One aspect of product photography that can be more complex than others is beverage photography. This is because there is an added level of unpredictability that comes with working with liquids, as well as glasses that create reflections. As a result, we have put together some key tips that will help improve beverage photographs taken by a packshot photographer.
The first action that every person working in product photography should do, no matter the industry or product they are working with. When planning a drinks photoshoot, you want to do all the usual planning and research about the clients branding, target audience, product characteristics and ideas for imagery.
Where it becomes specific to beverages is that you need to think about how the liquid will react to the environment around it. Will there be ice that melts and subsequently changes the colour of the liquid? Will the drink go flat after a while or perhaps condensation will drop from the glass? By thinking about these issues, you can plan the kind of props you need, replacement liquids or glasses, timings etc.
As a packshot photographer, you will be used to having to clean the products making sure that every detail and surface is spotless before taking the photos. This is never more important than when working with glass. In beverage product photography marks on a glass truly detract from the quality of your photo. Using a micro-fiber cloth is always a good choice for this type of surface.
A useful tip here is to hold the glass up to a light and check for any smudges or fibres that are harder to spot. A final recommendation is to wear gloves when handling any kind of glassware because your lighting will very clearly pick up any fingerprints left on surfaces.
Beverage product photography involves a range of props but none more important than the glass that holds the liquid. In most cases, there will be a typical glass type for each drink such as a tall glass for certain cocktails or a champagne flute for champagne and sparkling wine. If ever in doubt, do your research and ask the experts.
The reason why it’s worth taking the time to get the glass right is if you don’t, then people will be very quick to tell a packshot photographer about the mistake they have made! Secondly, by using the correct glass you can help viewers engage and connect with the product.
This area of product photography truly gives you the chance to get creative and have fun with the photoshoot. Once you have done the planning, found the right glass, lighting etc. then you can think about how to enhance the product even more.
This means props, garnishes, and additional ingredients to maximise results. For example, you may be photographing the latest mojito drink for a client, in which case you might want to add a mint leaf, some sugar, palm trees or a beach scene. The ideas are endless and always remember to add value with props and never take away the viewers attention from the subject of the image.