Photo Fridays: The Making of a Margarita

by Shawnda on June 15, 2012

in Photography & Props

Fresh Cherry Margaritas

Having shot a number of cocktails margaritas in the last year or so, I’ve gotten the process down pretty well. Shooting the cherry margarita went a little something like this:

1 – Getting exposure set correctly, empty glass strategically placed over the barcode sticker on the poster board.
2 – Added a cocktail napkin that I scored from Etsy and cherries that I scored from HEB.
3 – Happy with exposure, I rimmed the glass with salt and poured the margarita in the glass. No ice yet – the clock starts ticking the second you add ice.
4 – Adjusted napkin placement and added more cherries. Happy with the composition and exposure of the shot, I added the ice and lime garnish and called it good.
5 – I pulled back to get a shot that would crop to a square/1:1 for submission to the “pretty food sites.”
6 – Not 100% happy with the fact that I couldn’t get those pretty splatter marks and pits in the picture shooting at 3/4ths, I shot from overhead. If I was going to ruin the poster board, I wanted it to count :) Plus, after shooting like 12 margarita recipes, they all kind of start to feel the same.
7 – Start of happy hour (not shown) :)

Fresh Cherry Margaritas

Some notable things about the photos:
– The shot is backlit.
– My work surface is my coffee table, which I’ve moved against the window overlooking the patio (as seen here).
– My “background” is simply the matte side of a white poster board sitting on top of my coffee table.
– Because the extra set of hands needed to help me with the reflector (also seen here) for this particular shot was working Toddler Crowd Control, I used the flash to add more light to the front of the glass.

I’ll show you how I work with back-lighting in an upcoming Photo Friday. ‘Til then, keep calm and make margaritas!


{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kathryn June 15, 2012 at 2:39 am

I hate shooting drinks for some reason so this was really useful, thank you!


2 Laura June 15, 2012 at 7:17 am

I have a feeling I’ll be doing something very similar to this in about T-7 hours. Happy Friday, lady!


3 Tina {My Life as a Mrs} June 15, 2012 at 7:20 am

GIRL… i cannot get over your gorgeous photos!!!!!! When can I come take some lessons and have a Mexi-Margarita filled weekend?? ;)


4 Rachel @ Baked by Rachel June 15, 2012 at 8:48 am

Can we just call this the making of deliciousness? And samples would be lovely ;)


5 Jennifer June 15, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Lovely pictures! Thanks for the walkthrough of how you ended up with the final shot. I love knowing how it works behind the scenes. Bottoms up!


6 Cupcake and Talk June 18, 2012 at 3:20 pm

I love the recap of your photo session. Very Cool.


7 Jessica @ Sunny Side Up June 19, 2012 at 9:45 pm

I can’t wait for the post on back lighting. It’s something I’ve been toying with recently, and I haven’t quite found the right formula. I absolutely love these posts, thanks so much for sharing!


8 Cara June 22, 2012 at 11:30 am

I definitely want to experiment with backlighting, this is gorgeous. I don’t feel very confident, though, so I’m looking forward to your post! I’m also impressed that you used the flash, as I always thought this was a big no-no in food photography.


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