Cocktails & Drinks Photography without a studio or expensive lights setup | Georgi Petrov | Skillshare

Cocktails & Drinks Photography without a studio or expensive lights setup

Georgi Petrov, Drinks & People Photographer

Cocktails & Drinks Photography without a studio or expensive lights setup

Georgi Petrov, Drinks & People Photographer

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12 Lessons (1h 1m)
    • 1. Class Introduction

    • 2. Equipment you need to start

    • 3. Recommended Lenses

    • 4. Recommended Lighting

    • 5. Backdrops & Backgrounds

    • 6. Props

    • 7. Camera setting

    • 8. Still Life Photo - part 1

    • 9. Still Life Photo - part 2

    • 10. Lifestyle Photo - part 1

    • 11. Lifestyle Photo - part 2

    • 12. Final Thoughts and Project

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About This Class


Welcome to your drinks photography class. In this class, you will learn how to take beautiful shots of cocktails & beverages in your home without the need for expensive lights or a studio. Drinks Photography is a form of Still Life Photography, and I want to show you how to get amazing results with minimum lighting and equipment.

The class-main object shows you how to use continuous lights to create quality images you can share on social media or your website. This class is not for high-end product or beverage photography.

All you need for this class is your camera, light source from your window, worker light or LED panel to continuous light with a softbox and most of all, your imagination and creative mind.

I use continuous inexpensive lights for over a year now, growing my Instagram to 16K followers in less than 15 months because of images quality and creative composition.

Join me and see how you can improve your drinks photography or still life photography without complicated lights setup or the need for a photo studio.

Please, don't hesitate to get in touch with any questions or if you need help.

Thank you



If you are using your phone for photography, you can check these apps:

  • Pro Camera by Moment
  • VSCO
  • Adobe Photoshop Camera

For vinyl backgrounds and backdrops, check:



Meet Your Teacher

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Georgi Petrov

Drinks & People Photographer




My name is Georgi, proud dad of two beautiful daughters married for a most amazing person; my wife and I love creating, cooking and travel.

Apart from working as a freelance graphic designer, I am a professional photographer who loves taking pictures of cocktails, beverages and people portraits. As a professional mixologist for over 20 years, I decided to bring my knowledge of cocktails together with my photography and created Just Shake or Stir on Instagram. With over 20K followers, I decided to start my journey on YouTube and finally on Skillshare.

I believe in the continuous learning of new skills, and I am here to share my knowledge with you.

