10 Bar Photography Tips for Capturing the Perfect Shot

10 Bar Photography Tips for Capturing the Perfect Shot

In big cities the first place a teenager eagerly looks for is “A Bar”. It is the best place for chilling with your friends with a glass of drink in your hand while a nice music is being played at the background. However, in the world of photography a night club or a bar is not often the most interesting place for shooting. Rather, some photographers find it challenging.

The conditions inside a bar is never so shooting friendly. It has dim-lights, lots of people, unpredictable movements and above that most of the people are not so nice! A good photographer needs to manage himself according to this environment. In bar photography some competent methods can aid you to complete this task with ease. All you have to do is to scroll down and know the 10 bar photography tips for capturing the perfect shot!

Equipment list for bar photography –


In bar photoshoot the biggest challenge for your camera is to be congruent with the low lighting conditions. Your camera needs to have a good lens that can let more amount of light into the camera for impeccable focus. Capturing all the details is a nice way to make the photo picturesque which requires a camera that has a versatile AI system. It can automatically pick up all the details and help the photo to look more bright and attractive. The cameras that professionals have suggested us for this job are-

  • NIKON D750
  • CANON EOS 5D Mark IV
  • Sony A7R IV
  • NIKON Z6


Lenses basically do the main job in bar photography. Due to less light, too much handshake, abrasive conditions and other factors the lenses are needed to be adjusted a lot. If you don’t have a good set of lens it will be impossible to capture a single good picture. A lens that has a balanced focal point and an aperture alongside an advanced ISO setting can be promising for this task. You have to be very careful on selecting your lens as they are a fundamental part of the process. Some lenses you can look into are-

  • Canon 35mm F/2
  • Canon 50mm F/1.4
  • Sony 24mm F/1.4
  • Sigma 35mm F/1.4


No matter how good your nightclub photography equipment is, there will always be complications with light. Light is your biggest enemy in this kind of photography. But if you a have the game changing equipment named as “Flash”, you will always get adequate amount of light. You can use flash for drink photography lighting as well as bar photography. There is a huge variety of flashes in the market. Getting a good quality flash can do the job for you. Still you can take a look into some of these-

  • Canon Speedlite
  • Canon Spedlite 600EX RT
  • Sony HVL-F60M
  • Godox TTL Flash

Tips for shooting bar photos –

Ask for permission

As we have mentioned above in a bar all people are not so nice. So it is almost necessary to ask for their permission before taking a picture. If they are happy to cooperate then the task becomes easy for you. Getting people ready for different poses can be difficult but once you have figured it out you will surely enjoy the session. Firstly, you need to move round the bar and look for right moments, nice spots and anything that can showcase the specialty of the bar. Then you need to take shots of each things one by one. Which will not be possible without the help of people present there.

Shoot in low lights using flash

Understanding the light is monumental in professional cocktail photography. Generally it has many transitions in different nightclubs, bars, venues, arenas and functions. It can be green, blue and sometimes red too. Which can change the skin tone and color of people and different things. Some places that are too dark require more amount of flash. So you need to use flash to cope up with various lighting situations. Sometimes we need to be careful with its use. Unnecessary usage of flash can blur the whole image too.

Make creative Compositions

Creative compositions can play a huge factor to make your picture grabbing the attention of viewers. We all know it is very grievous to analyze a good composition in amidst of a nightclub. The huge shout of people, noise of music, everyone drinking and enjoying themselves makes the whole process of making a composition almost impossible. But if you keep your eyes open and try to focus on different scenarios you will find some of the best moments to capture in your camera. Try to look through every details with your lens. The lights, the glasses, decorations, rare moments of people. Focus on everything! But remember you need to act quickly or else you might miss the best parts.

Use props

Drink photography props can be a good way to enhance the attractiveness of the picture. You can use countless things as a nice prop. For instance you can grab a well decorated glass of drink and a bottle and hand it to someone with a pose. In this case the glass and the bottle will be used as a nice prop. Like this you can also use those big disco balls, decorations, different colored lights, unique type of drinks as a prop. Using props in the most creative way will make your photo look stunning.

Capture drinks

What is the best thing about a bar? Isn’t it just about all the cozy and fancy drinks? We can all agree that the quality of the drinks served in a bar can always determine the popularity of it. If the drinks are bad then people will not even go to that bar. So what’s more fun than taking photos of these amazing drinks. It’s the easiest part of bar photography. You just need to order the featured drinks from the menu of the bar and take shots from different angles. In this case you can maintain a slow shutter speed to use the light to your advantage which will increase the brightness of the photo.

Tell the story of people

In different corners of a bar you will find different stories. Try to reach out to those stories and capture them in your camera. Go to a group of people who are enjoying at the bar. Ask them to give poses together. Show that happiness, bond and emotion through your picture. The most interesting photos are those photos that can tell a story. So you should try to find such stories by knowing different people. A picture of a couple, a group of old friends, different dance steps all of these actions of people can be a good thing to capture.

Capture moment

The best thing about a good photographer is that he always looks for unique moments. Capturing the unique moments will always sell out your picture. Inside a bar a lot of unique moments occur. You just need to have the eye of the eagle and act fast. It sure takes a lot of practice and effort. Because things tend to happen so fast inside a bar that you mightn’t even get the time to click. So, grab as many opportunity as you can. Different action and reaction between the DJ and the crowd, pretty girls wearing fancy dresses, Retro themes, the combination of coloring lights and smoke, boys having a party and all that can be the best moments to capture inside a bar.

