I love the challenge of a photography shoot with a definitive purpose! I was recently hired to photograph a bartender making and displaying his winning cocktail in the bar he works in and the final images were to be used for the cover of an industry magazine, the Barfly as well as for an article about the bartender and his competition winning cocktail.
Having never been to Ms Collins before, I had a quick look on their website to gauge the style of the nightclub, the size of the bar and the lighting. I found out this club had seven bars and I had no idea which one I would be using, it was my choice!
I headed up with my arsenal of lighting, light stands and reflectors, ready for anything. I arrived early so I could scope out the various locations I had to choose from. This is one very cool looking nightclub with its high class style contrasted with artistic graffiti on the walls and mirrors. Everywhere you looked there were eclectic yet vibrant eye catching wall art to be seen from brightly coloured neon signs through to huge gold framed mirrors hung high on the walls! A photographer’s paradise!
I settled on the bar in the brightest room which was the champagne room, yes, one room in the club dedicated to champagne and Dom Perignon had allowed his own brand of champagne to be served in this room! The high ceilings allowed for a huge wine rack filled with expensive champagne to be hung between tall windows which visually opened to the bustling Melbourne CBD streets outside. The under-lit marble topped bar, while modest in size, made up for it in its style and grandeur showcasing the mirrored backdrop filled with every brand and flavour of liquor available for any style and flavour of cocktail an experienced bartender could make!
I met Dan, my subject for the day as well as the Barfly representative who briefed me on the type of shots they required for the cover and article. I set up my lighting in the available space and adjusted the settings till i was happy with my results while being aware my subject would be mobile while creating his signature Cointreau inspired cocktail from behind the bar. I kept the lighting at a soft level so as not to be too distracting for my subject while still giving me the bright ambiance I required for the final images.
I proceeded to shoot while Dan proceeded to create his delectable drink after which I coached him in a number of poses with his cocktail aptly named the Saint-Tropez Fizz and the brand of the feature, Cointreau. The shoot went off without a hitch allowing us to enjoy the afternoon’s proceedings while learning something new about each other’s professional industry.
I’m very happy with the way the cover shot came out creating an eye catching April issue of the Barfly and have a couple to add to the collection of personally shot cover mags. They’re a trophy within themselves and any photographer will attest to that! I look forward to the next challenging photography shoot with enthusiasm!
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