See full profile

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1. Class Introduction: Hey, welcome to my bar. Welcome to my small studio at home. My name is George, and I am a product and drinks and cocktails. Photographer, slash mixilogist, and bartender. Yes. For many years I've been behind the bar and for many years I've been shooting different scenarios in pictures. untill, decide to combine both of them and start working on product and cocktails photography. In this class, I'm going to show you that you don't need expensive lighting. You don't need a massive studio, and you don't need very expensive gear to start. creating beautiful images of cocktails and drinks for your social media, or why not? Even for a client's, brands, different beverages, and so on. So here is my room guys, first of all, to show you a very quick because so you realize it's not very important to have a massive room. As you can see, everything happened in this room, which is three-meter by 3.5 meters. I have my bar, I have my shooting space, I have my computer and desk when I editing and work. And this is it, so you don't really need much. So if you're ready, I'm not going to waste much of your time. I hope you are going to enjoy this class, but less jump to the first lesson and let's talk about equipment. You may need to start with your cocktail and drinks photography. 2. Equipment you need to start: Okay, guys, I hope you're ready for this lesson. You've seen the room when I work, it's a very small room, but this is where 90 percent of the work is done for my clients or for my personal Instagram, for my website. Pretty much 90 percent of the photography. I have a studio, a big studio, but this is totally different because this is where I run my portrait photography, my commercial products photography, because I need more space when we talk about Cocktail photography and when we talk about doing photography for, let's say Instagram or a website, or for a client's maybe a few planning to work with some brands. You don't really need a big room or you need it's the right gear. And we've all heard the saying the gear doesn't matter. Pretty much. It's true. Maybe 90 percent is true because you can start with your phone seriously, you can start with your phone these days the forms have such a good advanced cameras. And also, there are tons of good photo apps which we gone, which is going to give you the ability to control lights, to control aperture, to control ISO shutter speed, and everything beyond the build-up in your phone. So I'm gonna leave some links for our recommended top which I've used and I like so you may want to try them. They all work on both IOS or Android phones, so it's absolutely fine if you want to start just with your form, start just with your phone. If you already have a camera, that's fine. But remember from me, you don't need to start spending a lot of money. To start with your Cocktail photography. You can start small, slowly and more, you progress, and more you feel the need of upgrading because the actual camera which using at the moment, it doesn't deliver the quality or the requirements you need, then you can upgrade. Okay, So as I say, first equipment, your phone, it's in your pocket, start straight away. The second one, it's a small mirrorless camera. I am using Canon M50. You can use any comment of this calibre from Sony, Fuji, Canon, whatever you decide, even if you get the normal KIT which is coming with a kit lens, it's a good start for you. They're easy to work. They're good quality, good pixels. All the options you have in the camera and the kit lens, It's absolutely fantastic to get you started before you decide to upgrade to another lens. So a small mirrorless camera, it's absolutely fine. Then if you want to have great more or if you feel you, it doesn't deliver what you need. You can go to like. Beginner to professional camera. In this case, I'm using IOS RP from Canon. And this is still beginner level, probably, I think that's how they qualify it. I didn't feel the need to yet to upgrade to something, bigger or more expensive and more complicated for the job I'm doing at the moment, and for all my work for social and for clients, I'm absolutely fine. However, it's your decision. It's your budget. You can decide, but trust me, you don't need to go and spend lots of money thinking that the better gear is going to make you a better photographer or is going to deliver Performance. No, the camera, It's essential, but most important is the lenses which we're going to talk about in the next lesson. Also, gear which you need apart from the camera. So obviously, no matter all you need, you're going to need a tripod. Now depends where you should think. If you shooting on a surface when you have a big table, you can go with a small tripod like this. You may not need to bigger tripod because if you have a long table, and you shooting your Cocktail here, and you are from this site. All you need to do it's one small tripod shooting, Cocktail photography hand-held, not recommended. You may introduce some shakes and blurriness to the photos you want to focus on and should the proper composition with all the clarity you can get from the picture. Okay, so a small tripod it will do. Now, if you're in a room like mine, and you have different setups around, and you want to move in, you want to be versatile. You're going to have to invest in one of these tripods, like any good tripods, which it's big enough and tall enough for you to move around and change the levels and obviously get the shot which you on from bottom to top, maybe from the side, gentlemen, from faraway. This is very good. Also, you can get one of those Joby Gorillapod. They also work fantastic. No matter what you decide, you're going to need a tripod. Definitely. So camera tripod and finally lenses, which we're going to talk a little bit more about in the next lesson. More depth about lenses. And this is regarding equivalent of and just the last thing. If you go with an iPhone or an Android phone or anything, you got on each one of these like a phone holder, they have the three-quarter threat on the back, which can go on any tripod on the bottom or this way. So you can keep steady your phone and four lenses to avoid any reflections, you can invest in a polarizing filter. Now, polarized filter, It's basically we're working with that reflection. So it's one of those that depends on your lens. You have to look at the diameter and get exactly for your lens. But when you spin it around the polarized filter, eliminate some of the reflections from the glass because you're going to work with glass. obviously, if you're doing Cocktail photography, not necessarily, but good things to have and they're not very expensive. You don't need to buy something