How To: Smoke Bomb Photography

I have received SO many messages asking “how did you do that cool smoke thing in your photos?” that I decided to write a blog post about it! I had seen several bloggers and friends post surreal looking photos so I compared several different companies and reviews before trying it myself.

lauren-27I bought my smoke bomb from Shipped Yesterday. The specific product I used can be found here here for only $9.99. I chose to buy green for my school colors (go mean green) and for how much it would make my eyes pop in photos. They carry eight different colors, so choose as your heart desires.

Just a warning, this is definitely a smoke bomb. The first few photos where I am nervously laughing, I was actually thinking “Oh gosh. Is this thing about to blow up on me?!” and just hoping for the best. The first five seconds it emits sparks so it’s important to point it AWAY from your body (and not at your photographer). Mine was a wire pull but for other companies you may need to bring a lighter with you.

 

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I would only use these smoke bombs in an open area you have a lot of space. We made sure not to do it on the concrete because we did not want to leave any stains. I stood in an empty grass field so we would not be near anyone.

The color did not stain my clothes or skin but my hair definitely smelled like smoke afterwards. The product will emit a thick colored smoke so I wish that I would not have stood still. We got a great shot of the smoke covering me, but a few seconds later I was coughing like crazy (shown below).

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The smoke output lasts roughly 90 seconds, so you need to have your gear ready before you pull the wire. That may not sound like much time but you’re really going to get your best shots in the first 30 seconds and the rest will be extra.

It’s imperative to have a professional photographer take the shots if you don’t want the fog to appear messy or cover your entire face. Because my photographer, Nick used high quality equipment you are able to see the detail of my face past the smoke.

Overall, I am pleased with how my photos turned out! The green is not only my university’s color (go mean green) but helped my eyes pop in contrast.

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*This is not a paid post or advertisement.

10 Things You Don’t Know About Me

I tried to avoid making a boring list including things like “my favorite food is…” or “I love ____ movies…”. Instead, I hope this is an interesting list of things you did not previously know about me!

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1.     I am made up of almost all recessive traits. Yes, most of these you can see by just looking at me including: red hair, blue eyes, and freckles. I am also left-handed! I am a poster child for recessive genes.

2.     I am a foodie thanks to Chase. My mantra for life is to always try new things (including food). I have tried everything from crickets to sea urchins. One of my favorite foods is sushi, especially sashimi like smoked salmon. Why make food boring when it’s something you have three times a day every day for your life!

3.     I am Type A to the max. Yes, I can still cut loose and have fun. No, you will never have to move trash or items out of the passenger seat of my car to sit down. I live by my planner and the thought of losing it strikes fear. That’s where I write down everything I need to do and don’t know how some people get by without one.

4.     I have a serious case of wanderlust. This is something most people know about me, but I love learning about the world even while I’m at home. I love Anthony Bourdain’s series Parts Unknown and watching YouTube travel vlogs from bloggers like Mimi Ikonn. Anyone who has been to my apartment has seen several maps plastered on my walls with pins of places I have been and lists of places that I want to go. This world we live in is too vast and full of too many interesting people to stay confined in a bubble.

5.     I am the ultimate city girl. I claim Fort Worth because I was born here and my family moved back when I was in middle school but I actually grew up in a small town called San Angelo, Texas. Now, I can’t imagine living outside of a metroplex like DFW. Don’t get me wrong, I would enjoy camping or visiting a small town for a weekend but I thrive off of meeting new people. To each their own, but I love the energy a city carries and how there is always something to do.

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6.     I used to hate having red hair but now you couldn’t pay me to change it. The truth is, redhead kids get bullied a lot growing up just for being different! I plan on writing a blog post about this experience soon.

7.     I am obsessed with Pinterest. I love all things creative including: crafting, photography and fashion. I could spend hours pinning ideas that I love and hopefully try one day.

8.     I am super competitive, but not in the way that most people think. I’m not really into sports to be honest. I’m always competing against myself. I know that may sound silly to some people but if I don’t reach a goal I’m really hard on myself. The reason I get such good grades is because I know what I’m capable of.

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9.     I love coffee. I remember trying coffee in high school and almost spitting it out on the kitchen counter. Now, I can’t make it to my internship on time without it. I’ve gotten to the point where I can drink my coffee black but I prefer some cream and sugar. It also bothers me when people tell me it’s bad for you. I bite my tongue so I don’t scream “Well, that diet coke and cheeseburger you’re eating aren’t good for you either!”. Let people drink their coffee in peace, please.

10.      I am ecstatic about starting this blog! For those of you who read my first blog post, you already know that I have wanted to start one for years. I am so glad I finally did and fully intend on making it the best I can.

Thanks for reading! Anything you didn’t expect? What are some fun facts about you?

My Community College Experience

I felt compelled to write a blog post about my experience as a community college student due to all of the stereotypes these students face. I understand that situations differ from person to person so the following is simply my opinion. I hope to help someone who has gone through a similar situation or to just share my side of the story.

As a past community college student, I know first-hand the stigmas these students face.As a high school senior, I was asked “Where are you going to college?” and “What are you doing after you graduate?” more times than I could dare count. When I announced that I would be attending Tarrant County College I received little to no positive remarks. The truth is that I lied over and over again to make my situation seem socially acceptable. I would list a few state schools and say I had not decided on one yet. In the beginning, I made the mistake of answering truthfully with the local community college I planned on attending and I received nothing but criticism. Adults would sympathize for me and whisper “oh no, how come?”. Phrases like “you know that’s where slackers go to school, right?”, “why are YOU going to community college?”, and “don’t get comfortable” were the norm. This is not to say that senior year was an awful experience for me (because it wasn’t) but anything that involved college was nauseating for me. Everyone from counselors to underclassmen felt the need to share their disapproval with me. In fact, I have been tempted to go back and share what a great experience I had at TCC. Instead, I can write this blog post for the world to see and hopefully help someone who has struggled with a similar situation. 

