Tucson, Arizona-based conceptual photographer Katelin Kinney took full advantage of the desert landscape around her while working on a personal project for Mike’s Hard Lemonade. To showcase her surreal style, Katelin brainstormed concepts of desert, liquid, cold, thirsty, icy, fruity, and flavorful. Ultimately, she chose a beverage product because it was the perfect subject to highlight her specialty and composition skills.
Katelin drafted an image that would juxtapose the visual worlds of thirst and refreshment: a dissected photo showing part of the bottle underground and the other above.
I used Mike’s Hard Lemonade since their brand has tons of delicious flavors to play with– and what better location to use than the beautiful desert around me? That dry landscape lends itself to the idea of thirst-quenching relief.
She found flexibility in reusing photos from her past explorations of Arizona, but also took additional landscape images as well. All were used as base layers in the new compositions. Katelin utilized a studio to capture still life photography of every other component. Once finished, she combined all of the elements in Photoshop.
Piece by piece, Katelin added the carved ice, the bottle, then the frozen fruit. Her biggest challenge was realistically depicting the state of the glass while giving it a “cartoony pop” that would fit with her surreal style.
I ultimately tackled it by painting my own frost flakes in Photoshop. I created a custom brush out of it so I could digitally add the white frost exactly where I needed it.
Each image took about four hours to put together. All in all, the cost of the project was around $50, which didn’t include the equipment Katelin already invested in, or her time.
Skills should be valued properly, but when it comes to production, you can self-produce very budget-friendly projects that look extremely expensive.
See more of Katelin’s work on her Instagram.
See more of our photographers’ projects on our Unpublished page.