With wedding season on the horizon, I decided to compile a list of 5 things I learned from shooting with smoke bombs. Last summer for the first time a couple asked me if I was on board with using smoke bombs for their day-after shoot, initially, I felt a bit intimidated but the beautiful thing about the tech-age is that you can literally find everything online. So here are some of the things I learned during my smoke bomb wedding photoshoots!
Have a Concept or Theme
Sometimes the beautiful wedding images I get happen by accident. But planning before the shoot helps set the stage for these things to happen. A core part of planning is having a concept or idea for your shoot. What do you want the images to portray? What mood are you going for? And what vision do you have? These questions help you to decide the colors, lighting, and location of your shoot. For the images below, my goal was to capture the magical hearts of Kat and Serge (my wedding couple), so I knew the light had to be a key component. We used soft pink for their tender love and went into the forest for a whimsical effect. On the other hand, if you wanted something moodier, I’d consider using your smoke bombs on a cloudy day. The week before I had checked the weather forecast and we were on standby for a sunny day. On the day of the photoshoot, we woke up at 5 am for the golden hour to get the angular lighting effect. When we went into the woods, unanticipated, the leaves created a very beautiful lighting effect with the smoke. But remember we had to plan for the right timing and lighting conditions.
Compose your frame
It’s no doubt that smoke bombs make everything look cool, but as a photographer composing your frame before using the smoke bombs adds a special touch to your images. I used the rule of thirds to position my couple on the right-hand side of the frame.
When all else fails improvise
Things don’t always go as planned. You prepare everything to the best of your abilities but then unexpected interruptions either set you behind or ruin your plans. I think in such moments, hold your zen. Avoid panicking, you never face anything you can’t handle. Use your creative abilities to improvise. At Natalya’s and Alex’s wedding, we were extremely crunched for time. Though I had so many ideas, I knew that the little time we had was all we needed. In spite of the frenzy, we were able to get the beautiful images you see below.
Things to watch our for
You want to have your couples undivided attention. Make sure they’re in their moment of love and not staring at the smoke bombs. Also, watch out for your bride’s dress, the fabric can easily be burned. More to this, I recommend using the smoke bomb later on the wedding day, you don’t want her dress stained. Most importantly, be prepared with all your equipment, a lighter, your smoke bombs and camera gear.
Practice makes perfect
Finally just have fun, you won’t create a Vogue wedding photo on your first try and that’s ok. GREAT THINGS TAKE TIME. All the brilliant photographers we admire started somewhere. Your job is to show up and keep doing what you do. When you have some extra cash and a friend who can model, go into the woods and experiment. Here’s an image I captured with Kat whose wedding is this summer!