the Beer Girl’s Guide to Better Photography!

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So you love craft beer.  You drink it on a regular basis, you “check-in” on Untappd, you tweet about it, maybe you even blog about it!   You keep detailed tasting notes as you detect each nuance that splashes against your sophisticated palate.  The most interesting man in the world has nothing on you.  You’re a true intellectual, a scholar.

There’s just one thing… Your Instagram feed, I’ve seen it… and no offense, but it’s a little… uninspired.

But fear not my fellow craft beer enthusiast!  I have compiled a list of photography tips that are sure to turn your camera roll into a virtual gallery, full of thoughtfully executed photographs that do that artfully crafted brew the justice it deserves.

#1.  Set the Scene.

Are you enjoying a cold one at the lake?  Snuggled up in front of the fire with a good book and a trusty stout?  Tying one on with friends at your favorite craft beer bar?  Try to give some clues about what else is going on as you’re enjoying your beer.  If you’re enjoying a meal, include the dish in your photo and let your audience know how well the beer paired.

dinner at the airport

#2.  Remove Clutter

Before you snap the picture, look at everything that’s in the frame.  Sometimes you’re focused so much on capturing the subject of the photo that you temporarily block out objects in the background.  Take a moment to consider the entire composition and remove any clutter that might take away from your desired focal point.  A trick to cut the clutter?  Get closer!  Taking a close-up shot, even including only part of your subject, can be better than being far away and having too much clutter in the frame.

photo tip - remove clutter

#3.  Turn Off Your Flash

For the love of God people, turn off your flash!  Not only does it annoy those around you, but it makes for bad photos.  While natural sunlight is best (unless you’re a lighting pro and let’s face it, you wouldn’t be reading this guide if you were) it’s not always possible when taking pictures of craft beer.  I’ve often found myself in a dimly lit bar or tap room trying to find just enough light to illuminate the beer label… trust me, it’s still possible to take a good photo.

jolly pumpkin

#4.  Try a New Perspective

Get low and look up at your subject or shoot from above… use perspective to display that delicious craft beer in a new way!  If you’re using the camera on your phone (all my photos are taken with my iPhone) flip it upside down so the camera lens is looking up at your beer.  It’ll make the beer seem almost larger than life and will be more interesting to your viewer than the same ol’ beer photo they’ve seen a thousand times.

saison du BUFF - dogfish head

#5.  Be Ready!

Get your camera ready before you pour!  You take pride in a good pour, one that leaves just the right amount of head.  Don’t let things fall flat while you fumble around preparing for the shot.

Blue Moon

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Categories: The Spirit of Craft Beer

Author:Amy Ellsworth

Amy Ellsworth is The Craft Beer Girl. Follow her as she discovers the world of craft beer through brewery tours, beer festivals, reviews and homebrewing. You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook, and .


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19 Comments on “the Beer Girl’s Guide to Better Photography!”

  1. August 9, 2013 at 8:26 PM #

    Sometimes when it’s a really good beer, I’m just too excited/impatient to set up a nice shot! But when I do take the time, they can turn out really awesome! Like this one (albeit it’s not craft beer, it fits the scene!)

  2. ocbeerblog
    August 9, 2013 at 7:05 PM #

    Another tip: Don’t just photograph beer. Sometimes there’s more interesting things around the brewery. Also, planking the bottle on the glass is dumb.:)

    Great post! Thanks!

  3. June 18, 2012 at 2:13 PM #

    Nice post! When I first started blogging about beer I was thinking how am I suppose to take all these pictures of beer and make each of them look unique?! I do all the things you said as well!!

    Some beers have awesome labels…others aren’t as cool so you have to work the background or the angle:)

    • June 18, 2012 at 2:31 PM #

      Thanks so much! I just took a look at your blog too and it looks great! I love meeting fellow beer lovers (especially beer girls!!)


      • June 18, 2012 at 6:25 PM #

        Thank you! And I know, I was excited to find your blog!!:)

  4. Michael
    April 21, 2012 at 9:43 PM #

    Love the photo of the Luciernaga. Brewed only 20miles from my house.Great labeling on the Jolly Pumpkin bottles.

    • April 23, 2012 at 9:37 AM #

      Thanks Michael, This was the first from Jolly Pumpkin that I’ve tried… tasty stuff!

  5. April 18, 2012 at 9:57 AM #

    Thanks for the tips!

  6. April 17, 2012 at 4:38 PM #

    Love the Sapporo picture, but I could just be biased since I work at Sleeman Brewery and we are owned by Sapporo Japan! 😀

  7. The ancient one
    April 16, 2012 at 3:25 PM #

    I thought that “most interesting man in the world” link was goung to link to me…

  8. April 14, 2012 at 12:27 AM #

    These are iPhone tips right? Because an SLR with flash(es) can actually do a great job.

    • April 14, 2012 at 9:39 AM #

      Yes, this post is definitely targeted to the Instagram community and cell phone users in general as opposed to those using DSLRs… (Though its a very rare occurrence that I use flash then either.)

      Like I said, for those that know how to use flash properly, it can be a great asset to your photographs. Of course, I imagine those using more sophisticated equipment wouldn’t have much need for this simple guide.

      Thanks for the comment!

  9. April 13, 2012 at 1:11 PM #

    Great info share ! I’m very prideful about my beer porn lol

  10. April 13, 2012 at 10:16 AM #

    Very insightful!! Thank you for helping with the picture problems!! I am so bad at the background clutter.

  11. April 13, 2012 at 7:40 AM #

    I really like the upside camera trick. My only problem is the camera on the 3GS is less superior than me sketchy the image. (that’s saying a lot)

    • April 13, 2012 at 9:35 PM #

      Took me a while to stumble upon that one but since I’ve discovered it I find it’s quickly becoming my go-to move!


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