PSL Season: 5 Ways To “Spice” Up Your Coffee Photos

Starbucks PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte) season is here and we can't wait to see those frothy photos! Make sure you follow these tips for the best coffee shots this season.

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The time has come for all of us basic, fall-loving people to band together, in the name of good photography. That’s right; we’re calling all secret Starbucks fiends, pumpkin spice addicts, and latte lovers to the front.

Pumpkin Spice Latte season is here, and that means one thing: every social media platform will be inundated with badly lit photos of Starbucks cups. But we can’t settle! We need to fill the spaces between with some beauty, so here are 5 killer tips for taking gorgeous coffee shots:

1. Add some fill light with a napkin


"Coffee shops usually have nice, big windows which provide great natural light for taking photos of your drink. However, sometimes the light can be too harsh and create an unwanted shadow on one side of your cup. To help even out the light you can use a napkin or any other light colored surface to help bounce that window light back into your shot, creating a more pleasing image. Adjust the distance of your bounce surface to your liking and play around with different objects. This simple technique will make all your PSL photos really pop this season!"

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2. Human element


"When I shoot photos of coffee or food, I like to add some sort of human element in the image, whether it’s a hand, fashion accessory, or demonstration of movement. This makes the photo look more relatable and less staged. Plus, it’s a good way to get someone else at the table involved and make it fun."

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3. Find a cool surface


"I find that different surfaces tell different stories. I recommend looking around for unique textures that can add character and mood to the moment you are capturing. Placing your subject on marble, wooden, or rustic tabletops not only brings out your subject but can convey different settings."

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4. Placement


"When deciding on subject placement, the two best spots in your frame are directly centered or on the top right of rule of thirds. If you're shooting in square format, the coffee looks best in the middle. If you're not shooting in square, don't be afraid to move the coffee off to the side and play around with placement."

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5. Props


"Using props in your photos can give more context to the subject or story you are trying to tell. It also gives you the chance to have a bit of fun with your photography by 'dressing up the scene'. Try adding some of your favorite things, like a sketchbook, film camera, cooking utensils, adventure gear, etc. to showcase some of your personality in your photos. Additionally, props can also be used to emphasize a certain time of year. PSL is represented by fall, so why not have some fun and play up your photographs with pumpkins, pine cones, leaves, and anything else that represents the beginning of the new season."

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So don't be shy, and remember to share your PSL shots with us this season by hashtagging your best #PSLMoment! When PSL season is over, we can all go back to shooting and posting our favorite latte art, like this beary cute one here, by @e21

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