Snapping photos for National Ice Cream Day? According to a survey carried out by National Today, about 40% of American individuals have eaten an entire pint of ice cream. That’s a lot of ice cream fans we have living amongst us. It may surprise you to know that National Ice Cream Day was made official by none other than President Ronald Reagan.

He wanted to commemorate a treat enjoyed by over 90 percent of the nation’s population and produced by 10% of the nation’s milk supply. In fact, Americans consume more ice cream than any other nation in the world. When Reagan’s proclamation was officially signed into law, he also called on the U.S. people to pay tribute to ice-cream with “appropriate ceremonies and activities.” Since then, it’s been one of the most coveted holidays that sparked a tasty tradition celebrated year after year.
via National Today.

How you can capture ice cream photography before it melts

Ice Cream Photography Tips For Melt-free Props - 123RF Blog
Berry beautiful photo by Jacek Nowak, 123RF.

Realistically speaking, unless the surrounding climate is ideally freezer room temperature, a photographer would have to keep asking his production assistant to continuously spoon on more ice cream as it melts. The surrounding props, if any, will be soaked with sticky ice cream. The team would have to continuously rearrange the toppings, and readjust to make it look as yummy as it did before becoming an oozing sludgy mess.

Ice Cream Photography Tips - 123RF Blog

That would be tough to keep on snapping great shots, especially with the layouts a photographer will experiment with. So what’s a photographer to do? Substitute ice cream with mashed potato, of course.
Black ice cream shot by tashka2000, 123RF.

That would be tough to keep on snapping great shots, especially with the layouts a photographer will experiment with. So what’s a photographer to do? Substitute ice cream with mashed potato, of course. Some photography tips say other alternatives are corn syrup blended with a healthy dollop of shortening, or just use powdered sugar as a base. There are some who make use of shaving cream mixed with coloring, especially for sorbet or ice-blended desserts. Photographers and their production teams make it look more realistic by adding some coloring to the mix, and if they get it right, no one’s really any wiser.

Ice Cream Photography Tips For Melt-free Props - 123RF Blog
If I didn’t know any better, I’d say this was ice cream by Natthapon Ngamnithiporn. But if ice cream shots are made of mash potatoes, what are mash potato shots made of…?

Clever photo tricks, right? The end result will still be as mouthwatering and seductive as ever – to your stomach, that is. While there are plenty of other recipe alternates out there, whatever substance that doesn’t melt and looks like the real thing works just as good.

Ice Cream Photography - 123RF Blog

Drooling over this tempting popsicle shot by Elena Veselova.
Drooling over this tempting popsicle shot by Elena Veselova.

There are, however, photographers who do opt for using genuine ice cream as opposed to substitutes in their photography. This involves quite a bit of preparation, particularly with timing because of the melt factor. A number of things that can be done would be to fully prep the display layout while keeping the ice cream in a frozen state for as long as possible, and getting ready to snap photos quickly as soon as the ice cream is exposed to room temperature. So, as you can probably tell, speed is of the essence when it comes to using real ice cream as the focus prop.

Interested to learn more of our photography tips and tricks? Explore our blog for more photography tips or mini guides such as this one on the golden ratio.