Product Photography Lighting A Gin Bottle

Back in the studio today shooting this bottle of Tanqueray Gin, which just happens to be my favourite.

I thought I would show you some of the behind the scenes shots to give you a visual explanation of how I put this and many other shots together. As with all of my product shots I will build up the set bit by bit, shooting test shots as I go.

This is the first shot out of camera, the aim is to get the first light set up. In this case the light on the background. I use the black foam board either side to create definition and the black edge to the bottle.

I didn’t want a plain white background on this shot, I wanted something a little more dynamic, so to create the green I just added green tissue paper over the strobe on the background. (Don’t do this on continuous lights as you could start a fire, and also turn off the modelling lamp on the strobe) As you can see the image is a lot darker so I will have to make the correct adjustments to compensate. Such as turn the power of the lights up or adjust the cameras F-stop.

In this shot I have made some adjustments and starting to get what I am aiming for in the final shot. I made my adjustments, but it’s not there yet. I have two lights set up now, the back light and a strip box above the bottle pointing down. This will help me light the label, but its all still to dark.

As I said, in the shot above it was still to dark. I wanted the glass and label to be brighter and stand out. To do this I added a third light fitted with a snoot to narrow the beam and make it more controllable. I used this to add light to the glass, but to make the label brighter I adjusted the position of the strip box above the bottle. As you can see in this shot the glass is well lit but spill from the light has left a harsh light on the label.

To counteract the harsh light spill, I used a small scrim to soften the light. You can see this was very effective. I also added a large scrim to the strip box to soften the light from above. I now had all my lights in place, time to build up the set further to complete the final shot. If you look at the bottom of the bottle it has London Dry Gin as part of the label. It gets lost in the image as the light bouncing back through the bottle. To fix this I add a small piece of silver card behind the bottle at an angle. This stops the light on the background being to bright and bleaching out the wording. You can see below this set up and the whole lighting set.

I added extra ice cubes to balance up the shot and used pieces of silver paper to help reflect the light where I wanted it. Its all about building up the little details, getting it done in camera to save time in post.

Just to finish off the shot I added liquid and lemon to the glass. This was to simulate a G&T but intact it was just chilled tonic water. I also added water to the ice cubes to give the effect of melting ice, as these aren’t real ice cubes they will take a long time to melt. I now have my shot and every thing is in camera its now time to take into photoshop and retouch the final image.

The final retouch image ready to send over to the client. If you have any questions about this post, or want to talk about my photography service call 01908 631037 0r email You can see more of my portfolio at

Professional Product and Headshot Photography Studio in Milton Keynes – DW Images Photography