Snapshots that Sizzle
A photographer takes us behind the scenes to create the popular “smokey” wedding photo
Central Virginia Bridal Guide Editor Shelley Basinger: We have spotted some colorful, smoke-filled wedding photos lately.
How did you get into this trend?
Photographer Hope Stevens: I first started using smoke bombs during senior portrait sessions and then it transpired to wedding photography. I think it’s a fun and creative way to add a pop of color while also showcasing the real excitement and emotion of the bride and groom and wedding party.
SB: How do smoke photos work?
HS: They are super easy and user-friendly. The length of time they produce the smoke varies, ranging anywhere from 30 seconds to 120 seconds. There is a small tag that is pulled to ignite the smoke grenade and from that point forward the fun and creativity begins.
SB: What kind of “look” do you feel smoke gives a photo?
HS: The best part about using smoke bombs and the look they produce is that no two images are the same. The possibilities are endless. You can choose to have them placed in a stationary location in the background or you can choose to have clients hold them, twirl them, make circles, shapes and so much more.
SB: This particular photo… how did this scene go down?
HS: This was an awesome group that followed instructions! That’s the key, making sure everyone knows exactly what they are doing and doesn’t freeze up. For this particular photo, I had everyone walking forward and it was important for everyone to stay on the same photographic plane and move at the same pace.
SB: Were there any interesting moments or did it
HS: There was one interesting moment. One of the smoke grenades didn’t ignite when pulled, but luckily I always have back-ups on the sides so the bridesmaid was quickly able to pick up the back-up grenade and keep rolling with it. They all had a blast!