I am often asked by clients whether I prefer to shoot
with real or fake ice. Often times the choice is dictated by the circumstance. For example, when I am shooting on location at a restaurant or bar, real ice is the only choice available.
If I am in the studio fake ice is often my preferred choice.
Obviously, the advantage of shooting with fake ice is that it does not melt.
In most studio shots the decision-making process is slow and requires input from clients and their superiors. A drink can languish on set for a long period of time. Real Ice would be impractical.
Recently I was shooting Godiva Liquor for Hunter PR and we were having trouble getting buy-in from the client. The art director was emailing shots, we were going back and fourth. Had we used real ice the variables would have been to many. If the client liked one aspect of the shot and did not want to change it had we used real ice it may have changed the shot too much. By using fake ice we eliminate that as a variable and can concentrate on getting the other elements right.
Where can you get fake Ice? There are a few places that you can acquire fake ice but hands down I recommend, Brian Preston Campbell http://www.preston-campbell.com/.
He is one of my food stylists but has been making and selling fake ice for a few years.
He also rents them by the day. Tell him I recommended him.