How to photograph beverages?

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Thirsty? Then it is time to relax and get a cool refreshing drink. And while you are at it, go click-crazy and shoot them!

Clicking pictures of drinks – cold and hot—is slightly different than clicking food photos. For instance, natural light rarely works in our favour unless you are shooting hot tea or coffee.

Most of the time, you would be shooting in dim light inside pubs, bars or restaurants. So you need to be well versed with the technicalities of shooting in low light.

Also, using external flash or supporting lights to light up the setting is important. This is to assist you in getting a nice shine on the glass in which the beverage is held.

But never, ever use the built-in flash as it will hit the glass directly and create one shiny blob on the surface which will look very ugly.

1. Cold drinks: The key to a good photograph of any cold drink is condensation. Those drops of water forming on the outside of the glass gives an indication of how cool the drink is, and that should reflect in the photo. The condensation should hold up long enough to get your shots in. Here is a trick: food stylists use a mixture of glycerine and water, carefully sprayed on, to make gorgeous little beads of water.

2. Cocktails and mocktails: The key to photographing any cocktail is to capture the colour and youthfulness of the drink. So focus more on the colours or the decorations on the glass, like the lemon wedge on the glass, or the umbrella on top of it. Use a white background to bring out the colours.

3. Alcohol or liqueur: In most such drinks, the shape of the bottle and the glass holds more class and charm than the drink itself. So include the bottle, or a part of it showing the label at least, in the photo. The drink would mostly be either colourless or in shades of brown. You can adjust the lighting to bring out a golden sparkle in the drink or the bottle.

4. Champagne: The flute and the sparkling nature of the drink makes it a great item to photograph up close. Try to zoom in as much as possible to capture the bubbles in the drink.

5. Hot beverages: Capture the steam to indicate the temperature of the drink. Hot beverages like tea and coffee should be shot in such a way, that the light brings out the silver lining of the steam beautifully. 

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