Winter photography fun – frozen bubbles!

Image courtesy of SPS Member, Rebecca Gunn. Taken with her 16-300mm lens at 175mm.

Quite a lot of the nation is experiencing cold temps this week. We’re praying for those most deeply affected. We thought we’d share a way to help make the best of a chilly situation for those who are able. Frozen bubbles!

One of the best things is that you don’t need a lot of fancy equipment to create these beauties.

We’ve got a resident bubble expert of sorts in our SPS Members family. Melissa Tokariwski has shared her tips, tricks, and bubble recipe numerous times as many of us endeavored to try frozen bubbles. We’re sharing some of her quick and easy tips to get you started.

Image courtesy of SPS Member Melissa Tokariwski, taken with her Velvet 85 lens

Bubble solution

You can use store bought solution, but it won’t likely freeze with the lovely crystals you see here. Fear not – making your own solution is easy and you likely have all the ingredients right in your kitchen.

Bubble Solution recipe

  • 200ml warm water
  • 35ml corn syrup
  • 35ml dish soap (not ultra)
  • 2 Tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp glycerin (optional – helps with colors)
Image courtesy of SPS Member, Amy Wayne, and taken with her 24-70mm lens.

Set yourself up for success


  • The best temps for frozen bubble pictures are between 14° and 23°F (-10°- -5°C), but don’t be afraid to try outside of these temps.
  • 14° (-10°C) or colder – you can use your bubble solution at room temp
  • 23° (-5°C) or warmer – try putting your bubble solution in the fridge for a bit to give it a head start
Image courtesy of SPS Member, Beth Reed, and shot with her 35mm lens.

Weather conditions, locations, and light

  • Try to time your session for when there is no wind/light wind (early morning is often a great time)
  • Having a light source behind your bubble or a dark background will usually give you the clearest, most dramatic shots
  • Try to find a location that’s a little higher up – tree branches, ladders, railings, tall snow piles all make good surfaces.
Image courtesy of SPS Member, Carolyn Walter, and taken with her 50mm lens.

Odds and ends

  • Use a straw rather than a bubble wand. Sometimes, just dipping the straw into the solution will give you enough to blow a bubble. If not, you do have to brave the risk of getting a little soap in your mouth. It’s worth it!
  • Put some bubble solution down on your surface to give the bubble something to stick to.
  • Use an assistant. Depending on the outside temp, bubbles freeze fast and often burst, so having an assistant to help blow the bubble while you’re ready with the camera works best.

Try different lighting and temps. Get your kids involved! Most importantly, have fun and don’t be discouraged if you don’t get it right away.

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