If you’ve ever done any product photography or casual foodie snapshots, you might be thinking that photographing beverages is a pretty straight-forward process, but you would be wrong, of course. Those commercials of mouth-watering Sprite, Coors, and so-forth are pretty involved.
Shooting glasses filled with drinks is an even more layered beast. The obvious challenge here is capturing enough light to highlight the condensation, but also keeping the picture balanced and not too overwhelmed with bright lights bouncing all over. Use some of these tips to help you navigate this foreign landscape with your camera and take great shots of your favorite booze and drinks.
Manage Primary Light
In order to get the best illumination of your glass’ contents, you’re going to want to place your primary light source behind your glass and the position of your camera. This keeps the light a bit more manageable and you can better adjust the amount you need in order to bring out the details of the drink and glass.
Just snapping photos on a colored or textured background isn’t enough to really grab the attention of the viewer, you’re going to want to add a bit of color that can enhance the presence of the drink. This works really well with little flavor suggestions to go with the drink, like a little lemon or lime, so you can add an accent light behind the drink to give it a nice “pop” against the background.
To borrow off the last tip, a nice way to break up uniformity in a product photo like this is to lay out small samples of the ingredients that are used in the production of the drink. You could add them in later with post-production, but it’s very charming to go through the extra effort of picking a few pieces of barley, cherries, or vanilla beans, for example, to lay beside the cold, tasty glass and evoke those flavors subconsciously in the viewer.
Try out different Containers
Unless you have your own branded glasses that the customer can purchase, it’s a good idea to present your beverage in a container that best compliments the personality of your beverage. You don’t want your drink to be associated with “average” or “boring” cups that you can find in any grandma’s cupboard. Be creative and take a few shots with various containers, you never know how they’ll look.
You want an insider secrete on how to get the perfect amount of condensation on your glass without having to wait for it to naturally happen? Place your glass into the freeze ten minutes before your shoot, then pour your beverage and watch as the cold exterior collects with little beads of thirst-motivators. Everyone loves an ice cold drink.
Don’t think too hard about your photoshoot. Nerves can ruin a photo more than forgetting to bring a specific light or prop. When you’re in a creative and playful mood, you get results that may surprise yourself, because you’ll be thinking about what a customer would love to see, not what is purely technically sound or advised.
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