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How to Shoot a Classy Looking Whisky Image With a Simple Setup

Beverage photography is its own genre within the commercial world and some photographers specialize even further by photographing liquor bottles. This is a great tutorial for someone who wants to try their hand at photographing an attractive whisky bottle and beverage, with an affordable setup.

Dustin Dolby of workphlo has dropped another smooth product photography lesson on our laps, here. With his no-nonsense, bare-bones approach to what can be a very daunting type of image to create, he easily guides the viewer through a few steps that, when treated correctly, can produce stylish results. Indeed, with just a mid-range APS-C camera, the Nikon D5100 — the current equivalent being maybe the D5600 — a Yongnuo speedlight, a softbox, and some reflectors, Dolby really does teach you how to get the most out of your equipment. 

Photographing liquids and reflective surfaces like glass is harder than it looks, and this becomes evident the moment you point a speedlight at a product like the one in this video, so the extra diffusion is key. Having a strong vision for the final image is important too, as it helps to focus your attention where it needs to be rather than just shooting bits and pieces that you vaguely think you might need. The danger here is that you could come away with plenty of different options but be missing one or two crucial exposures, which means you may need to reset and reshoot the whole thing again — trust me, I know this from personal experience.

If you enjoyed this, and would like to take a deeper dive into the creative world of product photography, check our own thirteen hour premium tutorial, The Hero Shot.   

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4 Comments

Fristen Lasten's picture

Nice. Thanks!

Dieter B's picture

I'm so trying this .. thanks Mike!

David Vivian's picture

well done, I like his candor and his sensible approach to lighting. There was a tiny blemish on the upper left of the label that I didn't see repaired. Now I want to light up my liquor cabinet. :)

Fristen Lasten's picture

I saw that too, but I am almost certain it was fixed in the final.