extremely expensive. You need to buy a good brand, which is going to give you enough option to remove some of the reflection. And this is it, this is all unit apart from one more thing which is going to have totally separate less than four. And this is the lights. Lights is very important. Now, if you have fantastic cameras and everything, but you don't have the right lights, you may struggle to get the proper picture. So I'll see you in the next lesson where we're going to talk about lenses a little bit more. 3. Recommended Lenses: Ok, guys, we've seen what we need for our Cocktail photography. And as I mentioned, you can start with your phone off, put it away now. But if you decide to start with your phone, you can look for maybe external lenses, these tons of good options out there. If you want to give more wide-angle to your form, and you have more option to catch their composition. However, most of the phones these days offering two lenses, different options, so you may don't need even to get this. Let's concentrate on cameras. So I use 50mm, which is the nifty fifty, I use it probably most of the time. Then I use the 22mm on my M50. And these are the two prime lenses that I'm using 99 per cent of the time. A pretty much they never move from the camera, depends on the situation. But pretty much, they never moved out of the camera. On some occasions, I use 85mm, but most of the time, I use it in my studio because 85mm needs a little bit more space between you and your subject or your cocktail in your composition so you can catch everything. It's not that wide open like the 22mm or 50mm, but I still use it. It's fantastic. And is probably one of my favourites, however, I am not using it that much in this room here, more in the studio, but it's a good investment. And finally, I have 24 to 70. This is primarily are used for video. Probably I'm using 10 per cent of the time. Maybe. It's more about videos, so you can ignore that lens. But I wanted to show you that it's a good solution to have a zoom lens if you want to. Not necessarily when it comes to cocktail photography, when it's come to still photography and objects. For me, my personal opinion and experience. A prime lens which doesn't have moving parts. It doesn't have all these zoom in and out. It's fantastic because it's delivering the best crisp quality. So to summarize this one, if you want to upgrade, let's say for example, because I shoot with Canon. So I'm going to speak about Canon, but it's pretty much the same. Let's say if you get the Canon M50, you probably gonna get with a kit lens, which it's 15 to 45. This is giving you, it's a zoom lens, but still good because it's giving you a very good wide option on a 15mm. And also, you can zoom in and zoom out. The only downside, it's the f-stop. I think it's 3.5, so it doesn't give you too much light, it doesn't bring too much lights to the sensor. And you're going to need some more lighting. When we the 22mm here at the moment, This is going down to F2, and with a 50mm, I'm going down to 1.8. So this is giving me enough lighting, is bringing enough lighting to the sensor. Most of the time, I use only one light unit. So it's up to you. But if you are thinking of upgrading, start with something wide prime lens with a good f-stop, at least 1.8. Because if you're going down to 1.4 or 1.2, they cost a lot. So 1.8 is good solution. And if you're looking to start with social media, to share on your social media, you're absolutely fine because you won't be required to deliver images to clients for print. When if you progressed to this stage, then you're going to start upgrading your lenses. So these is the lenses which I use. These are the lenses which I recommend. Any questions you can always get in touch with me, It's a good start for you to start with one of those lenses and work your way up. Slowly upgrading when it's needed. This is for this part now, and I'll see you in the next one when we're going to talk about lightning. 4. Recommended Lighting: Now when I talk about Cocktail photography, some of the things which I talk about in this class, It's absolutely related to any still photography. You may decide to shoot a food photography or a small product or anything which it's still photography. All of these like cameras, lenses, light applying to exact same subjects. You just need to decide what you want to use. So when it comes to lighting, this is one of my setup here, which we're going to talk more in-depth when it's come to the backdrops and backgrounds. This is a, as you can see, I have a light on the top, just a single light. This one is continuous LED lights, so you don't have the options to dim the light, to change the bi-colors. With this light, you need to play with your camera setting when it's come to the shutter speed to aperture, to f-stop, you need to adjust your camera. The good things whit this light is because they come in pair of two and they're extremely cheap. I think this one, it's cost around between $50 to $70, something like this for two units. So when you buy them, you can have one on the top as I use, or you can have them stand on both sides of your table whenever you shoot. And you can have your subject light up perfectly. You can play with them when in a different situation you can bring them away from the subject, one of them if you want to have a little bit less light on one site in to be like fill light, and other one be your key light and so on and so forth. A very good solution is this light. The next one, it's LED panels. Now, this is one which I used sometimes. You can see the LED panel with the barn doors so I can control the lighting. And if I move it here, I have just one light setup. For example, this one. Now we will use sometimes when I want to introduce some shadows. The composition may be like a hard shadow or something like that. But also they come with a diffuser in the front. And this diffuser is movable. So you can maybe slide a gel inside like a coloured gel, for example, we need some colour. You can slide them behind the diffuser and introduce colour to your pictures, if you want to have some fill colour. So that's another option. Another cheap, very cheap option is to buy yourself a ring. Yes. This drink also, it's been fantastic for me. I've delivered, again so many pictures, not for clients with this, but for my Instagram. It's absolutely fantastic because this one has bi-colours. Let me just switch it on, actually, so I can show you and the best thing since it's USB power. So I can basically just power it here from my computer if I wanted the moment. If I want to use it for something, and there you go, you have the option to change the colours so you can have the cold white, or you can have warm, or you can put them together. And obviously, you