Disclaimer: although I did quite a few pictures with cigarettes and smoke, I will not show any pictures here and you won’t find any on my website either. The reason is, that I have 83k viewers on FB alone and a big percentage of them are teenagers and I wouldn’t want to be the one who put this “smoking is cool” misconception in their heads.

I smoke occasionally, mainly if my model smokes because it brings a conversation to a more intimate level.

If you want to photograph a person with a cigarette, here’s my advice:

  • Choose a person who smokes. A person who doesn’t will hold a cigarette in the wrong way, too far from the face, and with negative body language overall
  • During smoking people squint a bit to not let smoke in their eyes. Your model will need to make an effort not to do so
  • Smoke is very dynamic and sometimes creates surreal and interesting shapes coming out of the mouth, you may consider sports mode to not miss that
  • A person needs to really make sure to hold the smoke in to achieve a density that would look cool in the picture
  • Smoke against a dark background and in dark clothes
  • Use contra light to illuminate the smoke to give it further volume and texture similar to what I have done here with dust here.

Good luck ;)