Behind the Scenes: Commercial Coffee Photo Shoot

Photographer Bill Cahill has primarily dedicated his career to photographing a single subject: all things liquid. While this may seem like an awfully specific subset to focus on, upon seeing Cahill’s images it becomes evident as to how he’s been able to support himself over the years:

Since childhood, Cahill has had an interest in photography—still life, in particular. Though it’s taken him years to schmooze his way into the top of the advertising field, he wouldn’t have it any other way. In this behind-the-scenes exclusive, we’re given an up close and personal look at just how one of his shoots goes down as he sets the scene for a Peet’s Coffee promotion.

In conjunction with clients, Cahill’s job is to conceptualize marketing messages and bring them to life through imagery. Part of that includes bringing every type of prop imaginable to a shoot to ensure that the customer is satisfied with even the most minute details of an image. Sometimes, the ideal image is actually a combination of images, and it’s up to Cahill to find out how to solve the puzzle of what needs to be done.

Luckily, being established professionally comes with its own set of perks. Because of his reputation, Cahill has access to some of the most advanced gear available. At this particular shoot, he utilizes five 12,000 watt Mole Richardson lights as well as a Leaf medium format digital back (among other things).

To hear more about the photographs and motion sequences that goes into an ad campaign—and what it takes to get to the top—tune into Cahill’s story. From humble beginnings as an assistant to becoming the driving force behind a set, there’s something to take away from this journey for photographers in every stage of their careers.

Iced Coffee Bill Cahill

“Getting 80 percent of the image is fairly easy but that last 20 percent can be extremely difficult to get, and that’s a big hurdle in anything creative, I think.”

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