10 Practical Ways to Pull Off Those Color Smoke Bombs in Your Wedding Photos

One of the most awesomely unexpected trends of the year has been the use of colored smoke bombs in photography. These beautiful pyrotechnics are popping up in wedding snapshots all around the world, and we’re kind of obsessed…

Smoke Bombs At Weddings, colored smoke bombs, color smoke grenades
Photo by Rad Rad Creative

So, what is a colored smoke bombs you might ask?

Originally made for military and recreational use as ground cover, these totally safe grenades emit a non-toxic colored smoke that fills the air and creates breathtaking photos.

Like this bold wedding photography trend? Here are ten practical ways to pull it off.

colored smoke bombs
Photo by Laura G Photographs

Consult your photographer. Before committing to this trend, make sure your photographer feels comfortable using the smoke bombs on your big day. Shooting photos with colored smoke bombs requires special skills when it comes to lighting and shutter speed, so make sure your photographer is prepared.

Buy more than you think you’ll need. You might need a couple practice smoke bombs to ensure the shot is perfect before your photographer can start snapping. You’d hate to run out of color bombs mid-shoot.

Get permission from your venue. While the bombs shouldn’t stain the ground, they might leave a residue that will wash away over time. It’s always best to consult your venue before using them on the property.

color-smoke-wedding-preview-001, colored smoke bombs
Photo by Justin R Photography

Pay attention to the temperature. If it’s hot and extremely dry, lighting a smoke bomb could be dangerous. We’d advise against using them in super dry heat unless you go with a cool burn, flameless smoke bomb.

Make sure you’re outdoors. To avoid stains or inhalation of too much smoke, use these outside exclusively.

Mind the wind. Check which way the wind is blowing before starting the smoke bomb. While you want the colors to be vibrant, you don’t want the smoke covering your faces.

Set the smoke bomb in the background or foreground. Try placing the bombs behind the couple for an interesting affect. This way, you’ll ensure that the colored particles don’t land on the bride’s white dress.

pnwethereal-styled-01, colored smoke bombs
Photo by Rachel Barkman 

Have an assistant move the smoke bomb around. Another cool effect is achieved when someone is moving the smoke bomb around the couple. Just be careful not to get too close!

Be conscious of burn time. Most smoke bombs are active for 1-1.5 minutes, so you’ll need to act quickly!

Don’t get the bomb too close to clothing. Never aim the color smoke bomb directly at someone. (They aren’t color smoke grenades after all). If you the smoke bomb is a reasonable distance away from the couple, it shouldn’t stain clothing.

Want more photography ideas?

How to Make Your Wedding Photographer’s Job Way Easier

21 Epic Engagement Photos That Will Take Your Breath Away