have brightness and everything. It's coming with a tripod, it's coming with baw head. So, for example, you may want to shoot something from the top. You can shoot through through the ring, and you have your composition light up evenly. Another light, which we are going a little bit higher here in price is the one which I'm filming at the moment. I want to show you now that's going to blow my face. But at least you can see what's happening. I have continuous LED light here. This is the Godox SL 60. And it's with lntern box. Now the soft boxes, I didn't want to introduce them to this class because I'm going to make a class for more advanced photography and more kind of like productive and commercial photography. Then we're going to talk about softboxes. But there are many. You can buy a square softbox, you can buy a strip. You can buy an Octabox. I decide to go with a lantern because it's 360 degree is giving me very nice soft light. And I'm using both for pictures and video. You can start with a light like that. So as you can see, this one have different gels. Let me show you this one. It's coming with different gels, in different colours. And I can just change from yellow to white with a diffuser. It's working on the battery and also has DC power. So you can plug-in DC power, and you can still have, you can still have enough lighting to light your subject and to make the picture happen. So there's many options, guys there. As I say, any questions, make sure to contact me. And if you doubt about something, should you buy or No, make sure you contact me, and I'll give you my best advice and expertise. And this is, so you need to start with lighting. Now, we're going to move forward. And then you're going to see how I'm using the lighting when I shot. And then we're going to talk more about all these equipment, lenses, tripods, lighting, and how to combine them all together for the best kind of a workflow for you and for the best way to set up and decide which kind of equipment you need to start your Cocktail or still photography. I'll see you in the next lesson. 5. Backdrops & Backgrounds: So the first thing, the easiest thing, is to set up a corner or a place where you want to work and set it up. And that's where you can start slowly before start experimenting with different angles with different compositions. The easiest way to do, it needs to start with some paper backdrops, which you can go and get from your creative shop if you have something around you like I did. Now, let me show you here. I have a gray cardboard. This is all from my creative shop for painters, creators. You just go, and you can buy different colours. I have black, which is with the reflection. And then you can get probably something like this. White just to give you like a reflection cart. Or you can even go and get different colours if you want to go more extreme. You can get something like this red anything like that. The colours, the sky's the limit. Another good investments is this foam board. I use them a lot. First of all, sometimes, when I want to shoot on white, I have a good reflection from the foam board or some time maybe lighting a subject from the side with one light, and I want this board to reflect some light back. So if I put now this bottle here, I have the light coming from this way, but I have also reflection, which is going to fill up the site of the bottle or the glass or anything. Good investment. They don't cost anything. You can buy. Quite a few of them might have three or four here, and you can use them. So another option is to get double printed vinyl backdrops. Now this one, as you can see, is wood on the side and wood on this side, but it's obviously a different texture. Also. This one is kind of a stone. And on the other side, it's a different kind of stone texture. And finally, I have one which is permanently like. This is also doubled while I decide not to use the other side, and I decide to use these always. So this is always attached to form boards because I moved this on different surfaces, and I want it to be steady. Obviously, ready to go. Another option, lifestyle photography. Obviously, I use my bar here, but you can use your table. But this is also a good surface to put your glass for your cocktail and then maybe introduce on the back a black background. And there you go. You have the composition already set up. Also, as I mentioned, you can use your kitchen table, or you can set up something on the side like in the previous lesson with the lighting. You've seen the light which I have from the top. This is permanently set up with clips on the wall. Let me actually show you. This is set up directly on my wall, and I have clips here on both sides which I can click different backgrounds. And I'm setting up this at the moment, but this is a simple laminate flooring. My bar. It's made with laminate flooring. And you can get from your DIY store if you go most of the time they have clearance or they have damaged packages, and you can go and get them for next to nothing. And you can create your own proper good backdrops or backgrounds. And this is it. And then, as I showed you earlier, the one which it's always set up. Let me just show you so you can see what I talk about. This is if I want to use this setup, I just put it in like this. I have the backdrop on them. I have the light from the top. I'll put my Cocktail here. And I shoot. Simple as that. And just to prove it to you, you can use any space in your house. I use my underbar counter here some time for photography. As you can see, I have on the bottom a laminate which I both from the DIY shop. It was damaged. So I bought it very cheap. And I have my bar made with again, another DIY laminate flooring. And also I install under a LED strip so I can put light on the top. And if I need, I can introduce one of my LED panels on the small stand on the side. Also. I got some cork, which is a wallpaper / insolation. And I can use it again as a backdrop or background or anything. You can use your living room. Yeah. You can use you see Fire Place or a wallpapered wall. Or you can even shoot using lights from your window, put your table, dining table and make the composition and everything here. He's having a great time here. Yeah. Hey. So this is it, guys. As you can see, the limit for using different surface, different backdrops, different composition. It's only your imagination. You can start simply with the paper like I start two years ago, when I start with Instagram. That's how I started Instagram. And then, slowly, I started adapting my space. I start trying different situations, scenarios, different compositions. Until I slowly narrowed down the things which worked for me, for my style, for my liking. And I start pushing this, and they start bringing the clients and start growing my Instagram and everything because I built a style, it will take time. In the next lesson, we're going to talk about props, and then we're going to go to the action of shooting. So for now, take a rest, have a coffee and I'll see you in the next lesson. 