Of all the many things I’ve been asked to photograph, bottles hold a special place in my mind, but not necessarily for good reasons. Some of my earliest utter failures as a photographer came when trying to photograph bottles. The combination of reflections, labelling, outline, contour, colour and light transmission, turns some bottles into a thoroughly nasty set of technical challenges. It took me a good number of years before I felt confident that I could bring a bottle to heel in the studio.
I recently had the privilege of making some new product photographs for Jack Black’s Brewing co. including, obviously, bottles! Fortunately the brief was very simple, calling for restrained lighting and plain white backgrounds. Also included in the shoot were four pack carriers, and beer in branded glassware. The lighting set up was identical for all the bottles, with only minor tweaks for the glassware and carrier pack shots, with precision and attention to detail in the initial set-up allowing us to work through all the different shots quite quickly.
The shoot day went smoothly, with the biggest issues being getting going again after a lovely fish and chips lunch, getting all the dust off the bottles for the un-spritzed shots, and getting the sticky mess of the studio floor after a slightly over enthusiastic pour for one of the glassware shots.
Post production was limited to deep etching (which was a breeze because of the nice clean white backgrounds), a bit of dust clean-up, and a spot of label repair on some of the carriers
All in, it was a very pleasant shoot day, and I’d like to thank Jack Black’s Brewing co. for the chance to make some photographs for them, and marketing coordinator Frans, for playing photographic assistant for the day!
And in case anyone is wondering, I will accept assertively hopped, barley based beverages as (part) payment for my services.