Wine bottles are often photographed very roughly with minimal light and little, to no attention, for the final result. For some reason, it seems like wine photography is the black sheep of product photography. However, it doesn’t mean wine bottles – and other drinks for that matter – can’t be well lit and captured in a more modern way.
When recording the still life photography course for Empara, we wanted to show how to photograph a glass bottle. To me, wine was the perfect choice to see how much fun you can have with it and how minimal adjustments can drastically change the final outcome. Château Mentone, a beautiful vineyard in the South of France, collaborated with us for this occasion, and I’m happy they did! They have different ranges of wine and each with a very different label. This allowed me to create different looks that otherwise wouldn’t have made sense for the same winery.
The more modern-looking label designed inspired me to create very minimalistic sets. The label to me was enough to set the mood and tone. It just needed a bit of a modern edge with the gradient background and clean white Plexi plate under. For the combined shot, I thought a mirror mirroring – yes, you read that right – the bottle’s shape would make it a fun alternative. As this was done in post-production, it left me the choice to go back to the clean and simple plate as well if needed.
Then we had a more traditional white wine that I placed on a seamless backdrop. A more traditional approach to wine photography, not the one I prefer, but for the purpose of an online product photography course, this made sense to me. But I much preferred playing around with the red wine to create a very moody scene. Red wine is always interesting when brands and wineries are after a low-key feel, almost film-noir kind of vibe – it’s not for everyone and every brand, but I dig it. The low angle of view gives a modern look despite the very moody feel that could otherwise look a bit odd and has been.