6. Props: Okay, so we cover equipment, we covered lenses, cameras, tripods, backdrops, lighting, everything to start creating. Okay, one last thing you need before you actually start creating, of course, you can start just with this, but you're going to need some props. In the beginning. You may start without anything. I strongly suggest to go and have a look my Instagram and go back in the days when I start with Instagram, and you'll see the difference between what I'm doing now and when I start, and you see the progress, the changing of styles, the changing of composition, and the way how I slowly established my new style. Which the moment, it's the one which I really love, and it seems everybody else. But that's not the point. The point is when I started in the beginning, I start simple as well. I started just with the papers, maybe just something small on the side like a prop. And then slowly I started involving can start getting things and props, it's everything. Okay. It doesn't have to be something. Just again, bought specially for this best place to find props, charity shops, antiques, which it's not something expensive. I'm saying antiques but not like proper antiques. You can get old stuff or anything. Make sure you treat the things which you buy as a prop, okay, do not spend too much money. It's a prop; you're gonna use it for a picture once, twice, maybe five times, and maybe not use it again for a year. So don't go crazy and buying things, speak with friends, families, see what you can get. Decide what is your style. For example, I use some of my cars collection I've been buying when I'm travelling around and just find them. Masks. We bought this with my wife in Venice when we were years ago, still using a skeleton. This is like the skull It's for Halloween parties, costs like three pounds from a shop for decoration, but I use it. And actually, it's been used for a client's, for their website, for their products with her Rums. And they loved it. But it doesn't matter. It's three pounds is the matter is to use it in the right composition, in the right picture. Obviously, the right prop for the right message. Okay? So not much to talk about probes apart from start experimenting. First speak with friends, families, gathered things, speak. We also maybe on Facebook, put a message if anybody's throwing something, maybe you're after something. Let's say you want some fruit basket, or you want something else. Don't go crazy to buy stuff, okay? But get props. Props is very important. It could be just your flowers from the living room. Because when you have a cocktail, Depends on the scenario, It depends on the Cocktail, It depends on the message you want to send with this picture. If, let's say it's a whiskey Cocktail, which is nice and warm. You might put some wooden props around, something like I have an ashtray here. don't light a cigarette Just put the ashtray. You know what I mean, you can put the I have a Zippo. I have like a Zippo light, which I don't use, but I can use it. I have casino chips, you know, for playing. So, you know, the whiskey, it's one of those like a heavy mood smokey, nice and warm. So think about that, but then maybe you're doing some tropical Cocktail. Why not introduce some tropical props to it, you know, I mean, it could be just a nice hats, sunglasses, anything, anything, guys, it's working. As far you don't overdo it. Okay. Remember the props is there to compliment your Cocktail, to give something to the composition, to don't have so much like empty negative space. So it's kind of a fill-up the frame, but doesn't overload it and doesn't bring the attention away from the Cocktail. However, saying all of that, you may decide to have just the clear photography, which it's only the backdrops with a cocktail. And that's, it's your bottle which you using maybe for this Cocktail, could be the prop, could be a shaker. If you're using shakers, could be bar spoons, could be a strainer. you can put one of those jiggers. Whatever you decide. As I say, it's absolutely your decision. If you want to go minimal, you want to just play with lights in with the backdrops and a background. Absolutely fine. If you want to create more how they call them instagrammable photos or whatever they call them. Yeah. You may need some props. It's entirely up to you, but remember, don't go crazy, don't go buying stuff. Start with friends, families and charity shops. A very cheap option, a very good place to start. And when you find out your style, and what you're actually want to do, then you may start investing in something more expensive. I always gonna say that start slowly, start small and grow. When you find out what exactly it's your message and what exactly it's your style. And this is all about everything technical. So the next lesson is going to be about how to prep your glass. Then we're going to talk about composition. And we're going to take two shots. One with the backdrops and backgrounds, and one lifestyle. And I'll show you quick editing, and we are done. For now. Enjoy, take a rest, and I'll see you in the next lesson. 7. Camera setting: Okay, guys, so before we start with the shooting, before we move to the two different compositions like setup still photography and lifestyle photography, just a quick kind of clarifying to everyone about camera settings. Now, most of you probably hear people saying always should manure. Yes, If you're confident enough, if you know your camera, if you understanding every single aspect and option in the camera, Yes. Shoot manual because you have full control of every auction of the camera. But if you just starting, if you're not sure, if you keep learning your camera setting, There's nothing wrong to shoot with some help from the camera. When you're doing still photography, one of your best friends is going to be the aperture priority. So you don't need to shutter priority most of the time because nothing is moving. Okay. Maybe in the lifestyle photography, but in the lifestyle, I will show you how to shoot in the manual focus, so you don't need to worry about the shutter priority as well. So if you don't feel confident, make sure you set up your camera on aperture priority. This is going to give you the best results because you can set up your shooting speed and ISO. And once you take one or two test shots and you're ready, you can just get ready your drink or whatever composition you doing. Whatever, if you're doing a cocktail or just the simple drink. And then you can shoot your