#1 - Simplest in terms of props. Two identical candies on a beautiful reflective surface. One whole, one cut open with filling exposed. Must be pristine, and of course aesthetically pleasing (the candy itself). Take care handling - use gloves. Heat gun only if absolutely necessary. Try several with stand-ins to get right angle, lighting, surface. Photo credit: Yaroslav Danychenko
#2a - Individual candy (or candies), on some kind of cocoa powdered surface, maybe with gold flecks? Powdered sugar? Something other than chocolate, that relates to the chocolate. Surface of chocolate must be impeccable. Again, multiple "rehearsals" with stand-ins. Photo credit: Shimera
See shot #2a. Photo credit: Yaroslav Danylchenko
#3 - At least seven chocolates, perhaps more. Arrangement of chocolates on attractive surface, super clean, well-exposed, showing every detail of the chocolates. Don't have to be lined up like this necessarily, but all visible, and oblique angle. Photo credit: Shimera
#4 - Flatlay chocolates. An assortment of beautiful shapes, some cut open. On an attractive surface -- better than the marble above -- that complements the chocolates. I'm thinking of brighter colors for the surface. Photo credit: Yaroslav Danylchenko
Pristine chunk or chunks of chocolate. Deceptively simple-looking; must be immaculate and beautifully styled. Photo credit: Mark Laita
See shot #5a. Photo credit: Maren Caruso
#6 - Liquid chocolate (hot fudge?) swirling onto or into something. Perhaps onto a fruit, like a strawberry. Not necessarily a spoon. Buy some chocolate sauces and experiment to see what looks best. Make sure it looks completely delicious. Photo credit: ?
#7 - Concept shot of box of chocolates. Clever ad shot that shows the box and the contents, along with some kind of concept (as this one with chocolate "ink" and quill pen). This will require planning and propping so as not to waste money. Keep eyes open for clever ideas. Prop list: Good looking box of chocolates, possibly extra chocolates, and whatever props and surface(s) needed for concept. Photo credit: Shimera
#8 - Motion capture: powder. Stack with cocoa powder sifting over. Or fresh truffles, doesn't have to be a stack. This one's kind of ridiculous, even if spectacular. Flash, dark background, perfectly lit chocolate. May require compositing. Almost certainly will require compositing. Photo credit: Yaroslav Danylchenko?
#9a - Impossible stacks of chocolate. I like the branded Godiva, but I have to admit the marbled slabs are impressive. Try a bunch of stuff. There will be illusions involved. Photo credit: Shimera
See shot #9a. Photographer unknown
#10 - Warm, melty, silky chocolate with almonds. Or whatever. Make it look this tasty. Good luck keeping the almonds afloat (try some trickery). Photo credit: OMS Photo
#11 - Chocolate cookie splashdown. Practice makes perfect. Photo credit: OMS Photo
#12a - The money shot. Will require an exquisite and probably shockingly expensive piece of chocolate. The only other prop is a ribbon, really, but remember what Peter Gabriel taught you about theatrical simplicity. Put your newly acquired compositing skills to work, and make sure everything is spotless. Photo credit: Shimera
See shot #12a. Photo credit: Shimera
#13 - Totally extra credit. This would be sort of a master’s thesis in chocolate photography. Photo credit: Maren Caruso
#1 - Simple but gorgeous shot of single cocktail. Doesn’t have to be overhead, but striking and beautiful.
#2 - Simple but groovy bottle shot.
#3 - Beer head. ‘Nuff said.
#4 - Simple liquor bottle with shot on the rocks. Bottle is full. Make sure liquor in glass is the same color as liquor in the bottle.
#5 - Moody booze. Cocktail with something going on in the background, not necessarily a bottle. Stylish. Maybe this is where I shoot chocolate and booze together.
#6 - Pour shot(s).
#7 - Glass of beer with original can or bottle. Be sure the glass is appropriate for the beer style.
#8 - Splashy smoky steamy cocktail.
#9 - Splash shot with bottle.
#10a - Abso-f***ing-lutely spectacular bottle shot. Not just any background. Make it stunning.
#10b - See shot #10a
#11 - Fire and alcohol. What could go wrong?
#12 - Extra credit: Some cocktail style that is unique to me. Photo credit: Timothy Hogan