Community college was nothing like I expected it to be. Everyone had made it seem like some sort of jail for students who were destined to failure, which absolutely isn’t the case. In my first semester, I became Vice President of Student Government Association and greatly recommend it for students that want to get involved. My sophomore year I was elected President of SGA and even though it was a challenging experience, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I made great friends and got involved in a variety of clubs on campus. It can be hard to make friends with students at community college because everyone is so busy juggling jobs, classes and sometimes even families. I am thankful for these organizations because these are people that I would never have become friends with otherwise, but have changed my life for the good. It can be easy to get stuck in a bubble, but being around such a diverse group of students daily changed my perspective on life greatly. I applaud non-traditional students who come back to school to follow their dreams. Yes, I have worked during every semester of college but I look up to those who make great sacrifices for their education.

The truth is, life is what you make it.

The main message to take away is to always make the best out of whatever situation you’re in. Sure, I could have accepted my “fate” and slumped into classes barely getting by. Of course, I felt a pang of sadness watching my friends move into their freshman dorms and join sororities. Without a doubt, my journey isn’t the typical “four year college experience”. When in reality, I avoided student loan debt and met some of the most brilliant people I know to date. Through TCC, I earned a scholarship to study abroad in Salzburg, Austria with the Salzburg Global Seminar in summer 2015. This is an opportunity that earns its own blog post and will be coming soon. 

I am proud to have graduated with my Associates Degree from Tarrant County College in May 2015. Everyones journey is different and I am appreciative of the battles I faced because it’s what makes me stronger today. If anyone has questions about community college or has had a similar experience, please reach out! I would love to hear your story.

Better Late Than Never

As a Type A individual, I am usually not one to procrastinate but I am writing this post as a promise I made to myself. As a freshman in college, I made a college bucket list of all of the things I wanted to accomplish by the time I graduated with my Bachelors degree. One of those things was to write a personal blog. As a public relations major, I have written countless blog posts for my classes and internships. However, I never made time for my own. So here I am half way through my last semester of college with my first blog post.

Better late than never, right?

            I came close to launching a blog several times but something always stopped me. Whether it was coming up with a catchy name, cool domain, or fear of hopping on the blog bandwagon and churning out low quality content I always paused. However, if I’m learning anything during my last semester it’s that time flies fast. I am not striving for perfection with this blog. Instead, I’m trying something new knowing that I’m going to make mistakes along the way. So whether it’s to check-in with me, live vicariously through my college life or just for fun I hope you enjoy my little corner of the Internet. 

 A Little Bit About Me 

Hi there! I’m Lauren, For those of you who don’t know me or want to know me better. I am a Public Relations major at University of North Texas with a passion for blogging, DIY, food and learning about the world. I am a self-proclaimed Pinterest addict, coffee lover and constant smiler who can (almost always) be caught eating. I have a serious case of wanderlust and hope to one day work for a lifestyle and PR firm, as well as publish work focusing on travel. 

 I am blessed to have traveled to 7 countries, 13 states, and counting! My life travel partner is my aunt Diane. She has taught me to always keep an open mind and to be open to world cultures. 

I am currently engaged to my high school sweetheart, Chase Sepulvador. I’m not going to go into deep detail about that here because I’m sure there are going to be a lot of blog posts about that part of my life. To keep it simple: everyone deserves a Chase in their life. 

I am obsessed with my family dog who is a strange (but adorable) mix of German Shepherd and Corgi. Even though we rescued her from the local pound we joke that she saved us. I am proud to say I was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas with my family. 

I felt led to finally start my blog to keep these memories. Everyone is telling me “you’re going to miss this” and I want to remember it all. Hopefully I can offer advice to help some, provide some giggles and be an inspiration. If there are any specific topics you want me to write about please let me know! I am so excited about this new journey and glad you’re along for the ride.

My College Journey

         There are 43 days until graduation. I never thought this time would come. I find myself a little more emotional than usual during this last semester of college. Knowing that I am experiencing a lot of “lasts” is both sad and exciting. 

            Tarrant County College is where my college journey began. I served as President and Vice President of Student Government Association. Although I did not attend TCC by choice it was the best thing that could’ve happened to me. No, I did not attend community college because of a lack in determination or grades. Unfortunately, community college students face so many negative stigmas. So many, that a separate blog post will be posted soon addressing it. 

            Next, I transferred to the University of North Texas for 2 ½ years to earn my Bachelors in journalism with a concentration in Public Relations and a minor in Psychology. Obtaining my degree has been a long winding road for me full of potholes I managed to swerve around. Like most students I was never just a college student. But a leader of student organizations who worked jobs, held internships, volunteered and was heavily involved on campus.

            I am trying to enjoy all of these “lasts”. I am going to miss all of my sisters in North Texas Sweethearts and the fun memories I have made with them. Public Relations Student Society has provided so many networking and travel opportunities for me. I am going to miss all of my PRSSA peeps so much! Her Campus has been a great community of strong females and a chance for me to blog before starting my own. I may have not had much free time in college, but all of the student organizations I have been in have been worth it. 

           Then again, I am excited for the next chapter of my life! It will be so nice to finally earn a decent paycheck. As well as, living in a nice apartment in the city (versus student living). This is also the last semester of Chase and I being long distance. I cannot wait to finally be in the same city again. 

            If I were asked to give advice to a freshman entering college I would tell them “be involved on campus as much as possible, try new things, take your studies seriously and enjoy it all because it truly is over before you know it.” I don’t have any regrets about the choices I made during my college career and I am excited about what post-grad life is going to bring!