images. I want to clarify for everyone manual shooting. It's not always necessary. This is why the cameras have all the options, automatic priority of aperture or shutter speed priority. Is there to use. It's nothing wrong. If you feel more confident and more relaxed, then you know, this is the way you want to go. Just use whatever. Do not let yourself being pushed by people saying, if you don't shoot manual, you are not a real photographer or things like that. Okay. Do me a favor. Just do it your way and find the best way of working for you. I'll shoot today the first shot on a 50-millimetre lens, with my canon RP. And we're going to do it here on the set setting. So it's going to be just a single cocktail, maybe a few shots with the bottles. Then we're gonna go to another lesson. We lifestyle photography. Another thing I wanted to mention, make sure you have an idea of what you want to shoot. Make sure you get prepared. And in the next lesson, I'm going to show you how to prepare everything. And we're going to shoot the first set, which is going to be as still photography with one glass and maybe few extra shots with the bottles. And this is it. So remember, Shoot manual, if you feel confident or if you want to experiment, go for it. But if not, nothing wrong to go in aperture mode or shooter speed mode, whatever it's working best for you. Okay, I'll see you in the next lesson where I'm going to prepare a cocktail, walk you through the whole shooting process and have some fun. See you soon. 8. Still Life Photo - part 1: Okay, guys, so we are ready. Now. This is where it's going to happen. Everything today, I will prepare here so you can see the whole preparation. And obviously, I'm going to have to make the Cocktail from outside of the bar, not from inside. Because when I set up this kind of a floating table here, I don't have free access much behind the bar, so I need to make sure everything is there. First of all, I will set up my camera, my backdrops, everything, lighting. I'm going to test shot with an empty glass. So I know all my setting it's ready, then I'm ready to prepare the cocktail, pour in the glass and take the first few shots, which is going to be the hero shot before the glass start, creating too much condense and maybe start leaking. You don't want that because of course, you can do it, and then you can adjust in the post-production. But it's very vital is very important to take the first few shots when it's everything fresh. And then you can play with different scenarios. May be moving the bottle, or maybe you want to introduce the ingredients used in the cocktail. So you can move the cocktail backwards and put the bottles in the front and focus on the bottle this way, your cocktail is going to be more blurry. It's not going to matter. If have some of the condensation leaking down because you're presenting the actual products used in this cocktail. This is a win-win situation if you're working with brands because, first of all, you present the hero cocktail created from these brands. And then, you present the brands used to create this cocktail. I hope you're liking my kind of DIY blocking the light. I borrow my kids, playing maths. Just stick them there quickly. Creativity, You know, you got to do whatever you got to do to make the shot happen. Okay? So I'm going to use this vinyl backdrop which I showed you before with a double-sided, but I will use the front side, which I always use. So I have already my clips. So here we go. I'm going to clip my backdrop. I have the backdrop which I want to be. Like I want it to be, okay. Then I'm going to put my laminate. I'm going to put my laminate flooring here. And I'm going to bring my base, which it's always set up with the same background because I like this background. And pretty much ready, but I don't want this to move too much. So I have one of these clips. You may need to get some clips for yourself because they are very helpful. I'm just going to clip on the back here just with one clip so nothing moves, and we're ready, so I can set up my camera now. I'm going to move so you can see what's happening, and yeah. Time to set the shot. Okay. Guys, maybe a little be out of frame when I talk to you and when I setting up, but I wanted to see what's happening here. So that's more important than seeing me. Okay? So everything is set now. I want to take a few test shots. I want to set up cameras so I know I am shooting in manual, and I'll walk you through what it's my settings. But as I mentioned in the previous lesson, you don't have to shoot in a manual if you don't feel confident. Okay. So feel free to shoot an automatic. Okay, guys, so everything is set up. I'm going to grab my glass. I'm going to use this beautiful vessel. It's a very elegant glass. I'm going to make a nice kind of a gin-based cocktail which is served without the ice. It's served straight up. So this is perfect. And I'm going to place it in the middle of my tabletop or backdrop. And my camera is going to be pretty much here. And I'm just going to position my camera to be focused on the top part of the glass. If the stem of the glass goes, little be blurry. There's no issue. We're focusing on the actual cocktail, like the hero on the top actual liquid. I shoot on manual mode, 400 ISO. What I'm gonna do, I'm gonna bring my ISO down. I'm going to keep it on 100 this way, I'm not gonna introduce any extra noise to the image. However, I'm going a little bit underexposed. So I'm gonna go down with my shutter speeds to 1/50 of the second. So this is going to give me enough time, is going to give enough time to the sensor to open and bring enough lights insight. So here we are. I'm going to take a test shot. And I'm just going to check if I'm happy with it. Yeah, that's good. Kind of just a test shot. So I know I'm set up. I can make now the Cocktail, pour and just take the shot, and I'm done. 9. Still Life Photo - part 2: Okay guys, first things first, we need to set up the glass. Now, my glass at the moment have a little be kind of watermarks from when it was washed. So always make sure you have a good towel to clean your glasses needs to be polishing, needs to be good. You don't want any marks, you don't want any fingertips. You don't want any kind of abstractions which is going to put away the whole kind of the purpose of the shot. So it needs to be cleaned. And I always recommend it to people when they start shooting. Product photography to get up like a bag of white gloves. Now, this glove is going to be the one in which I'm going to touch the glass always. Okay. So I'm not gonna introduce any fingerprints, anything to the glass, to the stem, even to the bottles. Alright, so does very important. Setup your shot, your props, your composition, everything in advance, make sure