Behind The Scenes | Bailey's Irish Cream Shoot

Here is a look at a 4 day photo shoot my studio PRO Photo did for Bailey's Irish Cream through Brand Content in Boston. This job was especially technical due to the bottle's reflective and concave properties. This called for an extra technical and precise lighting setup. The slightest move in any of the lights drastically changed the light shape on the set and bottle. Take a look.

Agency: Brand Content
Client: Bailey's Irish Cream
Photographer: Rob Grimm, PRO Photo
BTS: Gary W Martin, Studio Manager PRO Photo
Music: Franco-Hill

If you would like to see an in depth look at one of our photo shoots in a live setting and see how we use Rosco diffusion, then tune into on Nov 7th, 8th, and 9th where we will be executing 2 live photo shoots for existing clients from start to finish. You can tweet us questions, and see our on set dialogue and set design for two very different beverage photo shoots. Click here to enroll now.

We are also doing an exclusive workshop in the Bahamas this May/June with Fstoppers on Liquids and Product photography. Come be part of the crew, learn our lighting techniques, and learn about the commercial photography industry for advertising. We will be giving away a free workshop ($1,200 value) on our CreativeLIVE workshop mentioned above. So don't miss out!


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Awesome stuff - Rob's the master.

I admire him for his detail. This is also why many companies use cgi. All that setup and I promise you it will still get sent to a retoucher. There are many ways to skin a cat. I just wonder why people do it the hard way.

Gary Winchester Martin's picture

Thanks Michael. Out of curiosity, why wouldn't this get sent to a retoucher or be retouched? Almost every one of our shoots has a setup like this, with this many lights, and every single one, has been retouched.

I won't get into a debate of technique as that is a personal choice. I think you understand my point though.

I'm not debating technique either, but many people have this mind set that CGI is magic. In a 3D environment you still need to set up lighting, select lightning properties and attributes, positioning, and so much more...for JUST the lighting. You still need to create the environment because it interacts with the subject. You need to create an absolutely accurate 3D model of the product with correct surface textures, reflective/transparency properties and so much more. That's just the inorganic material. Add a liquid or garnish, in this case a flavor cue, and the task increases exponentially in complexity. AND the only way to see if everything is correct is the click the "render" button and wait, wait, wait for the computer to output a preview. If it's not exactly right, you adjust, click "render" and wait again. And you still need to send the final image to post for color retouching after all that. Every technique has its advantages and economy of scale certainly enters the equation on a series of shots like this but it frustrates be me when people think 3D is an easy route.

Quentin Decaillet's picture

His work is absolutely stunning! Can't wait to see him on CreativeLive and learn a little bit of his lighting knowledge :)

Mike Kelley's picture

After watching this I am going to re-evaluate my life.

THAT is photography. Jesus!

I agree, crazy stuff indeed... You may want to check out Peter Schafrick and Peter Belanger as well - equally as insane.

arnel dela gente's picture

i will do the same. :S

Scott Bourke's picture

Nice video. Cant wait to catch you guys on CreativeLive. Pity is a 3am wakeup for me in Australia.

Question I have is why it the subject set so far back on the board and not say more towards the centre? Is it to help with the horizon processing in post?

Scott I'm pretty sure they rebroadcast 12hrs later or something, because I'min Australia too

Scott Bourke's picture

Yeah I know that thanks Daniel however the competitions that run alongside the teaching is only live. Good thing about a 3am start means by 9am I've watched it all and can go about my day. :)

Gary Winchester Martin's picture

The closer the bottles/flavor cues are to the lens, the wider and more distorted they get. This distance, we've found, is approximately the best distance for the 120mm Hassy lens. The right compression and depth of field with subjects in relation to each other, basically.

Gary Winchester Martin's picture

I miss Australia, btw. Lived in Wollongong for a year! Awesome country!

Scott Bourke's picture

Thanks for the extra info regarding the bottle distance Garry. Cant wait for the creativeLive broadcast. Ahh the good old Gong. I grew up in Coffs Harbour but these days live in Brisbane.

Gotta love Rob's lighting set ups, and his attention to detail. The videos you did with Aaron Nace were great and certainly nailed you guys to the top of my 'must follow' blogroll. I presume Baileys haven't published the final shots yet? I'd really like to see the finished result!

I want to kill myself.

Looks like he needs a refresher on using grip equipment... the gobo heads are used in the absolute WRONG position at 2:27 and at 2:34. Lefty-loosey, righty-tighty, anyone? The lamp shown at 2:34 is in serious danger of falling down from its set position onto his nice set. I suspect the only reason it may have not fallen during the shoot is due to the light weight nature of the strobe head. The guy seems like he knows what he's doing, it's shocking that this obvious mistake is overlooked. Proper handling of c-stands and gobo heads is elementary to grip and lighting.

I'll leave him to his own craft - he can hang whatever expensive stuff he wants.

I MUST have missed something, I watch the whole BTS and get so excited to see the final image from all that intricate prep and I don't get to see it? Or are they not ready? Don't leave me hanging! :)

NOW, let me share with you my super duper elaborate setup. FIRST, I'm using a whopping 3 1/2 speedlights. Yes, a half. I have a customized Vivitar 285hv, complete with a broken shoe and an itchy trigger finger. NEXT, to color my expensive lighting I'm using the ROSCO Strobist pack. Now, be careful, these can be lost very easily and cost about five whole dollars for the entire pack.
Jeez. just when I thought I had enough, this guy shows up with the entire BnH catalog in his studio. lol.

Michael Collins's picture

I'd love to hear Rob talk more about his use of a grid AND diffusion material on the same light. I can't imagine that the grid serves the same function it would without the diffusion, but it must do something.

A BTS video is essentially useless if you can't see the final product - to see what all those lights are actually doing. Like if I was showing you how to make a meal and just took a video of all my groceries sitting in the bag.

Edit: Rob Grimm is awesome and his BTS videos are usually awesome, this one just isn't up to his normal standard IMO.