Instructions | photographing with smoke flares and smoke bombs

How to conduct a photo shoot with smoke flares and smoke bombs

Smoke flares and smoke bombs look fantastic on photos and are something very special. For the best way to do a photoshoot with smoke, check out this guide.

What you need:

Smoke torches class T1* (otherwise a permit is required)

Clothing that is not brand new

Abandoned lot or open space in a quiet area

Model or product as motif

What should you pay attention to?

When choosing a location, you should make sure that it is quite remote from civilization. Because smoke looks cool in photos, but is also considered a signal of danger. To avoid angry neighbors or fire departments, you should ignite the flares or smoke bombs in sufficient distance, best in a region where generally little is already happening.

Since the smoke flares are pyrotechnics, you should find out in advance if you need a permit to burn them down. For the smoke flares of the T1 category you usually need no permission, Since the legal situation can change at any time, you should make yourself clear in advance to your photo shooting again separately. Basically, you should be over 18 for the shooting.

Also consider your own safety. Smoke flares should only be ignited in the open air and the smoke should not be inhaled. At a photo shoot this is never completely possible, but you can take a small mask with you. At least you should be aware of the danger points of smoke flares and treat them like any other pyrotechnics… with caution. Some water to extinguish anything in case of emergency is also advisable. I never had any problems, but better safe than sorry.

Pyrotechnics usually stink, so it is advisable not to put on the very best clothes. Rather an old shirt and already somewhat worn out things. Due to the smell, you should also be prepared to take a shower after the shoot.

How to carry out the photo shooting?

So, now for the fun part, the photo shoot itself. Since the torches do not burn very long (usually 30-60 sec), you should already consider in advance different poses and the sequence of the shooting. It is also worthwhile to do a few "dry runs" before the torch is lit.

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With the poses one should ideally remain in motion. For one thing, you can avoid inhaling too much smoke. On the other hand, you can control the smoke a bit and achieve certain effects. To let the model swing the torch slowly in a circle offers a great effect. Otherwise you can simply hold the torch in your hand or walk straight ahead in one direction.

If you want, you can also put the smoke torch in the ground and place your model a bit in front of the smoke. In general: Just try it out until you have taken a picture that you like.

At the beginning I would also always advise to start with only one torch to slowly get into the shooting. The fewer torches burning at the same time, the less influence there is on the photo. And even if the theory doesn’t sound so bad, it gets hectic at the moment of the shooting as soon as the torch burns, because of the short burning time. Therefore, it is better to slowly increase the complexity of it all.

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