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Shooting the G.


Recently a client made an interesting observation. She mentioned that I tend to blog only the “exciting” jobs that I do, but not the stuff that pays the bills. Those are the things she’s bound to commission me with, and thus, I should please blog those too.

First off, I was glad to hear that, because I find pretty much every shoot exciting in some way. I was just always under the impression that people wouldn’t necessarily care about these jobs. Anyways, so I’ll start blogging these too.

I do a fair amount of work in the wine industry, and pack shots and product photography is a good part of my business. Can I put a common misconception to bed, before I continue:

Shooting excellent pack-shots is not easy. You might see a Youtube video on how to shoot a product shot with just a desk-lamp and piece of tissue paper, and yes you can, but it will be functional, not excellent. Let me be clear. What’s even more difficult with wine bottles is obviously the glass-reflection factor, but also, that believe it or not, there are trends in what reflections is en vogue on wine bottles, what protocols your client has and also what people like. This can make for a really tough job sometimes, as some clients couldn’t care less about the reflection on the bottle, as long as the label is bright. Others again, are interested a soft fall-off on the label, with a soft graded highlight on the left of the bottle, and so forth and so on.

Then, do not forget, the aspect of continuity. Next year, the style and look must be exactly the same.

20130214_0120 G group

The G is a high-end, luxury wine, produced in the Helderberg area. The producer had some idea of what the wines needed to be photographed like, and then simply asked me to show that it is high-end, without getting all 1980’s cheesy. Also, these are to be product photos, not styled, in-sitieu lifestyle shots. Images that could work on a website, in print and on mailers.

20130211_0051 Echo of G 2010

The plain white wine bottle pack-shot is what a business card is to the networker. Indispensable. I cannot fathom how wine producers can send images into the media of their wine-bottles, their art, with bad lighting, perspective warped and colour infidelity. Any publication will want one of these pack-shots. And these are probably the most challenging skill I have ever mastered in photography. Strange, but true.


To find out more about 4G wines, see:


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