Product photography is usually a studio pursuit. Products are carefully photographed and styled in an easily controlled environment. Every aspect of the shoot can be manipulated to the minutest degree.
We seem to do things differently.
It’s the fault of our particular environment. Who wouldn’t want to make the most of the spectacular backdrop that surrounds us on the Isle of Skye?
Uisge Lusach, the uniquely Gaelic gin distiller, asked us to provide product and promotional images taking advantage of the distillery’s distinctly photogenic home at Isleornsay in Sleat. We looked forward to incorporating the distillery’s wonderful situation into the photographs.
On the day of the shoot we warmed up, quite literally, by photographing some Gaelic Whisky in front of a roaring log fire. Whisky does look very becoming in front of a fire but you have to get very close to achieve the best effect and that means getting VERY hot. every so often bottles, glasses and especially the tubes the bottles come in had to be moved to let them cool off a bit.
It was a bit of a relief to move on to the gin, there’s only so much of baking by the fire that I can take. We had decided to start with a nice arrangement of gin bottle, glasses, ice, lemon etc in the office window. It has a lovely view across to Loch Nevis. It only took, lets say, a few photographs for us to figure out the images would be better if we opened the window.
Not being a gin drinker myself I was unaware of a contention within the gin community – lemon, orange or lime? Which citrus fruit slice is best with gin?
This conundrum was solved by going with the obvious answer. Whoever signs the cheques gets to choose. So we went with lime first.
We moved on and out with our box, bottle, glasses, fruit and ice to around and about the pier making the most of it’s views of the iconic lighthouse on Ornsay.
There were other pictures the client wanted which needed tide, light and tourists to cooperate. The gin bottle was to have the Isleornsay offices, pier and hotel in the background. To have them lit correctly needed the sun to be rising and the sky blue. The tide had to be in and there were to be no cars or tourists in the shot. Since this was taking place in June that meant it all came together at 6am. The only people awake were the staff at the hotel, me and the midges, lots and lots of midges who were keen on breakfast. I used pretty much a whole can of Smidge to protect myself and that still barely kept them at bay but I think the results were worth it.