Key Tips To Use Props Effectively While Photographing Cocktails

From choosing the right glassware to garnishes, props play an important role in creating a visual that looks enticing enough for the viewer to feel like they’re tasting a concoction. Besides food, drinks are also a great part of hospitality and a dining experience, and hence, making them look as appealing as the dishes they might accompany, allows the viewer to get a sense of what they might get in return. Using small details and elements are a great way to add colour, contrast, texture and make an image seem visually informative.

Right Glassware

Picking the right kind of serving medium for your cocktail is one of the basics of making your drink appear attractive. For this, an understanding of what glasses are appropriate for the kind of drink you want to serve is extremely important, along with the mood you’re trying to achieve. For amateur photographers, a safe bet would be to use versatile options like a high ball or rock glass; or even something with texture to go easy with the props or garnishes. Additionally, patterned glassware is great for when you want the drink to be the highlight of the picture.

Narrating A Story

A great way to create a narrative with your images is by including various cocktail paraphernalia like shakers and other barware within the frame. Having these in the backdrop of your shot conveys the idea of a freshly made drink or the effort that went into crafting it. Choose between a glass shaker or opt for one that has a matte metallic finish.

Add Decorations & Garnishes

Props like stirrers, cocktail sticks, straws and umbrellas increase the visual appeal of a drink almost instantaneously, while also adding to the narrative that is meant to be conveyed. These elegant touches are descriptive of the setting in which a potential viewer would want to sip the cocktail – for instance, the umbrella communicates a tropical mood and beachy vibe in your picture. To add to this, a cocktail photograph is incomplete without some kind of garnish. Olives in a martini glass or citrus slices in a mojito are the ideal finishing touches which add flavour context to drinks.

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Action & Human Touch

Any kind of movement or human element adds great character to a picture, especially if it is seen holding a drink or stirring one. You could also use pouring jugs, which simulate the act of serving a drink. Add dynamism to the image and a dose of liveliness through these simple details is a great way to enhance the impact the final image will have on the viewer.

Work With Ice

Given how easily ice can melt, it still is an integral aspect of cocktail photography. Use differently shaped ice cubes in varying sizes for different types of drinks – use crushed ice for frozen cocktails, large ice cubes for whiskey-based ones and evenly-sized ones for another drink. Investing in ice trays that produce various shapes is a great idea to so that you have ample options to work with. You could also use fake ice cubes while you set up the drink and the lighting, and then bring out real ice when you are ready to photograph your drink.