A few years ago, I starting taking “beer with a view shots” for fun. It was a cool way to capture a view and remember the unique, local beer I was drinking.
Today, there are subreddits, Twitter and Instagram accounts, and more dedicated entirely to taking a #beerwithaview shot.
You can find #summitbeer photos. #hikebeer photos. #travelbeer photos. You can find beer with a view shots of anything.
But taking a perfect beer with a view shot is harder than it looks.
I’ve taken a few good beer with a view shots myself. Here are some of my favorite tips.
Tap to Focus on the Beer – Not the Background
I know the background is spectacular. But a blurry foreground looks silly.
Tap to focus on the beer in front of you. If you have a good smartphone camera, the background will look fine.
Learn the Rule of Thirds
I know nothing about photography, and I have never taken a photography class. However, I do know about the rule of thirds. Split up your photo into nine boxes.
Make sure the interest points align with the intersections of those boxes. Many cameras do this for you. Personally, I like keeping my beer off to the left or right side of the photo as opposed to the center, but it depends on the view.
Center the Label for Maximum Clout
Center the label to make sure you can read the brewery name and the name of the beer. It’s harder than it looks. It’s easy for your fingers to obscure part of the name.
An obscured label makes your #beerwithaview shot less taggable and shareable.
I don’t do Instagram to make money, but it’s fun to tag breweries in #beerwithaview photos – especially if it’s a smaller, independent brewery and you’re in an obscure part of the world. Center the label and make it readable to ensure maximum clout.
Do a Bit of Unprofessional Post-Image Editing
Again, I’m not a professional. But here are some editing tips that help (all of these are available with Instagram’s normal photo editing tool):
Saturation: Many bad photographers boost saturation to make their image look better – including me. But hey, brighter colors make the image pop.
Brightness: Increasing brightness seems to bring out the beer label more effectively. This works especially well if your photo editing app can increase the brightness in a specific part of the photo. You don’t want a dark, shadowy beer label.
Contrast: Contrast can widen the gap between the dark and light parts of your image (again, I’m not a professional). I like to mess with contrast if the beer blends in too much with the background.
Warmth: I like to increase warmth a little bit to make photos less dreary.
Structure: I honestly don’t know what structure does or how it works, but it adds more definition to my ages. It’s particularly useful for bringing out a beer label that may be dark or unfocused.
Tag the Right Accounts
Tag the brewery in your #beerwithaview shot. Consider tagging an account you like – like an account dedicated to hiking beers.
Many breweries will add you to their story or create a post in exchange for the tag. It’s cool to get shared by an account with tens of thousands of followers.
Some people tag dozens of random accounts in every shot. That’s okay too.
Combine Local Beers with Must-See Views
There are thousands of photos of Half Dome and the Eiffel Tower.
But how many people have #beerwithaview photos in front of either? Okay, there are still a lot. But you get my point: recognizable views are great for #beerwithaview shots.
Combine a local beer with a must-see view for a winner of a shot. Or, better yet, bring an obscure beer halfway around the world to create the rarest beer with a view shot.
Take Better #BeerWithAView Shots Starting Today
Taking a good #beerwithaview shot is harder than it looks.
That’s why I’ve drank as many beers and taken in as many views as possible. For practice.