Important Questions Answered About Wine Photography

BabyHenry1For anyone who has tried to take a picture of a wine bottle for use in either a printed piece or even online, they know the skill and talent it takes to produce something beautiful and useful. It’s both the shape of the bottle of the reflection thrown by the bottle that usually presents the challenge.

I always recommend wineries have professionals take shots of the their bottles rather than trying to do it themselves with some camera phone or even a professional grade camera. It’s going to cost, but the results of a seasoned photographer that has spent many hours with a dark, reflecting cylinder will pay dividends.

The same goes for taking photos of your baby boy in-utero. I can’t stress enough how difficult it’s going to be to get that shot of your little one while still in the womb with just a camera phone. First of all, without experience, it’s just too difficult to get your baby at just the right angle, let alone getting the phone up inside the womb. Trust me, this is not easy to do.

We decided to go to the professionals to have this lovely profile of Henry George taken. It was worth the cost in order to procure the photo from a professional and also to have the  peace of mind that comes with a job done professionally. No fuss, no mess. In the end Kathy was very happy I stopped insisting I could do it myself with my new iPhone 5 (it turns out there’s not an app for that).

There are two kinds of photos a winery and parents-to-be need to think about procuring. One is the silhouette where all that is returned is a shot of the bottle or baby with no background and the other is one in which the bottle or baby is styled with a background and perhaps other items that speak to the nature of the subject. Often times you’ll find bottle shots that include a piece of cheese or a glass or leaves from the vineyard, etc, etc. This style of bottle show should be taken, but you’ll probably find less use for it in this day and age.

With regard to Henry George, we decided to go with the straight silhouette approach. We had considered putting a little beanie on him or throw some blocks in there for him to play with. But again, my beautiful Kathy insisted that if I attempted to give these things to Henry George in advance of his photo shoot, she’d protest in the strongest terms. Kathy has a very insistent aesthetic sense. Additionally, I’m told that both delivering and retrieving a beanie and wooden blocks could considerably lengthen the time it takes to carry out the photo shoot.

Message for the Day: Whether taking a photo of your wine bottle or your baby in-utero—it’s best not to include a beanie in the shot


One Response

  1. Dan Chapin - April 7, 2014

    Hi Tom – congratulations on the expansion of your family and for sharing this post. On behalf of product photographers in the wine industry…thank you for formally recommending that wineries employ professionals to do this type of work. I have been shooting glass since 2008 which originally started as a hobby for my wine marketing clients. Today we provide a full suite of digital creative services but I am certainly happiest working with my clients end product. I have thoroughly enjoyed the evolution of wine packaging over the years from label materials to bottle shape/size and even the challenges of shooting screen printed bottles. I personally believe that professional product photography improves the online shopping experience beyond the benefit of having a robust trade/media digital asset library. Does improving the online experience via better photography convert more sales? My experience tells me that the perceived product quality is certainly elevated when professional photography is utilized which can only lead to justification of price…so yes I would argue that professional photographs do ultimately support sales conversion. Not sure if this rant has any relevance to the spirit of your post but it is rare I find anyone talking about the subject so I went all in. Thanks again Tom and enjoy the ride you and your family have ahead!

    Dan Chapin
    Left Coast Marketing
    (707) 479-5385

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