• Login
  • No products in the cart.

Behind The Scene of high-end commercial drink photoshoot. Part One

Behind The Scene of high-end commercial drink photoshoot. Part One

Mark Zawila is a digital artist, retoucher and photographer, specialising in high-end food, drink and product imagery for advertising. Mark’s images have been used commercially for print and web both in the UK and internationally and he is proud to have worked for clients such as Harrods, Sky, Lego, Sony and Miller. Mark is also passionate about working with small businesses and start-ups offering, exceptional imagery at a cost that won’t blow the budget.

Mark’s fully equipped studio space is ideally located between Basingstoke and Reading just off the M3, and less than one hour from Central London. Mark helps businesses by creating exciting and engaging images that blend design principles and creative ideas with technical expertise. He specialises in packshot photography, creative  still life photography, food and drink photography and high-end retouching. Mark not only produces high quality imagery, he can also advise clients on concepts and visual strategies to communicate their brand more effectively.

linkedin copy
This image was created exclusively for Photigy and shows an example of my workflow for a high-end commercial drinks shoot. This BTS tutorial is broken down into two parts, Part
One describes pre-production and production and in part two I will share some of my post-production techniques and workflow.

Part One. Pre-production and production

Firstly the image was sketched out roughly in Photoshop in¬†order to have a basis to build the image from. Usually an advertising agency would already have the concept finalised before¬†approaching a photographer, but this depends on the size and¬†type of job¬†‚Ästsmaller clients/assignments often give much more¬†creative freedom to the photographer.
Next step is to set up the lighting in order to create the effect from the initial sketches. The following is my go to set-up for cans and bottles.
Before spritzing the can a smooth coating of Vaseline is applied¬†to the surface as a base (make sure there aren‚Äôt fingerprints as¬†these will show up under the lights), it has the effect of giving the¬†can a “chilled”¬†look and causes nice round water droplets to form. A¬†50/50 mix of glycerine and water is sprayed is stages onto the can,¬†the glycerine keeps the droplets in place and stops them sliding¬†down the can.

Some essential tools I use for drinks photography.

Additional elements were shot in the same lighting set-up and comped into image during post-production. 

Water was lit very simply with one light placed behind the tank to catch the highlights on the surface and a light on the right as a fill. With splash/liquid photography its important that your flashes have a super-fast flash duration at least 1/10,000s to make sure captures are sharp.¬†I’m based in the UK so I use Lencarta¬†Superfast 300w flashes.¬†¬†

In part two I will discuss how I retouched this shot. 

   In the Gearbox


Nikon D800E

Zeiss 100mm f2 T* Makro-Planar ZE Lens

Elinchrom Digital 1200 RX Pack  

Zoom Pro heads x 2

Elinchrom RX heads x 4

Einchrom Rotolux 90cm stripboxes x2

Reflectors and honeycomb grids


Studio accessories

Cambo UST 7’ studio stand

Matthews Hollywood 50cm C‚Äďstands

Manfrotto Mini Backlite Stand 

Manfrotto Light Boom

Bowens Reflector Disc Arm 

Various clamps and clips

Computer Equipment 


Macbook¬†Pro¬†15‚ÄĚ ¬†tethered to camera¬†

Wacom Intuos 4 tablet

Eizo ColorEdge CG247 24″ IPS Monitor¬†

Photographers also take these courses

16 responses on "Behind The Scene of high-end commercial drink photoshoot. Part One"

  1. Great article! Very inspirational with such a detailed view….thank you for sharing Mark !

  2. Very cool to see you on Photigy Mark. As always, great work!

  3. Great tutorial! Looking forward to part two!

  4. This is an awesome BTS and the result. Thank you, Mark, and Andrew for sharing this with the community!

  5. Nice work, Just noticed Mark is literally just up the road from me as well, may have to borrow some of stuff… like his talent lol

  6. Very cool!

    One question: how do you apply the coat of Vaseline so thinly and uniformly?


    • Hi technishn – basically just apply it with your hand in smooth even downward strokes (not circular or diagonal) and make sure there are no fingerprints – does take a bit of care to get it to look right – hope this helps :)

  7. The end result is beautiful! Nice job Mark. Great work! :D

  8. Great article Mark! Look forward to the follow up.

    Where did you get the tank from? I live in the UK too and found it tough to get a tall tank without supporting struts at the top.


    • Glad you liked the article – not sure exactly what you mean by struts, do you mean the black plastic edging around the top? The tank I use didn’t have struts but had a glass top that was ‘glued’ on with sealant, I got a friend of mine who is an ace and DIY type stuff to remove the glass, I think he did it with a stanley knife carefully cutting away the sealant. The top came away quite easily, you just have to be careful not to crack the glass with the knife. Just go to your local aquarium shop and ask if they have any fish tanks they are throwing out (I got mine at half price)

      Hope this helps?

      • Hey Mark,

        Thanks for your response.

        The tank I managed to find has two pieces of 2 inch wide glass all the way along it, at a 90 degree angle to the sides. There’s then another piece which runs across the centre holding them together. Imagine a big “H” at the top. The bloke in the fish supply shop said anything over 18 inches tall had to have this or you risk the whole thing collapsing when filled up.

        Anyway, clearly he’s being overly cautious. I’ll have to investigate and see what else I can find. Or take the risk and remove the sealant!

        Thanks again Mark!

  9. Amazing I have to try this!! great inspiration: )

    btw. yesterday I saw Mark photos at fstoppers and I said to myself wow thats impressive work and today this!!

Leave a Message

Copyright © Photigy Studio Photography All Rights Reserved
EXTENDED! Zero Gravity Photography course: 97% sale  Get It Now