How To Photograph Ice Cream and Popsicles Before They Melt into a Sad Little Puddle

By Brittni • posted on 02/14/2024

Fruit Loop Ice Cream

One of the things that I’ve inadvertently become accustomed to, especially during the VERY warm Florida summers, is photographing food items that melt.

It can be a total pain to try to photograph something, like an ice cream cone, for example, when it’s 90 degrees and the second you step outside the whole thing falls apart. BUT there are ways to combat some of those melting issues when it comes to photography things like ice cream, popsicles, etc. 

So, I thought I’d share a few tips on that topic today, as part of the Behind the Scenes series. Here are seven tips for photographing things that melt…

Behind the Scenes // Photographing Things That Melt

1. Set up ahead of time. Don’t take anything out of the freezer until you are absolutely positively ready to shoot. That means setting up everything you can before bringing in the potentially melty item.

from strawberry limeade popsicles recipe

Behind the Scenes // Tips for Photographing Things That Melt

2. Work fast. This is an obvious one, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind. You have a small window of time to photograph melty items. So make ’em count.

from candy mini donuts DIY project

Behind the Scenes // Keep Popsicles Cool Between Photos with an Ice Tray

3. Keep a tray of ice around. This is especially helpful for popsicles.

4. Use a tripod and set it up ahead of time. This will be super helpful when you have sticky hands and can’t touch anything without making a mess.

from strawberry limeade popsicles recipe

Behind the Scenes // Tips for Photographing Things That Melt

5. And speaking of sticky hands, don’t forget the paper towels. Things can get sticky fast when you’re working with popsicles or ice cream and you don’t want to get that stickiness on you camera when you’re shooting. So, keep some paper towels or a rag handy for easy clean up.

from 3 delicious ways to eat toasted marshmallows

Behind the Scenes // Tips for Photographing Ice Cream

6. Try again. If it doesn’t work the first time, try and try again. Sometimes things don’t  go as planned the first time around, but if you keep trying, you’ll get there.

from 6 DIY ice cream topping ideas

Behind the Scenes // Tips for Photographing Things that Melt

7. Embrace the drips and the puddles. Once you get to a certain point, drips and puddles are going to happen. So, I try to embrace those and get a few final shots as things are visibly melting. Sometimes I include them in the finished post and sometimes I don’t. But either way, it’s good to give it a try and see what you end up with, photo-wise.

from sweet peach iced tea popsicle recipe

Drippy ice cream cone

from 6 DIY ice cream topping ideas

So those are my tips for photographing ice cream and popsicles before they melt away.

Have your own tips to share? I’d love to hear ’em.

P.S. On a completely unrelated note, it’s my husband’s birthday today! Happy birthday to the funniest guy I’ve ever known. I think I’ll keep ya.

16 comments | Click here to reply

Loving these pics! And now I’m really in the mood for ice cream…
Shared here –

Story Tellers Vintage

Great post!!! I recently read an article stating that popsicles are the new cake pops, and am inclined to agree!

xo, Jilli

Jilli Joffe

I always pre-chill any container or surface that I am putting my ice cream into/onto. For example, if I’m putting my ice cream in a ramekin for my photos, I will put the ramekin in the freezer for at least half an hour before I start shooting!

Megan @ hint of vanilla

Whoopsy!! Wrong link… lol! That comment I just posted a minute ago, i forgot to add a certain word on the URL… XD


Yum! Great post! Will come back to this when I am photographing a popsicle! 😉


we had a company ice cream social and had the same problems! loving this post!


You are a brave soul photographing so many frozen things! I’m getting ready to shoot some ice cream and appreciate these tips! Happy birthday to Jeff!!

Kelly @ Studio DIY

I never thought about the melting mess this could create! You make it look so effortless 🙂

Colleen Pastoor

I have always wondered how you score such awesome ice cream shots! Thank you for sharing your secrets!


Yes! I’ve always wondered this as I always take forever to shoot non-melty things! Thank you for sharing your secrets with us! I will keep them in mind when I decide to shoot something melty!

The Mama Gazette


Ha! I love this! The behind the scenes of it all is actually the most hilarious bit. But I live in Canada so I don’t have this problem…
The Accidental Mama


Love this! And, as usual, all your photography is just gorgeous…

Marlene @ Jade and Fern

I tried photographing “styled” ice cream ONE TIME and it was a disaster. These tips are infinitely helpful 🙂

Kelsey, Esp.

The amount of ice-cream I would probably end up eating would be daunting. I bet siblings would be helpful for the process. 😉

And it’s good to know we’re not the only ones making sloppy messes while trying to photograph perfect DIY’s.

Oh – and I have friends who just moved to Florida – from MN. All in a sudden, I get why you’re posting about popsicles. Keep on keepin on, until it’s actually fall there, if ya gots to.


Thanks for sharing these tips. They are really handy to know. Happy birthday to your hubby!

Amber Rhodes

Wow this is super helpful! I have shot several frozen recipes and it was pretty disastrous! This will help a ton!

Danielle @ Chits and Chats and Chocolate
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