Let me tell you the story of Aurélie trying to improve her ice cream photography. At the beginning of February I received an email from a brand that wanted me to photograph her new ice cream range of product for their social media campaign. I love doing this kind of work but I have never tried to photograph ice cream before! I used this opportunity as a great way to experiment and improve my skills. This month I did 4 difference photoshoots using Ice cream and I learned a lot. I am now way more confident in shooting this delicious food.
I think this is a very complicated food to photograph because it has to be at the right temperature, the right texture to scoop the perfect ball of ice ream and I need to work quickly or it melts really quickly. So buckle up and follow me on my path of discovery about how to take the perfect ice cream photo! No mash potato involved, every thing is real!
First Attempt: Matcha Affogato.
This was a disaster! It was the first time I was manipulating Ice cream and I learned the importance of texture and that making a perfect round ice cream scoop is really hard. Also, don’t pour the liquid on the ice cream when doing the affogato: it will make ugly holes and melt too fast. Moreover, I realized too late that I really didn’t like the colour of the ice cream: way too yellow (it was not natural at all!), and my matcha latte was too faded. That’s why doing test shots is important: it pushed us to learn new things without the fear of failing because it’s just a tryout.
Second Attempt: Matcha Affogato.
At this point I spent 2 hours on youtube watching videos about scooping ice cream.
I had no idea that there was so much content about this topic. It made me feel less lonely in my quest of the perfect ice cream scoop. On this photoshoot I learned a lot and made 3 important breakthrough to make my ice cream photography better:
- Soak the ice cream scooper in hot water is A GAME CHANGER! I have to soak it between each scooping. It makes things so much easier. Hello round and wonderful scoops of ice cream!
- Let the ice cream outside of the freezer for 15 minutes before scooping really helps too because the texture is way softer.
- Scoop your ice cream in advance and re-freeze them on a tray the night before the photoshoot. They are harder on the photoshoot day and they will melt slower: more time to manipulate them and take that money shot!
Colour wise, I change the ice cream brand and the colour was way better, less yellow more natural. And I did my matcha latte with half milk and half water: the green was more intense. Also: Pour the liquid before the ice cream!
By the end of this photoshoot, I was really happy with myself because I made major progresses. I was less anxious to do the photoshoot with the client, confidence is such a great feeling!
Third Attempt: A biscuit brand photoshoot.
I had a photoshoot with an other brand. I wanted to give my styling skills a try in a real life condition for a real client. I am not super proud of this photo (I don’t hate it either) I used freshly made coffee, it was too hot and the ice cream melted too quickly. Lesson learned.
Final Attempt: the day of the photoshoot.
When the photoshoot day arrived I was ready for it! My trays of Ice cream scoops were in the freezer, I had plans for every flavours I had to photograph and I was full of energy and motivation to make it happen. The photoshoot went smoothly and sooo quickly! I’m overall really pleased with the results and the client was delighted!
Furthermore I made some improvements in my technique. I found that letting the ice cream soften in the fridge for half and hour works better that letting it warm up outside. It softens more evenly.
My top tips to improve your ice cream photography (learned with lots of love, trials and errors)
- Let the Ice Cream soften in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before scooping.
- Soak the ice cream scooper in hot water before scooping and do it every time.
- Prep your ice cream scoops the day before on a tray and froze them again.
- If doing an affogato, pour the cold (or room temperature) liquid before the ice cream scoops.
- Try to practice scooping before the photoshoot to get the hang of it. Each ice cream are different: it will give you time to make adjustments if necessary.