Lori Pickens


Tips for Smoke Bomb Images

If you are anything like me, when you see smoke bomb images, you are absolutely mesmerized!  But now, instead of wishing you could capture moments like that, you can use these tips to do just that.  Grab my best tips on photographing smoke bombs and creating amazing images.

Set Up your shot first.  

Even the high quality smoke bomb brands will only give you a minute or two of use.  You want to have your lighting, settings, and composition planned out before you activate the smoke.  I recommend instructing your subject ahead of time, so they have a clear idea of what you want to capture and how best they can achieve that.  You can even rehearse the idea and take some test shots.  


Encourage Movement During the Shoot

Allow the model to move around.  The smoke can tend to build up in one area obstructing the subject’s face in the shot or become overwhelming for the model’s eyes.  Having some movements planned or let the subject know that if the smoke becomes too thick, they can move in front of it or to the side so they are not lost in the cloud.

Prepare for the Weather

Plan for weather and wind. Wind will dissipate the smoke more quickly, so if you want to have streams of the smoke captured in your image, try to shoot on a less windy day, or have surroundings that can block or minimize the crosswinds.  Slowly moving the smoke bomb can create defined trains rather than shaking or holding it in one spot.  

You also might like this post: Becoming A ClickPro

Be Safety Conscious

Smoke bombs have a live spark and the safety of your model and your surroundings is the most important thing!  Check your weather conditions before heading out to shoot.  Do not use them in dry, brush areas or near flammable substances.  Do not use them in public spaces; even if they are harmless, to someone who is unaware of what it is, the amount of smoke may alarm those around you.  When you are done with the smoke bomb be sure to dispose of it properly or bring a metal container to store it in until your shoot is over.  You can pour water over them to ensure they are entirely put out.  

How to Avoid Burns and Stains

Hold the smoke bomb from the opposite end of the spark and always point it away from faces and other body parts when lighting.  Remember there can be a slight delay, so be patient and cautious at all times.  The powder released can stain clothing, so again try to point it away from the subjects’ body or plan to do the bomb at the end of the session or when you are ready for a wardrobe change.

Photographing Smoke Bomb Images

Photographing smoke bomb images are so much fun and with these tips, you should definitely be able to do it!  Don’t be afraid to get in there, play with it, and have fun.  After all, that is what makes photography so special!

Photography Education and Support

I believe in community over competition, and find helping other artists and photographers incredibly rewarding. If you are looking to grow your skillset as a photographer and take your business to the next level, my mentoring sessions might be for you!

In my mentoring sessions, I want you to feel re-energized, gain confidence in yourself and be ready to tackle any challenges with a fearless attitude. Together we can identify the strong points and the weak links to help set you on the path to achieving your goals. Let’s grab a coffee & chat about it!


Photographer Resources

I have a few tools in my toolbelt that will help you grow to be the photographer you’ve always wanted to be!  Whether you are prepping to be a ClickPro Elite or you are just ready to start leveling up and making new goals, check out these resources to help you grow!

The Click Community

Must Have Tools for your Photography Business

What’s in my Bag – Cameras, Lenses, and More

Fearless Indoor Light – a Self-Paced course

Indoor Light Challenge

Film Challenge

(for the challenges, you must be in the Click Community)

Be sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest for more tips, tricks, and resources for photographers!

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