For a recent TK (Tasting Kitchen) cocktail feature the magazine focused its sites of four female bartenders who have won international awards for their tasty concoctions. I was given the task to make a portrait of each of these talented young women as well as one of their signature cocktails. All had to be done in just over two hours.
The location for the shoot was at Hong Kong’s Seafood where only one of the women actually worked. So each bartender had to bring her own supplies to the venue to recreate her signature. Much like they would have to do in a cocktail competition.
My approach to photographing cocktails is not so different from how I photograph food. My first challenge is to find a location that looks interesting but not so graphic that is distracts for the cocktail itself. Then comes the challenge of lighting a beverage in a glass. I won’t go into too many details here but this is often the most challenging aspect of the shoot.
For each of the four subjects the lighting was fairly simple. For the key light I used a Paul Buff Einstein flash head fitted with a Chimera Beauty Dish. The light was then placed on a boom-arm which was fitted onto a C-Stand. A second light was also used with a 7 inch reflector fitted with a honeycomb grid which could be used to add some light to the background.