Fog… In a Can? A Great Trick for Portraits

This is a guest post by professional photographer Robert Vanelli


Using a fog machine indoors—especially in a small, unvented room—can be challenging. The fog can sometimes linger too long or move in front of your subject, causing a hazy image. Here’s how to control fog using a neat little product called Atmosphere Aerosol, AKA Fog in a Can.

What is Atmosphere Aerosol?

Atmosphere Aerosol looks like hairspray, but without the choking fumes. It enables photographers to add fog or haze during a shoot. It’s a safe, non-toxic, clear spray that won’t stain gowns, suits, uniforms, or garments.

How it Performed

Studio test shots came out great—once we moved away from an air condition vent. The blowing air—as slight as it was—dissipated the spray too fast. Moving to a different area gave us more control. An assistant stood behind the subject, sprayed in between the backlights, then quickly moved. I was able to snap up to three shots before I lost the effect. We noticed using two cans at the same time yielded better results. We are still in the process of perfecting the technique outdoors.

Cost and where to buy

Atmosphere Aerosol isn’t cheap, but it isn’t expensive, either. A single can of spray could add $11.99 (B&H Photo) to the cost of your photo session if you don’t use it wisely—making it expensive. However, we were able to squeeze four photo sessions with one can of spray, bringing the cost down to an affordable $3 per session.


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