Smoke cannon wedding photography: all you need to know

As a wedding photographer, I’m finding that a lot of the couples I speak to now are keen to try more creative ideas for their wedding photos. This is always music to my ears as I love coming up with new ideas for unique wedding photography. In fact, I recently won an award for Creative Wedding Photographer of the Year!

For quite a while now, I’ve loved incorporating fun elements such as smoke cannons and flares into wedding photography. In fact, this technique is becoming something of a tradition for me and this type of shot features a lot in my work. I absolutely love the fun and drama of smoke cannon wedding photography.

If you’re thinking of incorporating some smoke cannon images into your own wedding album, you’ve come to the right place! Here are all my hints, tips, and everything you need to know about smoke cannon wedding photography…

Top Tips for Using Smoke Cannons in Wedding Photos

Speak to your wedding photographer first

My top tip when it comes to smoke cannon wedding photography is to speak to your wedding photographer first. If smoke cannons are something that you really want to incorporate, then you need to find a wedding photographer who is experienced in this technique. Your wedding photographer may need to bring different equipment if they’re going to be photographing smoke cannons, so it’s best to give them a heads up.

It’s also worth noting that even if your wedding photographer is experienced in smoke cannon photography, they probably won’t provide the smoke cannons for you: it’s likely that you’ll need to buy your own. Personally, for insurance reasons I advise my couples to buy their own smoke cannons, and I always advise brides and grooms to read the instructions fully and be aware of any incidents that could potentially happen.

Cheshire Wedding Photographer Thornton Hall

Check with your wedding venue

You’ll need to ask permission from your venue to use them on the grounds. Your venue might have restrictions on where you can use them, or be able to give you some suggestions for spaces that would suit. If your wedding photographer has worked at your venue before, they should also be able to advise. If smoke cannons are not permitted at your venue, your photographer might be able to suggest a location nearby where it’s safe to use them.

Wedding Photography Wales
Use smoke cannons to bring some fun to your wedding photography

All brides and grooms like to get some beautiful portraits of them together as a couple on their wedding day. Whilst I love capturing more ‘traditional’ couples portraits, it’s worth remembering that you can also bring something fun and unexpected to these shots by incorporating smoke cannons. Wedding photos of you and your partner capture a special moment of your day, but they don’t always have to be serious. Smoke cannons and flares are an ideal way to inject some fun into a couple’s portrait and can really enhance the moment.

Wedding Photography Chester

Consider the time of day

If you’re thinking of going for smoke cannon wedding photography, choosing the right time of day can play an important part in capturing the best possible images. That’ golden hour’ just before night falls is a perfect time to shoot smoke cannon portraits as the colour of the smoke really pops in the natural light and the results are striking and romantic.

With the right lighting, smoke cannons can look incredibly dramatic for nighttime wedding photographs. This is something to discuss with your wedding photographer and venue to figure out if it’s a possibility for your big day.

Wedding Photographer Cheshire North West
Smoke cannons in wedding photography: FAQs

Are smoke cannons safe?

Although generally considered safe to use, as with any flammable object, it’s always best to err on the side of caution, and there’s a few things to note if you’re using smoke cannons in your wedding photography:

  • The smoke from smoke cannons shouldn’t be inhaled, so it’s important that they’re used in a well-ventilated area. 
  • Smoke cannons shouldn’t be ignited near crowds, animals, or busy roads.
  • Smoke cannons give off sparks when ignited, so must be kept away from flammable objects, and very dry areas.

I always advise brides and grooms to read the instructions on their smoke cannons fully as I can’t take responsibility in the unlikely event that any incidents that could potentially happen, so it’s always best to be aware of all eventualities before you decide to opt for this type of photography.

Nunsmere Hall gay wedding

Will smoke cannons stain clothing?

Your wedding dress is likely to be the most important (and expensive!) dress you’ll ever buy, and on top of that it’s highly likely to be white! So it’s no surprise that a frequently asked question is “do smoke cannons stain?” !

The truth is that yes, smoke cannons can stain clothing. However, if kept at a distance and the smoke is blowing away from you, you should get away without any staining. The trick is to not have them too close to your clothes when the pictures are being taken.

If you’re considering using smoke cannons in your wedding photography, I would love to help! I’m a professional wedding photographer based in Cheshire, Chester and North Wales, and I have lots of experience of creating dramatic, unique images with props such as smoke cannons, and I’d love to get creative at your wedding!