Spooky season is finally here! It's easily one of my favorite times of year, watching the creativity ooze out of people all over the world as they get dressed up & unleash their creativity. From amazing makeup to home-made costumes, there isn't a better time to incorporate smoke bombs in your photos.
Jake from Shutter Bombs here, with some friendly tips and tricks to ensure your smoke bomb photos turn out amazing. Whether you have ordered your smoke bombs from us already or not, I'll share my deepest darkest secrets on how to make the best use out of our smoke bombs this spooky season.
8 Tips for Taking Amazing Halloween Photos with Smoke Bombs
There are so many key components that go into capturing amazing photos. For example:
- Where to get the best smoke bombs (I know a guy)...
- Different types of smoke bombs
- The proper way to pull a smoke bombs
- How to avoid the #1 mistake with smoke grenade photography
- Model/subject movement
- Different ways to incorporate the smoke bombs
- Props to include in your session
- Most importantly - smoke bomb safety
Let's dive in!
Where to Buy the Best Smoke Bombs
If you're wondering where to buy the best smoke grenades, you have come to the right place! At Shutter Bombs, we take pride in being the #1 smoke bomb supplier for photographers.
We've been around since 2017 and have shipped well over 110,000 smoke bombs out to our customers. Our customer support is top notch, our products are the bomb (no pun-intended), and we offer the widest product selection with 9 colors for each product. Save when you bundle through our halloween smoke bomb packs.
Different Types of Smoke Bombs
- The Original Shutter Bomb: Labeled (WP40). By far our most popular product. Smoke lasts for 90 seconds and comes in 9 different colors. Our best price point per smoke. Perfect for all your spooky season needs. Smoke bomb colors: Black, blue, green, orange, pink, purple, red, yellow, and white.
The Dual Vent: Labeled (Burst). Smoke emits from both sides and lasts for about 30 seconds. Comes in 9 colors. Great for photographers to create some amazing effects, typically best when your subject is holding them.
The Professional Smoke Bomb: Labeled (EG18). 2nd best seller, lasts for 90 seconds and puts out 2x the smoke as the original. Comes in 9 different colors.
The Big Daddy: Labeled (EG18x) Our newest and highest output smoke bomb, but lasts for 30-40 seconds. Comes in 9 different colors.
Make sure you know which smoke bombs you're using, as you want to be especially careful with the dual vent/burst smoke bombs due to the smoke coming out of both ends of the canister. For all the others, you'll always want to make sure to be holding the smoke grenade as low as possible (opposite end from where the smoke is coming out). Although most people choose to ignore this, I do recommend always wearing safety gloves.
If you ordered a combination of the originals + Professionals or Big Daddy; my recommendation is to always do a test pull with the original before you use the bigger ones.
How to Ignite Your Smoke Bomb
All of our smoke bombs use a wire-pull technology, meaning, you don't need a lighter to ignite them! Instead, there's a circle loop that comes with every smoke bomb that needs to be yanked in order for the smoke to disperse. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Arguably most important, you need to make sure you pull the wire straight out. Not up, not down, not diagonal - STRAIGHT OUT! The #1 reason for device failure is when the smoke is pulled incorrectly.
- You really need to YANK the wire - do not be shy! Once you do it a few times, you'll get the hang of it. It's not something you want to pull lightly on. Instead, get a good grip, and yank it back quickly! The main reason people end up pulling the pin up/down/diagonal is because they aren't pulling hard enough, so they end up pulling up or down to create more leverage. Don't be this person.
#1 Mistake with Smoke Grenade Photography: Not Paying Attention to Wind
Wind direction is arguably one of the most important things to keep in mind for your photoshoot. Wind is important to keep in mind for a few reasons:
- You do not want the smoke blowing directly back to your subject/models face.
- The windier it is, the lest prominent the smoke will appear in pictures. Believe it or not, smoke carries with wind very easily - so do your best to shoot on a day when it's not super windy or find an area where your shielded from the wind. Tip: Find the backside of a building where the wind isn't as prominent, early mornings or late nights seem to also be less windy.
As a photographer, it's your job to make sure you're keeping wind direction (and speed) in mind and position yourself (and the model) accordingly. Nobody wants a face full of smoke, so make sure you've positioned them in a direction where the smoke isn't blowing directly back to them. Wind is also very unpredictable, so communicate with your subject before hand, and during the shoot, to have them rotate accordingly.
Creating Stunning Photos: Tips for the Subject/Model
Regardless of what people say, smoke bomb photography truly is an art. If you ignite the smoke bomb and start waving it around like a person on a sinking ship - the smoke isn't going to look as awesome as it could be. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- You want to make sure the model is doing SLOW movements with the smoke bombs. Slowly moving the smoke bomb up, down, or in circles work really well too! I repeat, VERY slow, almost like they're in slow-motion - this will allow the smoke to stay in one place and allow you to get as much smoke as possible in your shot.
- Using two smoke bombs is also a really cool effect - but you'll need to help them ignite one of the smoke bombs and hand it off to them so you can capture the amazing shots!
Best Way to Incorporate Smoke Bombs with Your Photos
Contrary to popular belief, the subject/model doesn't always need to be holding the smoke bombs. In fact, some of my favorite smoke grenade photos are ones where people AREN'T holding the smoke bombs. You can ignite the smoke bombs and place them in front, behind, or to the side of your subject/model to create a smokey overlay effect (super cool). Remember earlier when we talked about keeping wind direction in mind? This is another prime example of why you need to be aware of wind direction. If the wind is blowing from right to left, then you'll want to put the smoke bomb to the right of your subject so the smoke blows across/in front of them.
Best Props to Use for Smoke Grenade Halloween Photos
There are so many different props to use, but i'll outline my two favorite.
- A carved pumpkin, in which you'll drop the smoke bomb into. These pictures turn out AMAZING and can be used in so many different ways. Whether the subject is holding it in front of their face so it looks like their head, or it's simply on the ground - a smoking pumpkin is something you must-try.
- An umbrella. An umbrella you say? Yes. Trust me on this....Having an umbrella to capture the smoke that rises up creates a stunning effect, keeping the smoke in one place - it's truly a work of art!
Smoke Bomb Safety
At the end of the day, these are pyrotechnics and can be dangerous. It's always recommended to wear safety equipment of some sort to prevent any unlikely malfunctions. Many people choose not to do this, but I personally always have some sort of gloves and/or eyewear. If you're looking for more tips/tricks - check out our colored smoke for photography guide.
I'd love to see all your spooky halloween photos so please make sure to TAG us on Instagram (@Shutterbombs). Putting @Shutterbombs in the comments doesn't do any good because I cannot go back and check these in my notifications. My notifications are a complete mess, and any comments get lost in the shuffle. However, when you tag us, it shows up in my profile and I consistently go back and check on those + repost on stories.
Happy Halloween and have a very spooky season! Here's a video from the one and only @BearShotz for more tips/tricks for shooting: