Simone's Kitchen

Food or drink in a glass – photography and styling challenge November!


It took me a while to come up with the theme for the November challenge. After the first two fabulous responses by everyone it had to be a good one. I got December figured out long ago but November is just one of those ‘in between’ months so coming up with something suitable seemed like a bit of a challenge. But then it hit me; it is the season before the festive December month. The month where lots of drinks will be served and lots of pretty desserts in pretty glasses and that’s when I decided; the new theme is going to be FOOD OR DRINKS IN A GLASS !

20120416-_MG_7184Glass can be a real pain as it reflects just about everything you don’t want to have reflected so it might be a bit of a challenge, but depending on your level of photography you can make it as hard or as easy as you want. There are a few things to keep in mind when you’re shooting a drink or food in a glass. The most obvious is probably the fact that the glass needs to be spotless. Any little hair, dent, smudge or whatever will show itself – without mercy – on your glass. When it comes to shooting food in a glass, that tends to be a bit easier then drinks.

Food is solid and no matter what you put into it, you usually don’t want light to shine through your pudding/salad/appetizer. With drinks it’s a whole different story as you want the liquid to come to life!


If you look at the two photos above you can see a very clear difference. Which one you prefer is probably a matter of taste although for me it will always be the picture on the left. The mint leaves look far more vibrant, there is a shine over the tea plus – because the light is shining through the liquid – it ads life. And that is vital when it comes to liquids that are somewhat transparent. Obviously if you have made a smoothie the light will not really shine through it but you still might want to have a go with using back lighting.


Now when you’re shooting darker colors like wine or in the photo above the puree, reflections can become a nightmare. You see yourself, you see the room, you see the window and everything else in it. Apart from shooting in a tent with just a hole in it for the camera (which you would maybe use when shooting jewelry) the key is to control where the light hits your subject. I’ve given you a couple of tips and hints on how to work with glass, but ultimately it is a matter of practice!

  1. As mentioned, make sure your glass is spotless
  2. Try and work with back lighting when you’re shooting liquids as this will brings out the contents of the glass like nothing else.
  3. When shooting dark liquids or shooting close to windows try and limit the glare of your lightsource on the glass. It helps to have a couple of black pieces of paper or cardboard handy to block of certain parts of the light. If you need more hands, ask a friend for help or use clamps. I sometimes position the black ‘flags’ (as they are called) against a bottle of something.
  4. Make sure that you do not end up having a reflection of your reflector showing up in the glass (as I have had on numerous occassions!)
  5. And above all; have fun!

The inspiration board for this challenge can be found on Pintrest


And then the rules:


  1. Create a setting where a food or drink in a glass is the hero dish. It doesn’t matter what kind of food or what kind of drink you create. You can use the recipe for the bramble cocktail if you like that I showed you or any other recipe you want to make. Up to you. As long as you present the dish/drink in a glass.
  2. Use whatever props you have at your disposal
  3. Pick whatever recipe you think will work with this theme as long as it uses a glass in the presentation
  4. Post before the deadline of November 30th.
  5. Enter your link through the Linky Tool shown below and make sure to link back to this post in your blog entry
  6. If you do not have a blog you can still enter your photo for the challenge, as long as you make sure we can view your photo online somewhere
  7. Once you have entered please send me an email at
    with the name of your blog, your own name, the link to your post and your entry photo in the size of 500 px wide max.
  8. Entries must be made specifically for this challenge

Our judging panel consists of the lovely and talented ladies mentioned below and we will do our very best to post the end result of the challenge the first or second of the next month. No guarantees though!

Meeta from What’s for lunch Honey

Jenn from Jenncuisine

Kay from kayotickitchen


0 from 0 votes
For this recipe I did not give you the exact ml but rather the qty's as they are used in comparison with eachother.
  • 2 qty gin
  • 0.5 qty blackberry syrup
  • 1.5 qty freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 0.5 qty sugar syrup
  • blackberries
  • slices of lemonjuice
  1. Fill glass with crushed ice, add Hendricks Gin, lemon juice and sugar syrup and stir. Top up with more crushed ice. Then lace drink with De Kuyper Crème de Cassis by slowly pouring over fresh ice. Serve with two short straws.
Additional notes:
  1. Use freshly squeezed lemon juice for best results.

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  1. An awesome challenge! Verrines and cocktails are so pretty. I love that first shot…



  2. Wow…ummm a big challenge for this month. I like it.

  3. Great tips Simone! And how timely too, I was just going to shoot a soft serve in a glass this very morning. I’ll pay close attention to all that you have mentioned. And hey, who knows, this just might be a challenge that I’ll be able to enter. πŸ™‚

  4. Thanks for the tips, I will definitely try to remember all of them and pay greater attention to light source.

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  6. What a great challenge, and thanks for your tips. I can’t wait to join in this month. Thanks for your tips too. I’ve found photographing liquids quite challenging in the past.

  7. I am loving this series. Thanks for the tips and pins πŸ™‚

  8. Having never participated in these challenges before, I am wondering……does it have to be new picture or could it be something that existed on your blog before?

    • Well technically it would have to be a fairly new photo. If you shot something this month that you think would fit the challenge then you can use it but I’d like it even people went out and made something specifically for the challenge. Ultimately it is up to you, I’m very flexible.. πŸ˜‰

  9. Okay Simone there is a picture of mine I really like but it won’t qualify then its waaaaaaaay too old. Because of time constraints I am usually never able to participate in challenges but don’t worry I completely understand your wanting to keep it ‘fresh’. Thought I would ask nonetheless:-)

  10. Okay, just made and photographed mine. Gotta put finishing touches on the post, and then submitting. Thanks for providing another fun challenge, Simone!

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  12. Hi simone,
    I have always wanted to take part in your photography assignments, but something or the other comes up at the last moment and i forget to submit them on time. This time however, I hope I can join in πŸ™‚

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  17. Great!! For once I made it πŸ˜€ Happy to join the fun this month!

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  19. Sorry I could not join this month but I love seeing your wonderful photographs and being inspired by them and all the information you provide! Also it is wonderful to see all the entries! πŸ™‚

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