When most people see photos of drinks and cocktails, they often think it’s all a matter of setting a bottle or a glass on a table and taking a picture of it. But in commercial work, even the simplest cocktail shot may require meticulous planning and styling.

As product photographers, we encounter plenty of issues in beverage photography every day. It could be anything from melting ice to distracting reflections on a bottle. But we always think of creative ways to solve these problems without resorting to heavy editing.

In this Behind-The-Scenes video, we’ll show you our process of setting up and styling a cocktail shot for one of our favorite clients, DUC Whisky. You may notice that our way of creating a cocktail may seem a little unorthodox, but at the end of the video, you’ll see why some tricks were necessary to pull off the final photo.  

Of course, every shot requires a different approach. And for this cocktail photo, we had to apply a few beverage photography techniques to get our desired results. For instance, we used mounting putty to keep the bottle in place. We also pour the liquid through a funnel to prevent splashes on the side of the glass.

The final shot you see below doesn’t show the mounting putty under the bottle, or even the wires that added height to the cinnamon sticks in the cocktail. But that’s exactly why this photo works. Because everything looks so natural, you’d be hard-pressed to think every element in it was staged.