Tea Photography with Bird & Blend Tea Co.

Tea photography from AM Knizek Photo

Many people close to me know that my journey with photography started with a beauty and lifestyle blog I started before my junior year of college. From that, one of my first partnerships with a company was with Bird and Blend Tea Co based out of Brighton England.

I first discovered the tea company when I studied abroad in Brighton. I quickly became obsessed, falling in love with their unique blends and bringing as many packets of loose leaf tea home with me. When I saw their post on Instagram announcing a brand rep program a few months later I knew I had to apply!

A few weeks went by when one morning I woke up to over 50 new followers on my blogs Instagram account. Excited and a bit confused, I checked the Bird and Blend Instagram to see that I had been chosen as a rep! I was thrilled and couldn’t wait to receive my first package in the mail so I could create content for a company I truly love.

It’s been over three years and I still have and love my partnership with Bird and Blend Co. Every new shipment of tea is just as exciting as the last, and finding new ways to capture the tea through my camera is even more exciting.

I recently wrapped up a shoot for their peach collection and wanted to take you along with me to see how I work through a shoot from start to finish.

Behind a Tea Photography Product Shoot

There are 2 parts of every shoot for Bird and Blend Tea Co. First is the “unboxing” part where I shoot photos of the individual teas. Then comes the recipe portion, which involves developing and shooting a recipe using at least one of the teas.

For the unboxing photos I like to get shots of the tea packaging in addition to shots of the loose tea up close. The blends from Bird and Blend are so gorgeous that it would be a shame to not show them up close.

From a product photography stand point it’s important to show what’s inside the packaging as well.  Consumers like to know what to expect when they open a product, and some macro photography of the tea is a great way to do that.

Here’s a side by side of the Berry Pink Rose tea and packaging and the tea up close.

Both of image serve a purpose – the one on the left is great for a product listing on a website as it shows the packaging and what’s inside. The image on the right is beautiful content for Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest that is eye catching and sure to get you some likes and comments wink emoji

After shooting for Bird and Blend for 3+ years, I’m forced to get creative with my shots. This is the fun part, though! I love working out new compositions and discovering different ways to shoot the same type or product. While I do have some go-to compositions for shooting tea, part of what helps get my creative juices flowing is a mood board.

Sometimes this mood board is made in Canva, but often I simply create a new board on Pinterest. Typically a mood board represents a color scheme or theme for a shoot, however with this shoot I simply found images of tea that I liked and wanted to interpret in my own way. Color or theme wasn’t necessarily the focal point here.

If you’re curious what the moodboard looked like, you can check it out here.

After I shoot the unboxing photos I move on to the next step!

Behind the Scenes of a Cocktail Shoot

For the recipe portion of this shoot I opted for a mixed drink. Summer is around the corner and nothing says summer to me like a nice, refreshing cocktail enjoyed on a patio.

After smelling the Peach Soda tea I knew I had to use that one for my cocktail. The mix of peach, orange and apple is mouth-watering and sounds perfect for a summer cocktail.

While I can’t share the recipe for the cocktail here (fingers crossed it goes up on the Bird and Blend website soon) I can share my thought process behind shooting the Peach and Thyme Spritz I developed.

I like to set up my first “scene” for a cocktail shoot before actually making the cocktail. I place the glass down where I want it and then place the props around the glass, building the scene as I go. This way everything is in place and the cocktail will be as fresh as possible when it’s time to shoot.

Bird and Blend Tea Co Tea photography by AM Knizek Photo

My first scene included all of the props I planned on using, including fresh peach and lemon slices, fresh thyme, the gin, tea, and jigger. I always start with my biggest scene, or the one that include the most amount of props as it’s easier to take away props than it is to add them in. After getting this shot I kept everything where it was and simply moved around, capturing other angles and elements of the scene.

Product photography by AM Knizek Photo

Once I got all of the angles from this set up that I wanted, I essentially tore it down and created some smaller and much simpler setups. Simplicity allows for the subject and lighting to tell the story without props or other elements acting as a distraction.

Drink photography by AM Knizek Photo

To back that observation up, one of my favorite images from this shoot is the one above with just the drinks and some thyme. The vibrant pink color of the drink is gorgeous and the composition draws the eye to the center of the image.

While doing these product photography shoots for Bird and Blend I make a note to get some photos with the tea in it and some without. It’s nice to have a mix, both for my own social media and for Bird and Blends sake.

Once I decide the shoot is over, which in this case was when the ice began to melt, it’s off to Lightroom to edit the photos!

I am so grateful for my partnership with Bird and Blend Tea Co as it has helped me grow as a photographer and learn so much about shooting food and products. Which leaves me wanting to know this, would you consider tea a food or product? I never could figure that one out….

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