Last week a good friend hired me to photograph his yummy olive oil product line, the Arianna Trading Company. Photographing grocery products is extremely different from photographing food, as you will see below. Here I will show you what’s involved with doing this kind of a shoot.
Prepping for the Shoot
My client, George, brought the products over to me the day before so I could see what they all looked like. This is not George’s first rodeo so he was very prepared for our shoot. He had several bottles so we could choose the best one of each product. He also had extra labels with him so that if needed, we could re-apply the labels if they weren’t straight. He also prepared each bottle so that the sticker on the back of each was removed. Had he not done that, you would see the back sticker through the bottle, which doesn’t look good.
Here my client is prepping each bottle we are shooting. He’s getting all the fingerprints off the glass and applying the labels on – perfectly straight.
All That to Photograph One Bottle?
Here is my set. I’m only using two lights, however, all those black cards are helping me carve the light so that I get the highlights and lowlights that I want on the bottle. You can see the bottle in middle of the set. When shooting glass, it’s like photographing a black mirrored ball, the glass see’s everything. This took over an hour to set up the lights.
Here is one of the bottles as it was shot without any retouching. You can see it’s on a very small surface and I have a little bit of a drop shadow in front of the bottle so that when this is cut out from its background, in Photoshop you can still use part of that shadow, like I did in the main shot at the beginning of the post.
Using Cards to Create Highlights and Lowlights
This set looks like a hurricane came through and scattered my foam core all over the place, but actually each card is placed precisely so that I can get a refection from it onto the bottle. Also, because the bottle is translucent, I have two large cards letting light come through to light the bottle up from the back. These cards are 4 x 8 foot foam core with white on one side and black on the other.
As I’ve mentioned before, I always shoot tethered. With these commercial jobs, in the studio, you absolutely have to. It’s critical that, as you shoot, you look at your file at 100% resolution so that you can see every detail and make sure everything is in focus.
About the Product
ARIANNA ORGANIC RAW & UNFILTERED EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
Arianna Trading Company Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil is raw & unfiltered, naturally decanted, and straight from the tank. 100% unblended USDA certified organic Koroneiki varietal, this liquid gold comes from a single family estate in Kryà village, an isolated mountain valley in the hills above Sitia, on the Isle of Crete in Greece. Our olives are gathered by hand, day by day, tree by tree, as they ripen in the early winter months. These orchards are dry-farmed on hillsides producing a lean, oil-rich fruit with a low acidity of < 0.4%. The award winning region of Sitia’s Protected Designation of Origin seal appears on the label; Agrocert’s ribbon placed over the cap is serial numbered along with the date of harvest.
I was lucky to get a few bottles of this yummy oil and its soooo tasty. I’m a huge fan.
(This is not a sponsored post – I am good friends with the owner and love his olive oil 🙂