Photo Guidelines


By: David Gadd
Photo Guidelines for The Tasting Panel Magazine

Photographers and Writers:

As THE TASTING PANEL grows, we have come to realize that the photographs that appear in the magazine have as much impact as the words—and perhaps more.

We insist on great photography to showcase the people, places and products that are our reason for being. Mediocre photos have been known to kill stories, and this will continue to be even more true as we move forward.

We are blessed by having some of the best photographers any publication could wish for, as well as writer-photographers who excel at both the image and the printed word. However, many of you have asked for guidelines for the kinds of photos we are looking for, and others have wondered why we have rejected their images. With that in mind, we have put together this set of DO and DON'T photos.

We have intentionally suppressed the credits on these photos. If any photographer objects to have his or her work on this page, please email us and it will be removed immediately.

David Gadd
Managing Editor


People are the life behind THE TASTING PANEL and are the most important photos we run. They need to be dynamic, dramatic, energetic, positive images that promote the human factor behind the beverage industry. Look for flattering, natural light and unforced expressions, and place all brands and labels in a prominent but not obtrusive position.



Natural lighting, unforced expression.
Brand clearly visible; competing brands minimized. Venue's logo clearly visible.
Drama and style.


Shooting at a crowded bar is next to impossible, as most of you have discovered through experience. All bar shots should, whenever possible, be dones while the establishment is closed to the public. Aim for clean, uncluttered bars. Remove all unnecessary objects from the bar: napkins, barmops, untensils, candles, etc. Less is more. Wipe up spills before shooting. Concentrate on the action of making a good cocktail. Avoid behind-the-bar shots: these areas are usually dark, cluttered and unattractive.

Capturing the action. No clutter.
"Too much information." Too many employees in the photo. Why the extra glasses on the left?

Avoid shots of event attendees wandering around aimlessly. Candid are great when they are well-lit and capture a unique moment, but it's often better to ask people who are pouring and/or attendees to pose for photo (when they find out it's for THE TASTING PANEL, they'll be more than happy to cooperate). Keep people and brands in mind and, wherever possible, avoid spit buckets, plastic water bottles (those ugly and seemingly ubiquituos water bottles), messy tables.

Faces and brands.
Lost in an anonymous crowd.

THE TASTING PANEL, 6345 Balboa Blvd, Ste. 111, Encino, CA 91316
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