Bottled products require a careful touch when creating photos. Bottle photography might sound simple, but the surfaces of bottles are often so reflective that you need to know how to control the reflections well to keep the bottle looking good. Also, the liquid inside might be a specific colour and you might want that to come across in the image too. Then, beyond the basics you might like to find ways for your product to stand out using creative imagery. I hope this post will help inspire you to new and more interesting ways of showing off your bottled products!
Many bottle products are, of course, drinks. Bottles of beer, wine and other drinks need to look appealing. There needs to be a simple, bold composition showcasing the bottle. As well as the usual e-commerce store style of putting it on a white background, there are many other options available too. How about incorporating colours similar to or complementary to the label? Maybe try a dark background for a more sophisticated feel? It is worth trying different options to find what works.
On black backgrounds, thin rim lighting can make the bottle pop out and look more three dimensional. You could use coloured card or a coloured (gelled) light to create a coloured background or perhaps just a spot of colour or a gradient. Then, start to think about what else could appear in the image to reinforce the message. Do you want people to desire a nice cold beer? How about making the bottle frosted and having some ice around it?
Bottle Photography with Extra Interest
Lifestyle Associations & Movement
In the image above of the sun lotion, I’ve added flip flops and a beach scene to give it some context. Now we have the product in a lifestyle scene that makes its function more obvious and helps potential customers to relate more quickly to the product. We can also add objects that suggest a similar type of lifestyle such as the watch in with the perfume. Here we are using another product (watch) to add to the story of our main product (perfume).
Adding splashes or pouring to our bottle photos brings an element of dynamism and possibly also excitement or fun. This can grab people’s attention and intrigue them more than a simple, flat product shot. Seeing a beer being poured or wine looking fresh with a splash might make the viewer even more likely to want one. These kind of images play with people’s memories of drinks being poured and help put them back in that place of being thirsty and wanting a drink.
I would suggest looking back over the various photos of bottled products on this page and analysing how colours, composition and lighting have been used to enhance the products. These are by no means an exhaustive collection, of course. But they show just how creative product photography can be! Don’t let your product look dull and boring, bring some life to your photos with a more creative approach to your bottle photography.
All images & text © Joe Lenton, January 2020
All rights reserved – no reproduction without permission