what you're doing. For example, in this shot today, we're going to do just a simple cocktail on the backdrop is going to be just a cocktail. I will introduce one shot with each bottle, and that's it. So I don't need much. I don't need any props. I don't eat anything else. It's all about the cocktail. It's all about the actual brands and ingredients which I'm using. So it's nothing to do with anything else. In commercial photography, we use acrylic ice because it gives us the freedom to work without too much pressure of all the condensation and all the melting of the ice and changing, the texture of the cocktail. Okay, So for me to avoid this, when I work with ice, I do shake my cocktail. And I strain. The other tin and I leave the ice in these ones, so there won't be any more dilution here. It will be staying this type of cold. And when I'm ready, I can start shooting. So I have the glass ready. I have the cocktail ready. I'm gonna go with the simple decoration here of one mint leaf. So I have it ready. And I am basically going to put it on the glass before I even put the cocktail on the set and start shooting. Now, as I mentioned, I'm going to decorate my glass only with one mint leaf. So I'm going to use kind of a mini peg from decoration store and just going to clip my mint leaf on the back here. There you go. Now I want it to be kind of alike on the 45-degree angle. So I can have the cocktail, and this mint leaf is just kind of a nice garnish for the cocktail. And I'm going to pour my cocktail, and we can start taking few pictures. There you go. So I'm going to take just a few shots. Now what I want to do. Introduce the bottles. As I mentioned, if you're working with brands, you want to introduce their product in the picture. So what you can do is move your cocktail backwards because, at the moment, it's gonna be more like a background for the actual bottle and the actual brands you are using. So I have a brand new bottle of this gin here. I'm going to concentrate when you're shooting a bottle, makes sure you concentrate on the label. It doesn't much matter because this is for social media. It's not kind of commercial photography or big advertising project is just for social media. Make sure you concentrate on the label, so you're representing the brand, and you want people to see what it's used in this cocktail. Then I'm going to bring others bottle through and try to put it exactly in the same place. We kind of follow the same pattern, and we don't want to make too much changes. The only thing where I make a change it's, make sure again, I concentrate on the label these bottle with longer the label weeds down. So I'm just going to move my focus point to the label. Two shots. Fantastic. And my last photo. It's gonna go there. Again. I'm going to move my focus point on the label. And that's it. We're done. So this is it, guys. This is how easy it is. I mean, I don't know if I've been doing it for two years now, pretty much every single day. But every time, obviously, it's different. But this is the basics, as you can see, I use only one light. Forget the video light is behind me, so I'm blocking it. I use only one light from the top, which is that's all you need. One of these lighting unit. A good glass here I want to mention a very important thing. Whenever you do cocktail photography, makes sure your search first, you make your research and learn the basics, okay? Now, for example, if you have a dry martini cocktail, you can't serve in a high bar glass with ice. Okay. Martini cocktail, it's in martini glass, no ice. So if you have an old-fashioned cocktail, which is in an old-fashioned glass with a big, large cube. or plenty of ice. You can't serve it in the champagne flute, okay? So there is some basics. There is some rules which you have to follow, and you kind of can't escape from them. Now, that's enough, enough long lesson, next one, is going to be a lifestyle. And this is the interesting things because you are alone. And I'm going to show you how to shoot lifestyle alone without anybody help. I'll see you in the next lesson. Bye-bye. 10. Lifestyle Photo - part 1: Okay, guys, so this is the last lesson. This is the lifestyle shots. And here's a few things to mention before I actually go behind the bar and starts shooting. First of all, because you're alone and you don't have any help, your camera should be in manual focus. The reason why is because when you're doing the cocktail, when were you serving, you moving your hand. So you've got to move your mixing glass or a shaker. You're going to put the garnish, or you want to break some ice, all of these movements need to be in focus, and the only way to do it is to manual focus on an area in which you're going to perform all the action. So this is my glass here. This is when everything's going to happen. My camera is on manual focus, so I'm using 24mm to 70mm; as I mentioned before, I'm not using it very often but in this case, I like to use it because it gives me the ability to move my camera very close to my subject. And because I'm going to use one of these triggers, It's with a cable. The cable, it's not very long. This way. When I plug my trigger, I can have it on the bar on the side out of the frame, so I can press shoot, and I can do it. Now, this triggered, it's very good because it's not just triggered, but it's giving you the options to set up the continuous shooting with the timing so you can set up like at the moment I have ten captures everyone, it's every three seconds. So I know I'm going to have ten shots, and each one is going to be every three seconds. So I can relax, and I can do my stuff behind the camera, and I can keep pressing. Yes, you're going to get a lot of pictures, but then you have a good selection to pick the best one, delete the rest, and you have the shot done. Another thing, I'm going to blast my light, and I'm going to overexpose a little bit because I want to put my shutter speed faster, so I don't have any blurriness when I'm moving my hands and I don't want to worry anything is going to be you know, have a movement. Sometimes it's actually good, but depends on what you're doing. And pretty much this is it. So I'm gonna go behind the bar, make few kinds of actions, you know, stirring the cocktail, crushing ice, pouring the cocktail, putting the garnish. And then I'm going to take the final hero shot. And I'm done. I just wanted to show you a quick, as you can see, this is my setup here. I shoot on 24mm - 70mm If you shoot on a Canon, I presume most of the cameras have this option, but if you, if you look close, you see the light, the glass, It's in red lights because the Canon cameras, and I'm pretty sure most of us they have, they have the option in the menu to show the picks. The picks, It's basically you can change different colour, and it's showing you what it is in focus. So if I move now my focus, you see, the glass is gonna go completely blurred and white. But if I focus it, this is going to show you exactly the glass in this part of the scene, it's in-focus. So as I mentioned, make sure you focus everything, make sure you make all the preparations before you start shooting. And now, let's go behind my trigger. It's connected. And let's make this short happened. 