothes!!!) just to make sure the ones you bought don’t stain.
How long do smoke bombs last?
You’ll want to be photo-ready—the longest ones last about 90 seconds! And once you pull the trigger, it takes up to 10 seconds to fully release.
Can you use smoke bombs at night?
Yes! In fact, the effect can be REALLY cool. Just make sure you have some good backlighting to capture the mood.
Are smoke bombs safe?
Definitely be aware of high winds (if there are high winds you won’t want to use them) and inhaling the smoke. You should also consider crowds and highly flammable areas. You should be in an open area outdoors and avoid any areas that are overly dry and susceptible to catching fire. Bring a metal bucket to drop used smoke bombs and a bottle of water to make sure they’re fully extinguished. Let’s be safe + smart out there!!
How should I plan with my photographer?
See if your photographer has worked with smoke bombs before! There are a few tricks of the trade and ideas they may have to capture that perfect shot. You can even do a few practice rounds before lighting the plumes! If you have any photos for inspiration (ahem, plenty of which are below!), be sure to send those over ahead of time.
Can you use smoke bombs in public?
Smoke bombs are considered a firework and therefore are banned in many local and national parks. This might also apply to your venue, so do research in advance to make sure you are allowed to use them for your photos. By the way, this also means you can’t fly with smoke bombs in your luggage!
Where can I buy smoke bombs for photography?
We recommended these two companies:
Both of these companies sell wire pull smoke bombs (you don’t need to light anything, just pull the wire) and they burn cool, not hot. Plus these smoke bombs were made for smoke bomb photographers! And the part we love? These smoke bombs are non-toxic smoke with a fully biodegradable body.
And now, without further ado, here are the smoke bomb photos you HAVE TO SEE. Save ’em, love ’em, get inspired—and then go make your own!
Smoke in the City
It’s a stunning photo without the smoke bombs, but add those deep purple plumes?! Magic!
The cactus stemming from the orange clouds and the totally chic couple front and center? It’s SO good.
A forever favorite! The rainbow smoke bomb lineup is such a statement.
Lead the Way
These two led their guests from the ceremony to the reception with smoke bombs at the forefront!
Up in Smoke
Color is fun, but these black bombs in the desert are so rad!
photo (and top photo): Bella Leigh Photography
Who wouldn’t want to be framed by emerald clouds?
photo: With Love by Georgie
It’s a Mood
LOVE this one because it’s proof that a smoke bomb can also be subtle and create a whole moody vibe!
Smoke Bombs + Mirrors
How the colored bombs reflect off the water! So cool!
The ombre effect forms the COOLEST backdrop to an already show-stopping photo!
All black, baby.
In the Clouds
Green to blue, for me it’s you.
Hearts on Fire
What a way to make an exit, right?
Light it Up
Smoke bombs at night. It doesn’t get any cooler than this!
photo: Mathias Fast