Communicating Value Online: Wine Bottle Shot Photography

Wine packaging is extremely important to selling your wine. Would you agree? It is all about presentation, right? Because most likely the packaging sells the product first. For most people, that is all they have to go on for accessing the quality of the wine. Then they can drink it after buying it and decide if the quality matched the packaging. And studies have shown that people will actually rate wine as better quality depending on the packaging (label design, bottle weight, closures and capsules). If this is a well known fact in the wine industry, why are there still so many wine websites without wine bottle shot photography on the product pages?

Bad Website Wine Photography


Good Website Wine Photography

Wine Ecommerce Photography Good And there is something just delicious about seeing the bottle on a website versus just a square graphic of the label. It is hard to put my finger on why that is. It is not like I am seeing a photo of a menu item at a restaurant. It is just the bottle, but somehow it creates this perception of what I am about to get to drink very shortly.  It can be a big motivater for the online buyer, but so many wineries neglect to include these. I got a chance to speak to Collin Krauthamer from He has a really efficient enterprise going on that makes it easy and inexpensive to deliver these amazing bottle shots on your wine e-commerce website. You simply place your order online, mail them your latest releases and then download the finished product from their website. No fuss.

Wine Industry Digital Divide

In an interview we discussed the conundrum about, “why do some many winemakers neglect to invest in their bottle photography?” We both came to the same conclusion, winemakers are neglecting to invest in the communication of their brand, not just the photography. I think it is because we are in an industry that hasn’t really had to communicate the value of the product directly to the consumer (except for packaging). For a very long time that responsibility was delegated to the distributors and retailers. The only thing the producer was responsible for was building and maintaining those relationships with the distributors. But the last 10 or so years changed all that. State laws are changing and so are the wine industry’s strategy for selling their wine. A well balanced wine production business model is now a healthy balance of DTC sales and distribution. But this business model is new and not entirely taking full responsibility on how they communicate value to their consumers. Other arguments I have heard about our industry’s deficiency in communication best practices has to do with the fact that many of the players on the production side are farmers, not marketers. So there is this legacy of digital illiterate decision makers. Bottle shot photography cannot be done with an iphone camera or a wedding photographer.


To take a good bottle shot requires expert understanding of lighting. Beware of a photographer’s portfolio that lacks indoor shots. Natural lighting is much easier to work with than indoor lighting equipment. And all product photography is done indoors.


Another way to qualify good bottle shot photography is the ability of the photographer not just to capture the 2 dimensional representation of the label, but it’s 3 dimensional elements. Yes, wine labels are 3 dimensional. High quality labels often have texture in the paper, embossing and debossing  that convey value to the consumer. These details are especially important if your homepage is going to feature your bottle shot. Lucana Wines is really a great example. See  the texture in the paper? See how the correct use of lighting caught the glimmer from the foil in the label? The design is a little off focus which is my only criticism, but it is a great example of my points above. Wine bottle Photography

Responsive Website Design

New website design techniques allow us to use bigger and bigger photos. Now that websites don’t have to be programmed to fit the average computer screen size, but can be designed so that the layout shifts depending on the users screen size – big photos are becoming more and more in vogue. Which means, bad photography will look really bad on these new websites. And really good photography will make the website a masterpiece.

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