How Do You Get Such Great Pictures Of Your Cakes?

Decorating By yelle66 Updated 13 May 2008 , 2:28am by FromScratch

yelle66 Posted 11 May 2008 , 5:30pm
post #1 of 24

Can someone give me some tips on making my cakes look better in pictures? My cakes look like one thing in person and then I take a picture, the colors are off, the flash hits the middle wrong and they just don't look nearly as cute as they do in person. I'm pretty sure I need to get a separate flash, but does anyone else have any recommendations for me (i.e. set up, lighting etc.)? TIA!

Danielle-In the middle of building my bakery-well, my home bakery, but still!


23 replies
indydebi Posted 11 May 2008 , 5:46pm
post #2 of 24

I take multiple pics. One with flash and one without flash. Usually the without-flash is the better one. Place your cakes in natural light (i.e. on a table facing an opened window) and take the pic with no flash. PHotoshop Image Adjustment - All Levels is also a great tool to have!

Win Posted 11 May 2008 , 6:19pm
post #3 of 24

I just recently learned the trick of setting up a dark poster display board as the background. That always gives you an uncluttered background and makes the cake pop!

Mizuki Posted 11 May 2008 , 6:25pm
post #4 of 24

If you want really nice pictures of your cakes, invest in a nice camera. It really does make a difference.
You could also try getting a photo box. They sell them on Amazon. They are boxes made of special fabric that have the perfect lighting already in them. You place your cake inside, take the picture, and viola! You have a beautiful picture with the perfect lighting and a plain background (as opposed to your kitchen table! icon_wink.gif)
I have not gotten one of these yet, as we invested in a camera first. The main problem I see with them is that they aren't huge. If you are taking pictures of large wedding cakes, I'm not sure this would work...although you'd probably want to take a picture of that at the venue anyway.
Hope that helps...

just_for_fun Posted 11 May 2008 , 6:33pm
post #5 of 24

I also find that taking the pic from a little bit away from the cake, and using the zoom on the camera minimizes the reflection from the flash, and keeps the colors more "true"

FromScratch Posted 11 May 2008 , 6:36pm
post #6 of 24

Well photo boxes coem in MANY sizes.. upwards of a 6 foot cube, but the best thing you can do is not use your flash. The flash on most point and shoot cameras will pick up every flaw. The harsh shadows and bright (hot) spots just wreck a picture. If you have the money you shoudl get a better camera. Even a Canon Digital Rebel XT would be MUCH better than your average point and shoot. icon_smile.gif

But if you have a steady hand.. set your cake up on a table with a sheet hanging a few feet behind it next to a nice bright window (but not with the sun light directly pouring through it) and turn off your flash. If you aren't steady get your self a tri-pod and you will notice a big difference in your pictures. icon_smile.gif

springlakecake Posted 11 May 2008 , 6:45pm
post #7 of 24

I agree that natural light with no flash seems to produce the nicest photos (for me). I need the tripod to reduce camera shake. Remove all of the clutter! I usually just set my cakes on a table cloth.

Cakebelle Posted 11 May 2008 , 7:02pm
post #8 of 24
Originally Posted by just_for_fun

I also find that taking the pic from a little bit away from the cake, and using the zoom on the camera minimizes the reflection from the flash, and keeps the colors more "true"

Wow! never thought of doing that.........DUH! Thanks just_for_fun! thumbs_up.gif

Rhienn Posted 11 May 2008 , 7:10pm
post #9 of 24

I do trade with a photographer friend. thumbs_up.gif

I'm not very good with the camera and my DH is...well...let's just say if you don't need to see ALL of the item in the shot, then he's the photog for the job.

My photographer friend does use a light box to shoot my cupcakes. She also went to Paper Zone (a paper store) and bought some large sheets of fancy papers to use as back drops. Of course, she has a gagillion dollar camera and the skillz to use it...

yelle66 Posted 11 May 2008 , 7:51pm
post #10 of 24

We actually do have a pretty nice camera. Its a canon with an optical and digital zoom (not one of the small point and click ones). Its not an SLR like I believe the Rebel is, but I don't have time to figure this one out, I know I couldn't do the Rebel. Thanks for the suggestions, though. DH did mention possibly getting a photo box, so maybe we will look at something like that.

Mizuki Posted 11 May 2008 , 8:22pm
post #11 of 24

Also look into getting a bounce flash. It is much less harsh than the straight on flash that will show all the flaws. It lights up the area much better. I've had great success with if I could just get my camera to make my piping better I'd be all set! icon_biggrin.gif

have_your_cake Posted 11 May 2008 , 9:10pm
post #12 of 24

I bought a piece of dark velvet that I use as a backdrop. It covers all the counter clutter and absorbs some of the flash. I guess you'd want a lighter color if you have a dark cake. I've also read to put a piece of scotch tape over your built in flash to diffuse it. These 2 tips helped my photos considerably.

