Mr. Boston’s Official Bartender’s Guide has a rich and detailed history. Just after the Prohibition, they first opened their doors as a distillery. While they were successful in their pursuit to sell cordials and collectible bottles, they’re most known for their bar and mixology guide, formerly known as The Old Mr. Boston Deluxe Official Bartender’s Guide in the 1900s.
Over the years, Mr. Boston’s Official Bartender’s Guide has been republished with updated and new recipes, and after more than 85 years, the guide is still used throughout the world.
In 2016, our partnership began with Mr. Boston when we built their website which includes over 10,000 recipes and serves as a digital companion to their bartender’s guide. Check out our most recent work below.
HANDCRAFTED COCKTAIL SELECTION
Before each photo shoot, we carefully selected 10-12 cocktails to photograph. During the selection process, we considered a wide range of inputs. First, we looked at the website analytics data to identify any cocktails that weren’t photographed or needed reshooting. We then considered the seasonality of spirits and ingredients, ensuring selected cocktails paired with audience preferences, occasions, and availability of supplies. Lastly, we looked for any new spirit, mixology, or shifts in audience trends to ensure Mr. Boston is promoting cocktails that appeal to their fans and followers.
Once we solidified the selection of cocktails, we made shopping lists for both the spirits and additional ingredients and gathered all the materials we needed for shoot days. Art directors plan each shot including mood, styling, backdrops/backgrounds, and props.
A TASTE OF THE CREATIVE PROCESS
From mixing materials to the framing of shots — each photograph is deeply considered, and the concepts were approved by the client before shooting. Some materials we sourced for Mr. Boston include satin, linen, marble, glass, mirrored glass, brass, wood, silver, black lacquer, copper, burlap, jute, and more.
Each shot is set up with multiple aspect ratios in mind for the final photos, from horizontal layouts for their site to square and tall verticals for social.
Lighting cues are carefully planned and exclusive to each cocktail, from dark and moody for absinthe sippers, to bright and natural light for a sparkling daytime luncheon punch, to heavily contrasted harsh shadows and bright highlights for tropical summer backyard drinks.
We get meticulous with our placements. Each drink is different from the other, and some call for garnishes like basil leaves or citrus peels that our designers placed and curated.
COCKTAILS CUSTOMIZED TO EACH PLATFORM
Once completed, all of the new cocktail photos go through light editing and retouching. Edited photos are then reviewed by the VIA Studio design department for final selection. The final cocktail photos are then used on the Mr. Boston website and their social media profiles.
Our photography work is possible due to the hard work and expertise of Jessie Kriech-Higdon. We're proud to say several of the photographs from this project have been awarded with a silver ADDY by the American Advertising Federation of Louisville.