Beverage Photography: A Detailed Guide To Be A Professional

The styling, lighting, and photographing technique of drink photography make it a distinct niche.

Beverage photography is more than just putting liquid in a glass, and capturing this moment.

The texture of drinks is appealing, they are colorful, they dance with the light, and they can make us crave an icy cold beverage on a hot day. However, drinks and cocktails are complicated for most food & beverage photographers.

You need to put remarkable efforts efforts before you finally get your first worth it shot of a drink. But how will you do that?

Of course you need to learn some tips, and this article is the right hit for you. Read on to learn the step-by-step guide and tips to get the right shots.

Ready to dive in? Let’s go!

What Is Beverage Photography?

The concept of capturing beverages and cocktails as part of the food photography category is defined under this term. Photoshoots of drinks are an excellent opportunity to experiment with unusual props, colors, and composition techniques.

Beverage Photography
Beverage Photos by Denys Gromov

Even the most experienced commercial and advertising photographers cannot get the perfect shot on the first try, regardless of how experienced they are. So you need to put a lot of time into getting one perfect image.

Also Read > Difference Between Macro and Micro Photography.

Step-By-Step Guide To Photograph A Beverage Products

One of the most entertaining and rewarding types of food photography is drink photography. It’s an opportunity to experiment with fun props, enjoy color, and discover stylistic techniques.

01. Cocktails and Beverage Product Photography Lighting

The first step is to arrange (or move closer to) your lighting. Because you need plenty of light to get into the sizzling details of the drinks.

But what kind of light should you choose for your beverage?

Find a location with a lot of bright, indirect sunlight if you’re using natural light. Shooting in an area with two windows on opposite walls provides natural lighting on both sides and back. This ensures you have a good light amount for stunning photos.

02. Studio Lighting for Photography

Fortunately, many LED continuous lighting options are available today. You can find cheap light kits and diffused lighting that all beverage photographers love because they are time-saving and do not require you to change directions for light throughout the day, like for natural light.

03. Photographing Glassware

Glassware is the next point to consider. Which glass will enhance the drink’s look the best in this lighting? How do diverse glasses seem in surroundings?

Food beverage photography

Remember to pay attention to the volume, design, height, and how the glass will appear next to any other props, you’re using in addition to the shapes of the glassware. The right glass is required depending on the particular cocktail or drink you’re making.

04. Choose the Best Angle

Viewing drinks at a 45-degree angle, while seated at a table and taking in what’s in front of you, creates the best impression. Additionally, they look great when taken straight on so that the glass sits on the horizon line, and their shape is not altered.

Tips To Get The Best Photographs of Beverage

Capturing the beautifully pouring drinks with the melting ice cubes is not easy like making a cup of coffee. So you need to learn some real skills to get into photography  business.

01. Using A Tripod

To frame your shot, use a tripod. You can always dispense with the tripod when taking pictures, but it is highly recommended that you do so until you get enough experience. As a beginner you’ll already be handling too much aspects together, so it’s better to use a tripod stand to add an easing factor.

02. Adjust and Control your Lighting

You can now start playing with the light for photographing glass objects. Place a white reflector, a piece of white foam board across from the window, or a single photo light to reflect the light onto your beverage. Any areas that are too dark or in shadow will benefit from filling them in with the light.

03. Rule of Odds

Try an odd number, like 3 or 5, when selecting props or the number of drinks to include in the frame. The visual appeal of an odd number of elements is commonly better than an even number. Putting things in triangle formations can aid in directing the viewer’s eye through the frame.

04. Compositional Elements

There are a few aspects to consider to create a fantastic composition when positioning your props and glasses in the frame. Before hyper-focusing on the area where the drink is located, make sure that you consider the entire space of the frame (the foreground, background, top, bottom, etc.).

05. Colors and Contrast

Dealing with occasionally unappealing colors can be a frustrating aspect of photographing drinks. The color brown can be difficult to make shine, but there are a number of fantastic drinks that have this color.

Anytime you need to photograph a brown cocktail, use some backlighting. An Old Fashioned, for example, turns from a boring brown to a lovely golden or bronze color when lit from behind.

06. Depth of Field

How much of your image is in focus is called depth of field. A small portion of the image is in focus when the depth of field is shallow. A large portion of the image is sharp when the depth of field is deep.

A depth of field is ideal when you want everything in a landscape photograph or flat lay to be equally sharp. However, a shallow depth of field frequently results in a better image with a more distinct focal point when photographing cocktails.

07. Controlling Reflections

Dealing with reflections is one of the most difficult aspects of photographing drinks. A disturbing glare can seriously detract from your beautiful drink. Fortunately, there are three main things you can do to get rid of unappealing reflections:

Make changes to your lighting

There will probably be some reflections on your glassware if the front or sides are exposed to light. Most reflections will be eliminated if only backlighting is used, and drinks may also appear gorgeously glowing.

Pay attention to your fill line

Where the liquid in the glass ends is known as the fill line, consider it in terms of how full or empty your glass is.

Aiming for a fairly high fill is a good idea if we’re trying to prevent reflections and want to take advantage of that window of fog.

Ice quality and quantity

Make sure to completely fill the glass with ice before taking beverage photos that call for ice, such as iced tea. This results in better drinks overall, and the drinks will also look much better.

08. Use a Narrow Lens to Reduce Distortion when Shooting

When it comes to beverages, we frequently deal with tall subjects. Use a narrow lens when taking photos to lessen distortion. As an illustration:

85mm, 105mm, and 70-200mm lenses for full-frame cameras

60 mm on a camera with a cropped sensor

With a narrow lens, the objective is to compress the subjects to appear straighter. As a result, you’ll need more room so the camera can be placed further away from the subject.

How Much Cost of  Food and Beverage Photography

The cost of beverage photos is tricky. You must create a pricing strategy that is effective for you. Depending on the photographer, this may be a per-image model($10 to $100), a day rate($30 to $500), or a contract billing structure with a retainer.

As long as you and the client are satisfied with the price, there is no right or wrong. You must never forget the value of your time and labor. Remember that this is actual work; it is not just a pastime or something fun to do.

By photographing their content and assisting in brand development with custom photography, we add value for brands. It’s time for you to join in on the conversation now.

Where To Marketing The Beverage Photographs

As a beverage photographer, there are effective ways to market your photography business that will not consume your time or money. Best strategies to market your photography business and attract ideal clients are:

  • Freelance platforms
  • Use your website.
  • Utilize the power of social media (eg: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter)
  • Distribute newsletter
  • Join partnerships with local businesses
  • Develop workshops for photographers
  • For your preferred venue, create a sample album

Beverage Product Photography FAQ’s

01: How to get the perfect commercial beverage photograph?

You must photograph one drink at a time, adding a model holding the glass. Also, professional editing plays an important role in making a beverage photograph best for commercial use.

02: What’s the best thing I can do to improve my beverage photographs?

Adding a related color garnish in the background can help. Make sure everything is aligned with the overall theme of the photo to give it a professional look.

03: What could make a beverage image ugly?

An image having unpleasant reflections and too much editing that makes it look fake could make your beverage image look ugly.

To Conclude

The ability to photograph drinks is essential for food photographers, despite the many challenges. The real heroes of any photo shoot are the beverages, frequently overshadowed by the food.

Beverage photography behind the scenes is integral to any restaurant setup because it improves the composition and adds texture, color, and a general aesthetic. So having the ability and knowledge to shoot beverages is crucial.

Read Related Post > How to Shoot Macro Food Photography?