Let me start by saying that I really try to be as authentic as possible when shooting anything that is edible. And, for the most part, anything I photograph can be consumed immediately following (or, sometimes along the way, especially if it's chocolate!).
But, when it comes to working with ice and ice cubes, I'm all about the fake ice! Here are just a few reasons why...
* Real ice melts really fast. Especially in Dallas in the summer! So, once you've added it to a drink, and it immediately begins to melt, you only have a very short time to shoot before all the effects from the melting ice begin to occur.
* Real ice can crack and break apart, not only when being removed from whatever tray or container it was being frozen in, but, also when it hits any liquid that is warmer than it is.
* Real ice can be cloudy. And, all the ways people try and get it to freeze clear are not foolproof, and kind of a pain in the butt.
* Real ice can begin to create condensation on the glass. Which again can hinder the shooting process, especially if you are wanting to get that gorgeous backlight effect through a liquid or just have a smooth surface to see the drink through.
Acrylic ice is a great option to tackle all of these challenges. it's clear, it's not frozen, or even cold, and they are shaped in uniform way that create a cohesive look in the glass. Plus, it's super easy to keep clean and lasts forever!