Photography & travel tips from an award-winning photographer, educator & wanderlust

Creative ways to photograph beer

While being married to a very passionate, borderline obsessive beer brewer and connoisseur, I (the family photographer) find myself at a regular crossroads of creatively photographing yet another beer. At times, I have off camera flashes, backgrounds, tripods and other accessories at my avail, but more often then not  – I don’t. More often than not we’re traveling and drinking or drinking and traveling and my shooting angles/props/lenses are very limited. Thankfully, slurping on a single beer, my creative juices usually start flowing, all the while my husband starts rolling his eyes as I start rearranging things on our table, move chairs/tables out of my way and even turn a part of the venue into my own studio (it helps when no onlookers are around and the shop keepers are usually welcome of this).

  • Interesting background/foreground

While trying not to distract attention from the actual beer, find a background that can compliment as well as tell a story about this beer/it’s location or how it was made.

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  • Shadow play

While most novice photographers don’t pay a lot of attention to the shadows, they can be very artistic even when photographing your favorite beverage. Remember, shadows highlight the shape of the subject and can also help to explain what it is the viewer is looking at.

Taken during the harshest part of the day, around noon, the shadows created here have strong contrast and draw interest to the brightly colored caps.

 

  • Go macro, or go home

A great way to make your beer shots standout from others, is to utilize accessories. Owning a macro lens is great for insect photography as well close up shots of practically anything, including that yummy Pale Ale.

 

  • Frame it!

Include frames in your images, to lead the viewer’s eye to your subject. You can use windows, doors, branches, trees or anything else to frame your favorite IPA.

  • Backlight it like a pro

Use a small source of light in a dimly lit space to showcase the colors/logo of your favorite brewery.

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  • Action shots

Even though a beer sitting on a table looks mighty delicious, the whole point of it is to drink it. So why not show some happy customers downing that frothy brew.

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  • Make them dizzy

Use the zoom feature of your lens and a shorter shutter speed to create this shot
  • If all else fails, copy like an artist

We were sitting in a busy restaurant, when we tried a new Vietnamese beer we haven’t seen before. There were no other interesting ways of taking this beer’s picture, so I replicated what I saw.

When all else fails, copy creatively.

While photographing a can, a bottle or draft beer may not be the most exciting type of photography, getting creative with it, is a fun and challenging hobby (at least for me). I hope that this post has helped you in learning more about improving your product photography whether its on the go or at a studio. Keep your creative juices flowing if it requires 1, 2 or 5 beers to get you there! lol

Happy shooting!

Pin me if you drink beer!


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14 comments

  1. I love how this applies to any still life or really any shot! I get you that photographing the same subject over and over gets a bit, tedious. These tips will definitely come in handy for me. I get so tired of photographing food that I just ditch those articles in favor of sight seeing spots, or something entirely different. Now I’ll be able to bring some much needed energy back to my photos! Cheers.

  2. Thanks for all these tips! I’m not into drinking beer but I’m into photography tips! It’s very helpful for influencers who make product reviews. These days photographers use the cherry blossoms as the background of their spring themed subjects.

  3. Thanks for providing some great tips for shooting a subject like beer. Usually I just point and shoot and hope for the best haha but I want to get into photography more and be able to properly take a photo.

    • You’re welcome! To me, that’s why photography is exciting, because you get to create a story instead of just pointing and shooting something. It’s challenging with a stationary beer/glass, but that’s the challenge isn’t it…

  4. This post is inspiring on several levels. First, I need a beer. Second, I should put the beer down and pick up my camera more often! As others have said, these are great tips for detail photography in general, but you’ve done a superb job in reminding your readers that there are photographic opportunities in all activities and situations.

    • I often have the same challenge of prying the beer out of my husbands hands before he gets to drink it and ruin the foam. His favorite shots are – action shots of course, as long as it doesn’t turn into a chugging shot (because the beer is so good) 🙂

  5. Beer! Craft beer makes me so happy and I miss the variety so much that reading about how much your hubby loves this beverage makes me happy haha. Thanks for these helpful tips by the way! I have a food instagram (check it @savoritup) so implementing these tips will be helpful to create more aesthetically pleasing pics of a good brew! I love the pic of the beer in the window, it’s so artsy and right up my alley!

  6. Cool photos! Could’ve done with these tips before the Daejeon beer festival haha will have to try some of these next time we have a drink! Although most of the time I’m too desperate to take a sip before I think to take the camera out!

  7. These are some great tips! I prefer action shots or going macro when I take most photos, but now I really wanna play with shadows. I’ll have to try the framing tip tho, it looks wickedly cool.

    • Thanks Star! Shadows photography doesn’t get a lot of preference, since it makes for a moody/dark image which is not really the message beer companies are trying to send. For creativity sake, play with those shadows and play often, especially if you want to stand out from other beer photographers.

  8. This is awesome. I love those macro shots. I have definitely been in the bar on a beer tasting and thinking.. hmm.. photographing beer isn’t super easy. Might not be super artistic, but you always want to make whatever hte subject is more appealing. Great tips as usual!

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