TooMuchCake Posted 11 May 2008 , 10:14pm
post #13 of 24

My son is professional photographer and I've asked him to write a tutorial on photographing cakes. He's working on it and I'm hoping it will be done in the next couple weeks. He is working on it in his spare time and it's a rare commodity right now....

I buy solid colors of gift wrap and use those as backdrops. I buy most of them at the dollar store so they're cheap.

Whatever you do, if you take a pic of your cake on the kitchen counter or breakfast table, be sure to remove all the clutter from around the cake! Nothing ruins a cake's portrait more than a box of Cheerios or salt shaker off to the side! LOL


leily Posted 11 May 2008 , 10:25pm
post #14 of 24

The best advice I have received on the boards is to use a felt or fleece material behind your cake. I use a black fleece in the back of all of my cake (and on the table) and it has helped bring out colors and keep the flash toned down.

But Natural sunlight is the best!

just_for_fun Posted 12 May 2008 , 1:14am
post #15 of 24

I find that taking a picture is a very good reason to clear off the counter. That's the only way to make sure that nothing else shows up in the pic, to distract from the subject.

doublecz1103 Posted 12 May 2008 , 1:31am
post #16 of 24

i've seen at walmart and even online these kits for selling online that give you a little stand, a covering and a background and stuff to set up your item to photograph. you could easily make this yourself but you might want to consider it.

m1m Posted 12 May 2008 , 1:41am
post #17 of 24


What section did they sell the kit in? I haven't seen these, but am interested.

CelebrationCakery Posted 12 May 2008 , 1:47am
post #18 of 24

I have been using a tension curtain rod from the dollar store with a neutral shower curtain attached to it. I hang it in my kitchen window when I am ready to take my pictures and then it is a snap to take down and get out of the way...I will be investing in a few yards of black velvet very soon though...I just have not gotten a chance to make it to Joann's

FromScratch Posted 12 May 2008 , 1:49am
post #19 of 24

The photo box they sell in walmart is only big enough to photograph small cakes. It's tiny. I got it as a gift and brought it back since the lights sucked and it was soooooooooo small. It's in thc Camera section if you wanted to look at it, but I'd save your money.

You can make a light box pretty easily with a white sheet and PVC. There DIY instructions on the internet just look up light box. icon_smile.gif

I have a Canon digital XTi and a 50mm 1.2 lens. It takes wonderful pictures, but it's a SLR and there's a learning curve for sure. It's well worth the time and investment though. icon_biggrin.gif

doublecz1103 Posted 12 May 2008 , 1:53am
post #20 of 24

i saw it in with the electronics at the one in my area... they had a section of camera cards and cameras that were more for like kids.. or cameras that were cheap enough not to have to be kept locked up... it was on shelves with these cameras and cards. i can check when i go there again what it's called. i just searched .try this link... it was something like these ..but MUCH MUCH MUCH cheaper!!

chassidyg Posted 12 May 2008 , 2:12am
post #21 of 24

2 white poster boards on either side, as well as a dark poster board for a back drop may do the trick, white boards shouldnt be visible in pic.. Dark brown, or a black for backdrop would work best. Sunlight should ALWAYS!!! be behind you as you photograph. I have a DSLR and a point and shoot. My mom cant usually tell the difference when I do my kids photography.

chassidyg Posted 12 May 2008 , 1:02pm
post #22 of 24

These are what some of the cc'ers are talking about. You place small cake inside. The same effect can be made with 2 white poster boards or 2 white large cake boards propped on either side.

2txmedics Posted 12 May 2008 , 10:47pm
post #23 of 24

Take pictures as if u were setting up your table for the event....of course your not at that have some items to decorate for wedding, anniv, birthday...whatever the event.
Then take pictures with kitchen lights on, then off...with flash on/without...different angles, all the cakes, each cake...from above standing on a chair or step stool, from regular standing. Then pick your best pictures. I also take pictures as Im making the cake in stages...for my personal photo album incase its a hard cake I can see how to do it again. HOPE THIS HELP....
You have to use your IMAGINATION to decorate your table.

FromScratch Posted 13 May 2008 , 2:28am
post #24 of 24

I personally prefer the clean look for photos for my gallery.. just a simple backdrop and the cake. It showcases the cake better IMHO. I have been making it a point to take pictures of all of my cakes this way so that it's all congruent.

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