As a photographer, at times it can be difficult to make yourself get out and shoot. Sometimes you are inspired and sometimes you aren't. I find that my best shoots are inspired by things that I love. A recent shoot with one of my favorite wines is a great example. First to set the stage: it was a cold wintery Sunday. My wife was heading out for some girl time and I hadn't been out shooting for a few weeks . I caught a glimpse of some wine corks that we had been saving. I love to capture short depth of field and thought it might be fun to grab a few corks and shoot.
Next thing I knew I had a pile of corks on my kitchen counter. I love shooting food so I started staging the corks setting them up in rows and laying them down. The shoot was unfolding before my eyes. I grabbed one of my light stands and booms and grabbed a dark grey bath towel as my backdrop. I snapped a few photos to see if I could get the light to drop off behind the corks.
I then grabbed another light stand with my small light box and my speed light. I set this up camera right shooting downward at a 45 degree angle at the corks and the bottle. A few snaps later and I had the speed light dialed in to a setting that I liked.
The shot was coming together but something was a little off with the bottle. I decided to grab another speed light and throw on a homemade snoot. I put this on another light stand and put it about 6 feet in the air and shot down at a 45 degree angle at the bottle. This was the missing piece for the shot. With this rim light I got a great outline of the bottle and the wine glass in the background.
I then worked through different setups with the corks and the bottle. I moved the bottle to the front, then the back. I kept the corks up in a row, then I laid them down. I tinkered around with the light but kept it mostly the same with little variations here and there. After about 90 minutes of set up and shooting I was ready to put it all away and edit.
It's hard to get out and shoot in the winter months especially if you live in a city like Chicago but through this shoot I was able to work on my product portfolio with a product I love. I was also able to escape the winter, even if only for a few hours. If you are considering getting into product photography or need something to do in the winter months consider setting up a micro studio in your house and getting yourself a few speed lights. The entire setup here took up no more than 3 feet by 3 feet (not including shooter space).
Oh, and if you want to enjoy some delicious wine, check out Beaulieu Vineyard's website, I highly recommend it. Cheers.