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Shoot Retrospective : Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery Beverage Photography

Recently we had the privilege of working with one of the Yorkshire Coast’s most interesting and innovative brands. The Spirit of Yorkshire distillery are creators of Yorkshire’s first single malt whisky. 

As you can imagine there had been considerable interest around the region at the possibility of a noteworthy whisky being produced in Yorkshire. The team at Spirit of Yorkshire needed packshots, followed by styled ‘line-up’ shots of their whiskey.

PACKSHOTS

The ‘packshots’ were produced first. This term is common within the photography and advertising industries but what exactly are packshots? Let us explain further.

This type of shot is primarily focussed upon accurately depicting the products’ three dimensional form, it’s colours and design in an accurate and precise manner. Packshots have become probably the most important tool in creating product and brand recognition in advertising, and in particular in digital marketing.

Based upon our experience of shooting packshots we realise that they need to…

• All text clear and legible.
• The product to be well lit and well defined.
• The product and/or packaging to fill the frame of the entire image.
• Lighting to accentuate and communicate the three dimensional form of the product, subtle shadows left in place to aid with this.
• Nothing to distract from the label and branding itself.
(In the example below this was complicated by the fact that the text is set in foil, which had to be picked out by the lighting, but not to overly so as to be distracting).Beverage packshot photograph of Spirit of Yorkshire whisky

Glass is notoriously difficult to photograph, and even more so when formed into a cylindrical shape.  It can be a double edged sword to photograph, initially it’s all about removing all distracting reflections from the surface of the glass. For those who have done this, they will realise that, although the result looks much more professional, the material doesn’t actually look like glass anymore! The next step is to create a lighting solution that lights the glass in a more pleasing way, introducing diffusion to soften any highlighted areas upon the glass.

Their brand identity features a Gannet, “a large seabird with white plumage which catches fish by plunging into the water”. The bottles and packaging also feature the Gannet, and we’ve picked it out on the carton above. The business is based in Yorkshire, just near to Bempton Cliff’s which is nationally renowned for being home to the largest gannet colony in the UK.

CLOSEUPS

Close up of bottle print for Spirit of Yorkshire distillery

STYLED SHOTS

For this the client really wanted to emphasise the natural part of their process, and also their traditional processes that are used in the creation of the product. So although the packaging and bottle design are quite modern, it needed to reflect this tradition too.

The client supplied us with the barley grains, we then added some stones, and one of the studio’s stripped vintage tables, which has just the right amount of patina and age. We photographed this against a hand painted background, which was lit across it’s surface to accentuate its texture. Three different shots were composited together to provide the optimal lighting on the surface of each bottle. A bottle was removed in each of these shots so that there were no reflections from one bottle to another. Diffusion was used to soften the highlights on each piece.

Lifestyle beverage shot of whiskies for Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery

These couple of images show how the scene is split up photographing each segment of the scene independently, also it’s separately diffused, and then all composited back together to form the final shot.

Behind the scenes at a beverage product photography shoot Behind the scenes at a beverage product photography shoot showing the diffusion


Here’s what Jenni Mellor from the company had to say “We researched Yorkshire based photography and were really impressed with the images on Richard’s website. We really liked too that he was very local to us and understood the region and the area that we represent. Really impressed and easy to work with, despite very tricky circumstances (shoot was scheduled for the end of March, just as the Corona virus lock down began). We got fantastic imagery at the end.”

To check out their unique products see their website at https://www.spiritofyorkshire.com

We do also have a range of drinks ephemera in our prop store (in the kitchen section) which allow us to style the images, including artificial ice cubes, tumblers, champagne flutes, wine glasses, cocktail shakers and glasses all suitable for use in drinks photography.