So you’re considering using smoke grenades for photos?!
Smoke grenades can take photos to another level, adding interesting layers and effects – but they have to be used properly. Here’s some hints and tips to help you.
What are they?
Smoke grenades are pyrotechics that you can hold, they create a cloud of coloured smoke.
Where can I use them?
Before even buying them make sure your venue will allow you to use them on site. If they are fine with it make sure they make a note as a cloud of coloured smoke can be quite alarming.
Coloured smoke isn’t allowed in areas such as coastal regions or near airports due to their resemblance to flares and other items, and you may receive a fine.
How do I use them?
Hold them up in the air so the smoke flies overhead and it looks fabulous. Not at head level or lower as the smoke may fly straight into faces which don’t make great shots and obscures details.
Or as the wedding couple you could hold them behind you, so the colours and shapes are a nice backdrop.
They are best used during the daylight to really show those colours off. White ones can be used at night with strobe lights to enhance a dramatic feel.
They must be held in a certain way, I will explain in my safety instruction before using them.*
Which ones should I buy?
The best type of smoke grenades are Enola Gaye TP40 (60 seconds). The reason I say this is because they are the only ones I’ve used and cannot confidently recommend using any others. They need to last a minute as theres always issues with them, whether its the ring pull is hard to pull, or directing people in the correct places, the more time to get it right we have the more successful the photo. The small ones don’t last long enough.
Enole Gaye smoke bombs are available in 9 colours; black, blue, green, orange, pink, purple, red, white and yellow. You could pick colours that suit your wedding theme, season or white to create atmospheric drama just like fog or mist.
I can be quite strict when using them, and for good reason. Smoke grenades are pyrotechnics and I don’t want anyone to be hurt or harmed in anyway.
Don’t give them to anyone under the influence of alcohol. This is another positive reason for using during the day as people haven’t had the opportunity to get very drunk.
They can get quite hot to hold.
No throwing them on the floor, they can explode even when the smoke has finished, and the dye will stain everything in its path, the colour as smoke is fine though. I have photographed a wedding where this happened when a ‘trusted friend’ decided to throw it like an action toy in front of the bride and groom and it stained her dress purple, imagine that expensive dress ruined by one second of silliness.
Used in the correct way they can be amazing.
*Any problems due to misuse is not the issue of Kate Richards Photography. They must be used at your own risk.