Last week I worked with the Seattle-based distillery 2bar Spirits to update a few of their product shots. I was really excited to work with them; shooting glass bottles is a challenge, but I was totally up for it!
Despite the fact I shoot a lot of food and restaurant photography, product photography is more than a small hop from this work. It's a whole other beast. I love environmental shots (cookies on a plate in a kitchen, a dish being served in a restaurant, etc), it feels more authentic to the viewer, especially when being used for a website or marketing materials. However, sometimes you need product shots, plain and simple: white background, no distractions. Lighting is even more important in this situation, no shadows, a beautiful diffused line defining the edges, the label or logo bright and up front (unless subtlety is requested). I had a great time working through the issues that arose and getting the images just like they wanted them. I included a few of my favorites below; can't wait to work on more shots like this in the future.
Working with darker liquid in a clear bottle is especially difficult if your lighting is off, the darker alcohols show off shadows far more intensely.Differences in bottles show up too, you can see the slight change in look and feel of the vodka bottle versus the moonshine. I really like those small differences but with higher-end clients, they want things to look exactly the same across products. It really all depends on personal preference. I played around with closeups of the label too even though it wasn't requested. I love this kind of shot for background images on websites. The simpler they are with the logo or product prominently placed, the better.