How hard can it be to shoot really great drink photography you ask? You pour it into a glass and shoot as you pour. What more is there? Obviously, I’m being rhetorical. The fact that you’re required to use some sort of glass actually means you’re required to be creative to get an interesting shot. Here are Resource’s 7 tips to shooting mouthwatering drink photography that will have your clients drooling and begging for more.

7. Use Backlighting

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© Janet Tarbox via Flickr Creative Commons 

Moving your subject between your camera and your primary light source will help add depth to the image. More likely than not, you’ll be using a clear or translucent glass so the light shines through liquid, giving it an appetizing glow. Even for liquids like milk or red wines that are not thought of as clear will benefit from backlighting because it will accentuate other visually interesting elements, like bubbles and condensation.

6. Add Colorful Accents

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© Mike Gabelmann via Flickr Creative Commons 

Very few drinks have much color range, therefore a few bright accents will go along way in creating an appetizing image. Colors can suggest flavors and sensations. A glass of clear liquid set against bright green and yellows can imply citrous flavors. 

 

5. Incorporate the ingredients into the composition

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© Ralf Kabelitz via Wikimedia Commons

Including the ingredients will convey the flavors more than colors alone would. And adding a drink’s ingredients into the composition gives a lot more play with and that in turns will let you create a more unique image.

 

4. Use a glass that compliments the drink

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© Dave Dugdale via Flickr Creative Commons 

There is a proper glass for every drink, but avoid using generic glasses. Aside from irritating foodies, generic glasses are not very interesting to look at, whereas specialized glasses come in a variety of unusual shapes.

 

3. Add condensation to the glass by freezing it for five minutes

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© USDA via Wikimedia Commons

Nothing’s as appealing as a cold drink on a hot day. And nothing says cold drink like a perspiring glass. Set your glass in the freezer five minutes before your shoot and when you pull it out it will frost and begin to drip with condensation. For a more dramatic effect, wet the glass before putting it into the fridge. You’ll have to shoot fast–once you pull the glass from the freezer the effect won’t last long.

 

2. Add salt to beer for extra bubbles 

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© Jonathan Gayman

A curious mind will alway ask why when presented with new information about the world, but the busy mind will just say thanks. The science behind why salt adds bubbles to beer is for the latter. As for the rest of us, regular old table salt works the best and you’re welcome. Spread the salt evenly into the beer for a rich, natural look. This tip come from Jonathan Gayman, a man who put more thought into how beer looks than I’ve ever put into how it tastes. For other great beer specific tips check out this post on his website.

His beer looks so good that I want one right now, despite it being ten in the morning as I write this, and that has nothing to do with my being a writer, I promise.

1. Get a super smooth pour with a bottomless bottle

Ever wonder how commercials get that consistent, smooth pour? Odds are they lopped off the bottom of the bottle and funneled the liquid in. Again, there is science behind it and fluid dynamics is pretty high level stuff but the reason behind it is essentially the air coming into the bottle and liquid flowing out aren’t running into each other at mouth of the bottle. Check out the video below for how to remove the bottom of glass bottle with twine and fire.

Now get out there and get shooting some delicious mouthwatering drink photography.

Whatever your purpose and intention in taking photographs of your food and drinks, remember that it is an accepted practice nowadays — no different than other kinds of photography. Just make sure not to make your friends or your date wait forever and starve while you take photographs of your plate!

Our Fall 2014 Cooking Issue  has hit the shelves. Visit the Resource Magazine store to order your copy!