Photoshoot for bubble tea again but one mistake though

August 27, 2013


Today I did a photoshoot for a bubble tea store again. It is a new bubble tea store at Flushing, Queens. Man, people just never stop opening new bubble tea store. When I came here 10 years ago, there were only a few bubble tea store. Now look at it, so many. It is crazy.

It was my second time shooting bubble tea in the same month. I like the result overall. However I made a mistake. I will talk about it later.

This is my post of photoshoot for bubble tea last time. I tried to improve the photoshoot this time. For example this time I told them to put a lot bubble on top. Last time I did not. It really look a lot more impact now.

This is the basic set up for this time. You can see it is a quite different set up for shooting same subject.


I personally prefer shooting food with some propping rather than just on simple white background for masking. I just feel it looks too normal with white background. I like those food photography that we see on magazine. I always looking for inspiration on food magazine. I like editorial style.

Ok, here is the result.

01-IMG_0356 04-IMG_0379 as Smart Object-1 06-IMG_0389 as Smart Object-1 07-IMG_0374 as Smart Object-1 08-IMG_0427 12-IMG_0439 13-IMG_0411

For the sake of budget and time. I was using pretty much same style through all shoot. I am always the one man band. I set up lighting, I prepare prop, I style the table, and I take the picture.

I know for big production. There are photographer, food stylist, assistant, etc. And they need like an hour for photography just one food.

But I think as a one man band, I did a pretty good job overall.

However I made a mistake for this photoshoot.

Do you know why the umbrella is a no-no for still life photography? Because the reflection. Human face is not a glossy subject, so there is no problem with the reflection. But we can still see the reflection in human eyes. The eyes is a glossy subject.

The reflection from umbrella is very ugly. You can see the rods being reflected. There are many glossy subject in still life photography, so using umbrella is a no-no.

I still use umbrella for my food photography because I find there is no glossy food. If you can think about one dish that the ingredient is glossy, let me know. I am exclude glass of wine or a bottle of beer kind thing. They are highly glossy.

But I really overlooked the situation here. The bubble..the bubble is glossy. It is highly reflective. I did not know this until I saw the result on screen. Check it out…

bubble crop

This is the 100% crop…Now you know what I am talking about. The ugly reflection from umbrella. You won’t see this detail when view it at very small size. but if you need print it out at large size, it will be visible. My mistake. I overlook that the bubble is glossy….This is the only food I have encounter so far that has glossy surface.

I tried blur tool to make the photo better. Client should be fine to print it out now. Remember it is 100% crop of just one tiny part.

bubble crop after

So if I am shooting bubble tea again, I will definitely use softbox or shooting through diffuser panel.

Hope you learn something from it. Let me know if you have any idea or thought.


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