[Hey Tea Singapore X Tristeps Studios Photoshoot- Hey Tea Singapore's 2nd Anniversary]
Memory Lane of Our Bubble Tea history in Singapore:
It’s first debut in Singapore was 1992. Our all-time favourite bubble tea has been here on this little red dot island for more than 28 years!
The drink has never stayed the same as time passes. From the classic flavoured syrup [Blue coral] to the amazing crunchy Oreo ice blended, bubble tea was made to suit the palate of us, the consumers.
To now, the use of quality tea leaves to give the aroma that one will never forget. Tannin that are noticeable but not disrupt your taste experience, “Polished and Elegant”.
Similarly to the trend and style of Bubble tea creation in Singapore, the food photography scene adapts to the changes through the years.
Food brands are constantly pushing the boundaries to create unique and stunning or even the top ten food visuals for their food.
From your traditional studio shoot, to bringing ready-made food outdoors.
Photography production house like us, Tristeps Studios, has also taken up the challenge to ensure that our viewers/clients requirements are met well visually.
We will tell you how we, Tristeps Studios, tackle outdoor shoots with actual temperature sensitive products/drinks through our recent collaboration with Hey Tea Singapore.
For Hey Tea’s 2nd Year anniversary, our client wanted to incorporate their drinks through a tour photoshoot around multiple iconic places in Singapore.
Style and Tea is what the youths crave for and Hey Tea is hitting on all the right notes with visuals that are fun, pop and street styled.
Hence, our collaboration with Hey Tea consists of places of different iconic parts of Singapore such as HDB (Housing Development Board), Haji Lane Mural, and Sengkang’s Floating Wetland.
Naturally the outdoor nature comes with challenges ahead...
Dealing with Melting Ice Outdoor:
The first obstacle faced was the melting ice from the very grape cheezo. The unique selling point about this drink is the ice blend that is infused with the skin peeled grape pulp giving it a fruity, juicy and refreshing taste. We wanted to present the most accurate drink image to their social media audience, as though they were to take their drink from Hey Tea’s store.
Solution for the Melting Ice Outdoor:
What we did was to have the Hey Tea crew prepare half a dozen Very Grape Cheezo at a location as close to the shoot location as possible. This was the best solution besides creating the juice at the SengKang wetland itself, as it does not have a power source for us to plug our blender.
Besides having the drinks made ready near the shoot location, we had to adjust our photoshoot angle. We had to have the drink tilted so that the cheese cap will cover most part of the drink. We also did a top down photoshoot so that the body of the drink is less visible.
Dealing with Public and crowds:
After the Sengkang Wetland, Very Grape Cheezo shoot, we moved to our next photoshoot location at Haji Lane for our King Fone Tea photoshoot.
The King Fone Tea has a really nice blend of oolong tea fragrance with a thick layer of creamy cheese cap, giving the drink a nice blend of smooth tea and thick body. Its cheese cap would linger within your hard palate while the golden oolong tea would cleanly wash it down your throat. Not allowing any cheese to be stuck in your mouth, making you sick of the tea.
The drink did not have the ice blend element that is time and temperature sensitive. All we had to take note of, was to not shake the drink so much that the cheese and the tea starts mixing.
Haji Lane is known for their bustling streets, we had expected a smaller amount of crowd beforehand as we had planned the shoot for a weekday. However, we still faced a large crowd on a weekday during the actual day of photoshoot. Thankfully, our head photographer was able to weather the storm easily with his experience, as crowds are obstacles that most photographers will face. So, what our head photographer did was to use the mural as the background, that way the crowd will not be taken in the photoshoot.
The second solution to avoid the bustling crowd will be to shoot the photos from bottom up. This will reduce the chances of us capturing the unwanted crowd as the angle of the shot is pointed towards the skies.
The final recommendation to avoid the crowd would be to do a product close up. By lowering our aperture stops we can increase the bokeh effect for the background of the subject. Thus, blurring out the surrounding to a level that is just enough to sensor away the unwanted faces so that the main focus can be on our model and product(King Fone Hey Tea Drink).
Small subject, Big background:
Off to our next location, the iconic TV screen mural, HDB art in Tampines St 42, it is an iconic actually functional building in Singapore which evokes a nostalgia feeling amongst Singaporean, when visited.
Our idea is to have the Roasted Brown Sugar Bobo to be shot as the subject and the TV screen mural to be the background.( Ps, can you spot our talents?!)
But here comes the challenge, having a smaller subject to be placed with a huge element such as a building is rather troublesome for most photographers out there.
The preparation of the drink was relatively simple because the milk, pearl and the brown sugar could be brought down to the shoot location separately without change in shape, colour and texture. Although simple, the Roasted Brown is Heytea Singapore's top 3 drink.
With the torching of the caramel top, this drink emits a roasty aroma with every sip. The brown sugar bobo is also well sweetened giving the milk a hint of caramel sweetness. Besides the well balanced sweetness, the bobo is experiential as it is a smoothly textured ball that glides down the throat.
We tried to have our subject (Roasted Brown Sugar Bobo) across the street, incorporated into the TV screen painting, but the focus for the drink was lost in this process. We had to think fast, therefore coming up with a solution, which is to increase the f stop, bringing the drink closer at the foreground and the HDB art as background without losing focus on 2 subjects.
Besides, we push the HDB boundaries for the shoot. Not only the art mural, the corridor is also a part of everyday Singaporean. It is a place where everyone has to walk pass, kids playing around and sometimes a personalised front yard garden.
Therefore, we came up with this concept of the corridor shoot, to also represent Singapore.
What we have learned:
To summarise, as a street/product/food photographer, you have to think out of the box and think fast. Understanding the surrounding element and how we can adapt when circumstances arise. From the usage of top down shot to reduce ice in the image, to using the mural as background to eliminate crowd and lastly using the depth to decrease large images to be incorporated with the smaller subject.
We hope that this article did help all aspiring and current creatives out there. Stay tuned to our social pages as well as webpage for more updates.