Since Instagrams inception in 2010, the craft beer scene has exploded within the app, with communities of beer enthusiasts sharing artfully constructed photos and videos of their latest beer finds. If you search the hashtag #CraftBeer, you will be able to scroll through more than 24 million posts and that is just one hashtag. If you were to scroll through the #Beer, you would find over 65 million posts! So, you could say it is a bit of a saturated market, especially if you are looking to stand out and draw an audience of beer lovers to your page. There are many technical hacks and tips that you can do to help boost your visibility and garner a following but the best way to do that is to post great content. It should get your followers to stop scrolling and pay attention to your post.
That is a strategy that the team behind @CalusaBrewing has become very familiar with. The team at this humble Florida brewery has been churning out scroll-stopping beer content that will have you wondering how they captured that shot. The creative minds responsible for some of the “beer throwing” photos that you see on their feed comes from Taylor Pogue (Marketing) and Benny Ray (Photographer). They created an offshoot Instagram page called @LightsCameraCalusa, where they can showcase their behind-the-scenes content from their weekly productions. Scrolling through their feed you can find out how they achieve some of their popular ghost pour and splash photos. After seeing a few of their “splash” photos, I knew that I wanted to see and record the whole process. Lucky for me, Calusa Brewing is only a short drive from my home and I am friends with Taylor and Benny, so I was able to set up a day to bring my camera out and record one of their photoshoot sessions.
When the day for the photoshoot finally arrived, I met with Taylor and Benny at brewery around 8pm eager to see what they had planned. The photos that they were shooting would be used to garner excitement for Calusa’s upcoming double can release of their signature Stormrage Double IPA and a newer Sweet Stout. Upon arrival, I was greeted with a fresh Zote IPA (one of my favorites) and given the general run down for the shoot. I sipped my beer and listened to the gameplan and then decided to break out my camera…Enjoy the video!
Q: Tell us a little about @LightsCameraCalusa…
A: I really wanted a minor platform to showcase the behind the scenes of our efforts in creating content for Calusa, basically for anyone who was interested in what we are doing and how. I love talking shop when I travel to beer events and wanted to bring that online in some capacity.
Q: What led to the idea to start throwing beer?
A: Benny, who I work with weekly – he’s behind the camera and I’m usually in front of it, and I saw some cool liquid photography posts along with some other breweries making splash content and thought, lets make a mess…we had some special plastic cups (B Cups) so they wouldn’t break and started from there.
Q: How many beers do you throw per photoshoot?
A: It really depends on how the first couple splashes turn out, sometimes we get a really good splash during the first toss, and others it takes some time. In the beginning we were just winging it, but now there is some minor technique we apply to the toss and how the liquid will react. All in all it takes us (on the high end) 64oz to complete a shoot.
Q: What are some challenges to capturing a great beer throwing shot?
A: Accuracy and getting the beers to actually splash out of the vessel. Being accurate is basically placing the liquid in the frame where we want it. If there’s a couple splashes going on we have to be thoughtful as to where they’ll be. It’s challenging to place a moving splash as you can imagine, but the more we practice the more accurate we’ve been getting. The other part to accomplishing a good splash is making the vessel bounce enough to get the liquid splashed out. We usually tilt the vessel in different directions before we drop it to make the first bounce have the most power in getting the liquid out, again this is all in theory and sometimes it doesn’t work.
Q: Have you had any equipment causalities from a rogue beer splash?
A: Knocking on wood here, but we have not had any major causalities other than some wet/sticky sandals. We do have a underwater housing for Benny’s camera if we want to get really weird.
A: The Rip & Fog Warning release. I love the reflection on the barrel and the barrel splash on the left side. Basically the B Cup bounced off of the barrel with already spilled beer and just made a splash. These little things I think make the photo.
Q: What camera/equipment do you guys use?
A: Benny uses a Fuji XT3 with either a 23 2.0 or 18-55 2.8 lens.
Q: What beer is currently drinking or the last one you had?
A: Haven’t had a beer today, but yesterday I had a couple sips of Like Minds, Farmhouse IPA from Zillicoah x Brewery Bhavana, delicious! My go-to recently as been Calusa’s Outbound German Pilsner though.