In the quieter months, I like to learn new techniques so I can be the best wedding photographer I can be. I experiment with new techniques and perfect them so I have something I can competently use when a suitable time arises in a real wedding situation. I had heard mentions of smoke bombs wedding photography and thought it looked like a fantastic idea to create dramatic and different photographs for my clients. My immediate thought was that bright coloured ignited devices around white dresses might not be such a good idea, so I put a call out for volunteers who were under no illusion that I knew what I was doing with them and if any staining may happen!
I was inundated with volunteers and have so far only got through two couples but learnt a lot from it.
My first couple Nicola and Chris were a few days away from their first wedding anniversary when I photographed them in their wedding attire again. Nicola wore a flower crown by a local florist Laura Drury from Passion for Plants during the shoot, which took place at the beautiful Fewston reservoir between Leeds and Harrogate. The first location was in a wooded pathway with elegant tall pine trees, leading lines and orange coloured smoke bomb wedding photography, followed by the shore of the reservoir. The wooded area held the smoke for much longer than the stated 90 seconds and the orange worked perfectly against the woodland colours. I tried using two colours at the same time for my second batch but was not as pleased with the vibrancy as the orange and purple mixed in parts creating a muddy coloured smoke, working well as a close up when the smoke was slightly more separated. The shore area was a much more open spot and the smoke was much more directional but the backdrop was spectacular. The each held a blue coloured smoke bomb which looked amazing but we found the smoke went in their eyes a bit and there were flecks of blue on Chris’ shirt that blew off. The final set up was a green smoke bomb on the ground, with the aim of floating the smoke along the water.
My second shoot was with my two lovely brides Emily and Jamie from October at a spot on Baildon moor. I had seen how the smoke grenades worked in a flat natural light and wanted to explore how they reacted to off camera flash situations and started off aiming for a dramatic set of backlit pictures and Emily had mentioned a heart shaped umbrella that I thought would work with the back light. For the first location, I used 3 smoke grenades on the floor behind the couple. The blue and purple smoke mixed beautifully and looked incredibly dramatic and we were blessed with a beautiful blue sky to work with as well. We changed the direction we were shooting and went for a front facing flash. The front facing flash was less successful as it created a colour cast and was not evenly lit. I also shot on another camera using the late afternoon natural light which produced a much more pleasing result. The final set of images were at a slightly more exposed location which was not good for pictures as the slightest breeze effects the quality of the smoke.
My next smoke bomb wedding photography shoot is going to be at night to see how effective it will be for winter weddings .