Working to a Brief 5: Coca-Cola Product Shoot

For our fifth ‘Working to a brief’ challenge, members have been tasked with creating an advertising-style product shot of the well-known soft drink Coca-Cola.

Although the deadline for the submissions are now closed and we are no longer accepting entries,  you are welcome to still take part in it and tag us in your results! 

All the details you need to complete the brief can be found below, as well as in the accompanying live show (we recommend watching this live show as it may feature additional useful information and advice). No further guidelines will be provided.

Sketch of earphones for photography brief

Working to a Brief - Challenge #5

Thursday 13th May 2021 - 15:00 BST / 10:00 EDT

Karl explains the concept for our fifth 'Working to a Brief' assignment - a product shot of a can of Coca-Cola.
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The brief

The aim for this assignment is to produce a product image of a Coca-Cola can to be used for various advertising purposes*.


You are required to produce a stylised image of a Coca-Cola can that encapsulates the cool, refreshing taste that consumers around the world know and love.


Coca-Cola can, Coca-Cola bottle, appropriately shaped glass, ice cubes, wooden table surface, dark background.

Sketch of Coca-Cola for photography brief

Image layout

The sketch above illustrates the desired composition and layout for the image.

The can of Coca-Cola should be the focus of the image, positioned to the left of and slightly in front of the glass. The brand should clearly be visible and there should be condensation on the can to convey the cool, refreshing feel associated with the brand.

The glass should be filled with liquid and some ice cubes and there should also be some condensation.

A controlled pour of liquid should be visible from the top of the image, pouring into the glass. There should be some liquid splash, but not too much that it is distracting.

There should be a small portion of the surface visible, with the shooting angle from slightly below in order to make the product seem more heroic.


The mood of the image should be clean, crisp and fresh and invoke a sense of desirability.


The overall lighting for the image should be clean and crisp, with gradient lighting on the can and glass and a subtle glow on the background.

The liquid, in both the glass and from the pour, should be clearly lit, with some light coming through the liquid.

The front of the surface should be carefully lit so that the texture of the surface is visible, but not overpowering. The can and, to a lesser extent, the glass should clearly be the hero.

A gradient glow should be used on the background to create separation between the subject and the background.

The image titled Mood 1 best describes the overall lighting of the image, with even gradient lighting down both sides of the product and a controlled glow on the background.

The image titled Mood 2 best shows the more moody feel, although the gradient lighting does not need to be this strong, while the image titled Mood 3 best shows the cold, condensation feel required as well as the angle of view.

Mood 1
Mood 2
Mood 3


A dark background with little to no texture visible should be used to clearly offset the product. A red gradient glow should be visible to create additional separation between the subject and background.


A can of Coca-Cola and filled glass should be placed on a brown or neutral colour surface (this may be wood, but it does not have to be) with a bottle of Coca-Cola pouring liquid from above into the glass.

Any size can of Coca-Cola may be used for the shot, although the 250ml can is preferable. An appropriately sized glass, of a traditional shape, should be used.

The glass, filled with liquid and ice, should be positioned to the right and slightly behind the can. Both the can and glass should be positioned towards the front of the surface, almost at the edge.

There should be clear condensation visible on both the can and glass (this should not look messy).

A pour of liquid should be visible, pouring into the glass. As would be expected, there may be some splash of liquid, but it should not be overwhelming.

The background should be dark in colour, with no texture, and a subtle background glow should be visible behind the products to enhance separation. The colouration of this glow should be red.

Both the can and glass should be in focus, along with the liquid pour.

Any dust/marks on the can and glass should be cleaned prior to shooting or removed in post if necessary.


Brief summary

  • A can of Coca-Cola (any size) with a traditionally shaped glass filled with liquid and ice placed on a neutral surface with an additional bottle pouring liquid from above
  • Brown or neutral surface
  • Dark background with red glow behind the product
  • Gradient lighting on the can and glass
  • Condensation on both the can and glass
  • Additional liquid pour from above, into the glass
  • No excessive liquid splash
  • Camera angle looking slightly up at the subject
  • The image should be in focus from the front of the can to the back of the glass

*This brief is for example purposes only. This is not a professional commercial brief and all requirements are purely for educational purposes.

Please note all images will remain copyright to the original photographer, but Visual Education reserves the right to publish them within its website and on social media.

Submit Your Image

The deadline for entry has now passed.  The deadline was at 13:00 BST / 08:00 EDT on 16th June 2021. These submissions will be reviewed by Karl in a follow-up show on 24th June.

© Visual Education. All rights reserved. No content on this page may be used or shared by third parties.

Recommended Content

Below is a selection of some of our past photography brief challenges. To learn more about photography and commercial projects, you can find a complete breakdown of the commercial workflow in our Business of Photography course.


  1. Hello, Karl.

    I’m thinking about the commercial image of the catalog.

    Don’t you want to proceed with a tutorial for clothing online commercial photos?

  2. Is it possible to submit a photo eventhough it’s closed? I signed up today and found out about this just now. Will be shooting this weekend if so.

    1. Hi, the brief results show is this Thursday 24th June so if you have submitted and entry it will be covered then. Thank you.

  3. Does it make any sense to have a can of Coca-Cola as the hero, but yet pouring from a bottle ? Shouldn’t it rather be from another can ?

    1. Hi Phillip, as explained in the brief show you have to follow what the art director/client requires regardless of ‘sense’. As also explained in that show the ‘client’ requested this so that they could feature both a coke bottle and can in the same advert and that a pour usually looks better from a bottle.

  4. Hi Team,
    is there a way to verify that an image was been submitted with success and that it can be discussed during live show?

  5. I’m not quite sure how you’d do that on your website unless it was within a blog. I always say a little thanks to @karltayloreducation for the detailed instruction/inspiration…something to that effect…on Insta.

    I’m using my garage at the moment. I bumped into so many things from bikes to lawnmowers. There may or may not have been an excessive amount of cursing, but I finally got it done.

    I’m finding that my own creativity is a bit low and I hope that will come with working to more briefs and getting a vision for what is possible.

  6. Hi team !
    Is that a good idea to post the result in our website too ? and if so, how we refer that it’s a karl’s idea ?

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