Friday, 14 February 2014

INSIDER TIPS: Milkshake Photography

Photograph a milkshake? 
Well you never know what life might send your way! Here are some tips to store, in case you need to.

Preparing the milkshakes:
  1. I used a shaker rather than a hand-blender. This creates a lot more lovely frothy bubbles.
  2. Test the colour of your colourant/flavourant before the shoot. The flavouring I bought (here in Germany) was so natural that my milkshakes wouldn't turn pink and when they did it was a peachy colour. Yes, I did gently tweak the colour in Photoshop.
  3. Have plenty of clean standby glasses to fill with fresh milkshakes. Milkshake bubbles pop, leaving your milkshakes looking dry rather than smooth and frothy. Even better, get a friend to help you, you can bribe them with free milkshakes!

  1. The top of your milkshake needs to be lighter than the side of the glass, but beware that you don't over-light it. The pale froth should still show detail of the bubbles, but look light enough to be airy. Test, test, test.
  2. If lit slightly from behind, the froth looks slightly transparent, airier and bubblier, while light directly from the front can flatten your images and make your froth look more solid.
  3. Remember to place a white reflective card to the opposite side of your light source. Tilt it until you can see a soft fill in glow on the darker side of your glass. (have fun trying to balance it at the right angle)

  1. Start shooting an empty glass with maybe one prop. Make sure your lighting is working before you add the milkshake. 
  2. Props can distract or add to your shot. Remember who's the hero of your photo! I had a variety of pretty props, so naturally I was tempted to include them ALL, but I had to resist! Start with one prop, shoot. Maybe add another or swop them. Remember: LESS IS MORE. (Don't you love my heart-shaped marshmallows?) 
  3. Try different angles, from high to low. In this case I thought showing the top of the milkshake was important.
  4. Experiment with different lenses. I used 2 different lenses in this shoot. My favourite - the 50mm -and a telephoto zoom. The telephoto tends to squash elements in your shot together, creating a feeling that they belong together -they're best friends- while you actually stand miles away (see the shot directly above). A wider angle would exaggerate the space between objects and the perspective of the glass, when you photograph from above . The 50mm allowed me to do the overhead shots without precariously balancing on a ladder.

And you thought I just picked up the camera and went snap-snap! 

(I'm happy to answer questions in the comments below.) 

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