Take photos from different angles

Mastering the art of using different angles can be very effective. If a photo is not looking good from one angle then it will look good from another angle. You have to take shots from all of the possible angles and narrow down the best ones for final selection. A good set of lens will help you in that. A bar will most commonly give you a square angle. So you need to change positions a lot to find out the most creative angles. Try changing the position of different props, people and decoration. Some things will require zoom and some will not. Therefore, you have to know when to take wide angle shots and when to take portraits.

Use fake ice

Ice are the best things that can ennoble the beauty of drinks. But using real ice cubes to take a photo is very hard. Even experienced photographers don’t use natural ice for shooting. It’s because ice melts very fast when it is poured into the drink. You will not even get enough time to properly adjust your camera let alone take a picture. Nowadays, you will see fake ice in the market and it can be costly too. But you should manage one because professional drink photographers always use fake ices to make the photo of the drink more authentic and realistic.

Go for photo editing

Photo editing is the most important part after every photography session. In bar photography photo editing is essential. Because the raw photos will not be perfect. There are high chances of too much red light destroying your photo. Sometimes a lot of background or detail editing is required. Because nothing is properly placed inside a bar. So you need to adjust these misplaced details to make the photo look more pleasing. We know it is hard to notice these tiny details and it takes a lot of time and hard work. But you can save your time and get rid of doing hard work if you take the services of different photo editing companies. They are professional in this task. So you can always rely on these retouching companies for quality result.


How do you do nightlife photography?

Nightlife photography is a very challenging task. Because of the low light you will often not get good results. In this case you can use a good camera with good lenses and a flash for getting a good source of light. Use a setting that has slow shutter speed and fast aperture to get brighter images. Focus on every details and take shots from different angles to get the best pictures.

How do you take good pictures of alcohol?

The picture of alcohols showcase the quality of the bar. So they need to be spot on and attractive. You can use props to make them look better. A lemon or different food on the top of the glass or a tiny umbrella can make the alcohol glass fancy. You can also shoot people when they are holding the glass in their hand. Besides, the use of fake ices is always the next best thing for taking alcohol pictures.

How do you take pictures in dark bars?

In order to take pictures in dark bars we need alternative light source and a good camera with good lenses. Set your aperture setting to fast mode and your shutter speed to low and then use a flash to provide light. As a result slow shutter speed will take more light from the flash into the camera and fast aperture will adjust the brightness and clarity of the photo. This is the most efficient way to take pictures in dark bars.

How do you do cocktail photography?

Cocktail photography can be very fun. Trying out different drinks and taking pictures of them from different angles is always fun. Make the drinks more colorful by using the DJ lights to your advantage. Use different props, fake ice and people to draw a good composition. It takes a lot of practice but if you stay focused you will be able to do extraordinary cocktail photography.

Should nightclub photographers use flash?

I think it is mandatory for nightclub photographers to use flash because a nightclub is always dark. Even though there are different coloring lights like purple, red, blue or green used in the bar but they are not enough to do a proper photoshoot. So if you are a proper nightclub photographer then you should always use flash.

How do professionals take Club photos?

A professional club photographer always has the idea of what he is doing. He makes a plan first and gathers information about the club and its landmarks. Then he collects all his equipment for the task. Taking club photos will require a good camera and moreover a proper ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed setting. Professionals like to maintain fast aperture and slow shutter speed setting for taking club photos. To avoid the darkness they use flash in the right places. So if you also want to do professional club photography then you will need to follow these steps.

How do you photograph beer?

The best way to take the photograph of a beer is to avoid all the details in the background and focus only on the glass of beer. You should clean the glass first before taking the picture so that it looks shiny. You can also use props to create scenario in your picture. You can show someone’s hand it the picture too so that it looks like a person trying to pour the beer into the glass. Don’t let the coloring lights destroy the look of the beer. Use flash to maintain the texture of the color. Using a fake ice can also make the beer look more interesting!

How do you take soda pictures?

Soda is the most common thing at your disposal in a bar. But there are certain ways to photograph it or else it will look dull. You can use the bubbles in the soda to your advantage. Create as much bubbles as you can. It will make the soda look more interesting. You can also use fake ice to create a consistent vibration of bubbles. In this way the photograph will look fancy and appealing to the people.

What F stop should I use indoors?

Knowing the camera settings is absolutely necessary in indoor shooting. Since there is a maximum chance of not getting enough light you should use wider aperture settings such as an F/4 or F/2.4 for portraits and F/11 for wide angle photography. You should also use a slow shutter speed to get enough light to avoid a dark texture. Most professionals have used this setting and found success.

What should ISO be in dark room?

Dark rooms will usually have less light. So a higher ISO level is required in the dark room to get light. You can set the sensitivity high according to the type of the camera you use. 800, 1600 ad 3200 ISO can be the best alongside a F Stop of F/2.4 or F/4 with a low shutter speed.


Bar photography is definitely not a child’s play. It requires a lot of practice and determination. Even after practicing for years some people find it difficult to shoot inside dark bars. But we are sure that if you follow our bar photography tips you will be able to take good photographs. Follow these 10 bar photography tips one by one and practice them regularly. We are sure that you will be an expert in it within no time!

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