[FRAMED] Smokin

Today's [FRAME] is something a little special. This isn't an image from the past that's been buried in the archives. Instead, it's from a killer engagement session from about a week ago. This photo relates to this post that I blogged earlier this week about keeping your creative well full. Ladies and gentlemen, this one's straight from the well. This shot was conceived about two weeks ago when I was called down to Kansas City to shoot an engagement session for a sweet couple. I was driving south out of Iowa and jumped over the border to Missouri. I ended up going through a small town called Eagleville where their claim to fame is fireworks. Lots of them — like more than you can shake a stick at. Suddenly, an idea jumped in my head to do a backlit smoking kiss shot with the help of some smokebombs. So, while traveling to one engagement session, I was creatively planning for another. The wheels just keep on turning, see?

Fast-forward to last week. I had my couple in a grassy field and told them about my smokebombs and the ideas I had. First, we tried one where the couple was going to run through the field with colorful orange smokebombs, leaving a smokey trail that would look great on camera. Miserable failure. The smokebombs I bought, while similar to the 5-minute smokers from my childhood, only lasted about 30 seconds. So that idea was out. Then, I shared my car idea and they were game. We waited until the sun dipped down to ensure the photo would be dark and moody. I did a test shot and all was well...it was go time. We moved the car in position, the couple sat, and I lit the smokebomb. White smoke cascaded out of the little tube and quickly surrounded the couple. They held their kiss while I found my focal point – not so easy in swirling smoke, FYI. I began to fire away, hoping that this would work because it was our last smokebomb. The smell was terrible and I couldn't see hardly anything at all, just some smokey silhouettes. Finally the smoke cleared, the couple ran over to see the back of my camera, and the results speak for themselves.

Josh and Larissa share a smokey kiss