Campari America was searching for a photographer to shoot a campaign promoting their Epsolòn Tequila when they found San Francisco-based photographer Corey Lesh’s website. Corey has been working as a beverage photographer for years, and his extensive portfolio was in line with Campari’s search. They contacted Corey to invite him to join the project, and he was excited to work for a new client.
Campari’s campaign was designed to elevate the Epsolòn Tequila brand by pairing it with another one of their signature liqueurs, Grand Marnier. In an effort to showcase this pairing, without losing Epsolòn’s rustic branding, they chose to make a series of margaritas with the two alcohols.
To merge the two worlds of rustic and premium, we chose premium props in rustic environments. The props were specifically warm toned in color with natural wood accents to suit the rustic backgrounds. The margarita glass was sourced in Italy, then flown in for the shoot.
The pre-planning for this project was crucial to ensure a smooth shoot day. Campari’s Art Director and Global Brand Manager, Igor de Castro Oliveira, had sent over comprehensive guidelines, and the team knew what was necessary to deliver. Days before the shoot even began, the props and backgrounds were delivered, and the shot list was finalized.
A prop stylist was brought on board to source the props and backgrounds. Beverage stylists were on board to create the cocktails and style the drink glasses with sweat, salt, garnishes, etc.
Photographing reflective objects always proves to be a challenge, so nailing the lighting is crucial. Thankfully, the shot list was extremely manageable, and through working with a great team, Corey was able to get creative with lighting and prop scenarios to make sure he captured the best shots.
Multiple images were used to create a single final image. In this way, we could get the best lighting on each individual object. Due to the time the beverages needed to be on set, we chose to use fake ice. A glycerin and water combination was used to create the sweat on the glasses so they would appear cold.
The amount of creativity Corey and his team put forward paid off, and the client loved the images. As a result, Corey has been receiving additional projects, and he’s hopeful to keep working with Campari on beverage campaigns.
I really enjoy working on a team, where everyone brings something unique and special to the table. The team on this project were outstanding, and it made the shoot days super fun. The creative direction and expectations were very clear, and there was plenty of time to explore creative options to accomplish our goals.
See more of Corey at leshstudio.com!