Give your barista the day off with these clever coffee photo hacks

Post by
Marisa Young
Give your barista the day off with these clever coffee photo hacks

Are you ready for some creative cafè-ination? We love our morning coffee and are always energised by the beautiful cafe inspired images we see online.

Coffee is such a fun subject matter to photograph and there are so many creative ways to style and serve it. Luckily you don't need to head to your local cafe to capture some deliciously foamy latte art. We are serving you some clever home hacks for photographing coffee - even if you don't have any on hand!.

To help inspire your next shoot we’ve rounded up the best coffee hacks from us and the Creatively Squared community. It's time to make yourself a coffee and let these creative ideas percolate your imagination.

No coffee? No worries!

You don't need to have coffee on hand to recreate the look for your photo. Simply raid your pantry and find something to substitute your coffee like soy sauce or coke cola, anything that has a deep brown coffee colour.

Thick soy sauce is great for capturing droplets like Eka has from @kulniyasally

Just add bubbles

You can add some realistic bubbly froth to your fake coffee by simply using a couple drops of detergent. You won't be able to drink it afterwards but it will be visually delectable.

Khushboo from @mother.of.reinvention demonstrates how to add bubbles with detergent

Add some motion

Bring your coffee image to life by adding a video element. You can add a coffee drip or steam, or even swirl your coffee in post production using simple video overlays in an app like Werble or the gifs from Instagram.

Nisha from @healthysutra shows how simple it is to add some movement using the gifs from Instagram

Latte Art

Be your own barista artist at home by easily adding some latte art in post production to elevate your coffee flatlay or vignette. Use an app like PicsArt to select your latte sticker or add an overlay in Photoshop to instantly fill your cup.

Alex from @lxocreativestudio shows us that possibilities are endless in post-production

Ice Ice Baby

Iced coffees are always popular and filling your glass with ice cubes creates an interesting visual effect. You can capture movement as you pour milk into to your coffee and the contrast of colour creates beautiful textural swirls. Try using spherical or different geometrical shaped ice cubes for extra interest.

Sally's swirling coffee perfection. Source:


Whip it good

A simple whisk can take your coffee from flat to creatively frothy in no time! The whipped Dalgona style coffee was one of the biggest coffee trends from the last year and creates a stunning layered look in your glass.

Yoanita from @yow2 shows us how to style the perfect Dalgona coffee

Tip: You can use Aquafaba for an extra frothy hack alternative. Simply whisk the leftover liquid from a tin of chickpeas into some white frothy goodness.

Visit our top coffee trends blog for more on-trend coffees like this one.

Let it fly

Creating a levitation effect can elevate your coffee photo, literally! Add some flying spoons, milk jugs or cookies for the ultimate conceptual scene. This hack is only limited by your imagination so let it take flight!

Flying cookies make a splash. Source: @guldennotlar
Or floating milk jugs. Source: @the13megapixel

Make a splash

Freeze frame your motion to create a splash with your coffee. You can use a fast shutter speed and burst mode to create a ‘real’ splash by dropping a golf ball or other object.

Melissa's epic splash hack using soy sauce. Source: @the_healthyish_housewife_life

If you'd prefer not to make a mess you can fake it in PicsArt using a splash sticker overlaid onto your image. Here’s our handy tutorial to see how it’s done!

No clean up required for this splash. Source: @kulniyasally

Are you looking at the coffee in a whole new way now? Or perhaps you are tempted to grab the soy sauce or chickpeas? Share your coffee styling with us by tagging @creativelysquared on Instagram or share it in our free online community. Bonus points if you have a coffee hack of your own to share, we would love to feature yours!

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