11. Lifestyle Photo - part 2: Okay, guys, so I'm behind the bar. Everything is ready, the light it's on full power because I want to get fast shutter speed here to capture everything proper, enter in focus as much as possible. Hopefully, I'm not too very exposed to you, but it's all about seeing what's happening. I have turned my screen, if you have a flip screen is good, so you can see if everything is in focus, my glass, it's ready. Today, I'm going to do just a quick pour to show you what it is. So, it's going to be stirred. So I'm going to replace my glass with the mixing glass and I'm going to put some ice inside because we're doing a cocktail. Okay? And then I'm going to grab one of my whiskeys. Let's see. I need a good bottle which is pretty much full. Now, this shot I'm gonna use like a free pourer, speed pourer, but you don't have to do, but all these things, It's for you to understand that you can do so many things and get so many shots when it's come to like lifestyle photography. So there you go, gonna get my jigger. And this is going to be the first shot, like I mentioned, it's set up every three seconds. Ten pictures is going to take so I'm going to press start. So I got the pour, I stop this. So I'm going to leave the bottle on the site to be here. I'm going to get the pour now to the mixing glass. Lovely, that's done. Now. A bar spoon. Actually, I'm going to use some of the bitters. So let's see if we can get some of that. Hopefully, I'm gonna get some of the drops, dropping insight, still shooting. Let's stop it. Now. Bar spoon. press again. I'm happy with that. And this is where is coming to my pouring now. So all I need to move this on the side. I have a big chunk of ice here. I'm going to try to kind of a break to give a little idea, ice is going to fly everywhere, but who cares? That's the point of being creative and make it proper, right, that's done. I can stop it. Now. Clean your bar, obviously because we made a lot of mess with the water. There you go. Oh, good. So now I have the glass, I'm going to put my piece of ice. That's more than enough for me. And I'm going to get the strainer and pour my Cocktail. Beautiful. Finally, I will have to put some garnish. I want to take this again in the shot. So I have my cocktail pick ready here on the side. I'm gonna use a cherry. So I'm going to grab the chair firsts because you don't want this in the picture. You want to show the actual syrup and everything. how is going to the cocktail. And there you go. Right now, what I want to do is give a little bit of the syrup leaking. So let's press again and do this. Maybe one more time. And I'm going to drop here on the top, the garnish. Now we took lots of pictures, definitely. But as I mentioned, when you cooling the images, when you're choosing what you want, That's a we done. You're going to choose the best one. And then you can arrange now the cocktail a little be and make your hero shot picture. Okay guys, so this is a, I changed to 50mm. I'm using same setup. I'm going to bring my ISO down obviously because the 50mm is more sensitive on lights, it's a bigger f-stop. So I'm just going to take few shots of the hero shot at the cocktail. But for now, let's take this shot and wrap up the class. So here we go. I'm just gonna take a hero shot, concentrating on the glass. And I'm absolutely happy with that. Perfect. Just going to take another one just to fill up a a little bit more the focus point on the cherry. And this is it. I hope you enjoy this class, but I will see you in the last lesson now overview and I'm going to tell you a little bit more about a project which I have for you. And let's have some fun and start shooting some cocktails. I'll see you in the last lesson. 12. Final Thoughts and Project: This is the last one for me. I want to say a massive thanks to everyone who enrol to the class. And I hope you really enjoy it, and I hope you find some answers. I hope you learn something, and most of all, I hope. You're going to go out there. I mean, no out there. But whatever you are shooting in your own kitchen, living room, small studio home, whatever you have. And you're going to start practice, and you're gonna start creating some amazing Cocktail and drink images. Okay, Don't be afraid. Don't expect that you just starting everything to be perfect in the beginning. Just start, I'm here for any questions, any help, any feedback, make sure you get in touch. Always. I will reply to each one of you, okay? Definitely. I'll come back to you if not straight away in a day or two, I will come back to you in reply also about the project. I want you to share your images, simple as that. I don't expect anything. I want you to take your creativity to a level which you feel confident, experiment, and get still photography, try some lifestyle, free pouring, whatever you decide, whatever you feel confident, post them in the discussions, comments so other classmates can see your work and start talk between each other, that's the best way. Trust me. When you talk to each other and when you're commenting and, when you get in touch with other students and comment on their work, you can give feedback. They'll give feedback to you. And this is how you expand your creativity because you're creative people, okay? So everybody has a different vision, different ideas and you can learn from each other. And of course, I will reply to each one of you again. And now we'll look at all your project files. Then I'll give you feedback and suggestions. That's no doubt. Here are the images from the lifestyle shot. I took around 150, shots, which is quite a lot. But obviously, I select just a few which I really like and I'm going to use for my Instagram. As you can see, they are all edited, and everything is already done saying that I will work on a class which is going to walk you through my editing process and how to edit Cocktail and drinks photography. Okay, So that's next coming. But until then, once again, thank you for joining this class. Thank you for being fantastic. I hope you really enjoy it. I hope you like it. And I look forward to hearing from you, see your project files and get to know you. For now, thank you once again. I love you. I live you now, and I hope to see you in my next class in a couple of weeks when we're going to learn about the editing process.