We love a smoke bomb wedding and wanted to put together a guide to ensure you’ll get the best results safely and easily. We’ve used smoke bombs for weddings, engagement shoot and some of our artsy stuff we do on our down-time; but we wanted to get the low-down on smoke bombs from the real experts.
Here’s our guide with some expert advice from Tim Seaton, chief smoke wizard at the best smoke bomb manufacturer Enola Gaye.
Tim, thanks for helping out here. Can you give us some answers to questions couples have asked us about smoke bombs at their weddings ?
A. We have been making smoke effects for over 27 years. We are based in Berkshire, England. Back in the late 1990’s Jim was running a paintball site called Hot Shots. Things were going well but it felt like something was missing. Jim realised that he could develop products that would add an extra layer of atmosphere and realism to the games. Fairly swiftly the Liberty Smoke Grenade was born. For a long time, the paintball and airsoft industries were our biggest customers and we developed numerous smoke and bang products with them in mind. However, in recent years we’ve seen an exponential increase in customers from other industries such as the movie industry and photographers. This has resulted in more innovation and refinement of our products.
A. You can’t use smoke bombs indoors. They need to be used in well-ventilated areas. Smoke bombs emit tiny particles of colour. When these particles are condensed in a confined space they will cause permanent staining to floors, ceilings, and upholstery.
A. The simple answer is that it is possible but the further away the smoke is, the less likelihood of staining. If you are using them as directed, clothing shouldn’t be stained even if you come into contact with the smoke (as long as you are over 2 meters away from the device).
A. We’re fortunate to collaborate with several artists such as Butch Locsin and Marcus Dove who produce amazing work with our products. It’s always great to see our products making their way into mainstream media like Top Gear and The Walking Dead. Ultimately this question is subjective. I just asked the people in the office, and we can’t all agree on the same thing. Tim likes seeing the Red Bull skydive team proximity flying down mountains leaving a trail of smoke behind them. Ash loves to see massive paintball events engulfed in smoke as far as the eye can see. Bob loves it when the Gumball Rally roll into a city surrounded by our smoke.
A. Smoke bombs are not dangerous if they are used correctly, and the instructions are followed. EG smoke bombs rarely fail. If they do fail the most common cause of failure is non ignition (this is not dangerous but remember to dispose of the product safely by soaking it in water).
A. The use of smoke bombs may be subject to local regulations or laws, which can vary depending on your location. In some areas, their use may be restricted or prohibited altogether, especially in public spaces or crowded areas. Although it is legal to use smoke bombs on private property, some venues may have their own policies regarding their use. Before incorporating smoke bombs into your wedding photography, it’s important to check with your venue to ensure that you are not breaking any of their regulations. You may also want to consult with a professional photographer who has experience working with smoke bombs to ensure that you are using them safely and effectively.
A. This is a good question. A longer burn time doesn’t necessarily mean a greater volume of smoke or the same volume for more time. It all depends on which product you are using. The EG25 produces the least amount of smoke but burns for longer than a Twin Vent 2 (which puts out the same amount of smoke as a WP40). An EG18X puts out roughly the same amount of smoke as an EG18 but does it in around half the time. Hopefully the image below will clarify everything a bit.
A. Jim has always promoted a good work/life balance. We don’t sit here at 4:40 in the afternoon watching the clock waiting for 5:00 and home time. If we are on top of our work and want to go home, then we do. The working hours are flexible and fit around our families and hobbies and interests outside of work. Happy staff who enjoy what they do tend to take care of themselves, motivate themselves, and take pride in their work. There’s a sense of trust and freedom here which makes us want to do our best and give as much as we can.
A. EG is a relaxed fun place to work, there are all sorts of funny stories but most of them end with the sentence “you really had to be there”. One story that springs to mind though is the time our Head of IT, who was notorious for turning up (very) late, was pranked by our Photographer, Ash. Ash took to Photoshop and added a clocking in machine next to the front door. He posted it to our company WhatsApp chat. Everyone was in on the joke apart from the Head of IT who lost his mind! He said he was going to quit if we needed to start clocking in and out due to the lack of trust it represented. It took him days to recover from the trauma.
Again, our thanks to Tim Seaton and the folks at Enola Gaye. We’ve been using EG smoke bombs for more than a decade and always had great results. Here’s the link to their store.
If you’ve followed the tips above and read Tim’s advice you’re already on track for success. Here are a few extra pointers to consider.