How to Make Fake Ice for Food Photos

There are so many trade secrets in photography, but when I moved into food and drink, I found it almost impossible to get any real info on how to do anything of use.

With all of the food styling hack videos spouting various lies about how we go about our trade, it can be hard to find anything of substance that is accessible, affordable, and easy to do. In this video, I talk about how I added a chilled, straight from the ice box, look on a can of Coke. 

Fake ice cubes were very much in fashion a few years back, and although somewhat out of vogue in a lot of drink genres (still very much the go-to for spirits though), the freshly chilled look is still very much out there in the world of commercial food and drink photography. Guinness is perhaps one of the best-known creators of epic beer adverts over in the UK from a creative standpoint when it comes to TV and still campaigns, and their first TV advertisement produced in 10 years shows this look on both the can and glass. 

There are various ways for this to be achieved, but in this video, I go over the simplest and cheapest way to achieve this look using simple chemicals, matte spray, and the classic glycerine and water combination. The video is super short, but covers everything you need to know to get started. 

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6 Comments

Tom Reichner's picture

Any instructions on how to create BIG chunks of ice? I mean, like, the size of a car hood?

I need to make fake ice to put out on the lake so that when ducks climb up on it to rest and preen, I can simulate winter conditions, even though it'll be springtime, with temps in the 70s.

It has to look exactly like real ice found in nature on frozen rivers and lakes. It has to be very believable, even under pixel-peeping examination.

Any hints or tips on how to do this?

C Fisher's picture

The only thing I can think of is sugar glass, idk if it floats though.

Scott Choucino's picture

epoxy mix shoudl do it, need to test if it floats though

Jon Wolding's picture

A few years ago, on the set of an "As Seen On TV" product commercial (The "Magic Mat" door mat), we used a huge bag of water softener salt to fake snow. Just poured it out on the concrete and stomped on it. Totally convincing for a medium CU. :D

Adam T's picture

make clear bioplastic you can make it on your stove

Jon Wolding's picture

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