This project came about with a chance meeting with a model ( Sofia Jaskowsky ) during a shoot at an exhibition. Swapping details we later got in touch discussing the idea of a collaboration. The project was to involve Sofia’s hand modelling skills and my background in drinks photography. Liking the idea of a lifestyle shoot with cocktails I contacted a drinks stylist Katherine Lunt with whom I have worked with several times previously. Once Katherine was on board it was just a matter of coming up with a style and theme.
After searching stock libraries for roof top views I found exactly what I was looking for. A sun soaked city landscape with the sun low down and facing the viewer. This would allow me to recreate the sun light shining through the cocktails and on to Sofia helping tie in the background and foreground elements, making the shots look as one.
After producing a large print of the landscape we were ready to go. Placing a Broncolor Plus-Spot 4 light directly behind and above the inkjet replicated the position of the sun. Adding warming gels created the same warmth as the original image. A large fill light placed directly above the model was the only other source used for this set up with one board for a little bounce light at the front.
We decided to shoot four different images each with a different summer drink, a classic Martini, Old Fashioned, pink gin cocktail and champagne. The challenge was not to have every shot looking identical so we used a combination of wider and closer angles, a bistro table prop, and different wardrobe choices to maximise the differences.
The whole shoot went very smoothly with a little tweaking of the lighting here and there. The most technical image was the Champagne shot with two glasses chinking together. This was fine apart from the fact that we had only the one hand model. So we had to clamp in place the back glass and have Sofia holding the front glass. Then reshoot the back glass with Sofia and without the clamp. Comping these images afterwards in post production, to produce the final result.
Adding a small sun flare effect finally blended background and foreground elements together. The shoot took place on a gloriously hot and sunny day. In my head I kept hearing the track “Summer In The City” by The Lovin’ Spoonful. This in turn led to the title for this project, and I’m still humming it now.