Photographing Cakes?

Decorating By tootie0809 Updated 16 Aug 2008 , 4:10pm by TooMuchCake

tootie0809 Posted 15 Jul 2008 , 6:31pm
post #1 of 34

I can't take a good picture of my cakes to save my life. What are some good tips to take photos of cakes? What are the best angles, backgrounds, lighting, etc. to show off the height or detail of cakes from side and top?

33 replies
TooMuchCake Posted 15 Jul 2008 , 10:20pm
post #2 of 34

Here is a tutorial my son put up on my website that gives a lot of good tips on taking cake photos:

http://www.cakedalaska.com/Caked_Alaska/Photo_tutorial.html

HTH,
Deanna

amberhoney Posted 15 Jul 2008 , 10:44pm
post #3 of 34

Don't rush it. I've seen photos of lots of good cakes here ruined by people taking the photo the second they decide they are finished, with icing bags scattered around and mess everywhere. Soooo tacky icon_lol.gif Almost all of my cakes are photographed outside, if I can, I much prefer natural light.
Try and have a neutral background, like the tutorial TooMuchCake showed, so that the background doesn't distract from the cake. Unless its a really gorgeous wedding or party setup icon_wink.gif

tootie0809 Posted 15 Jul 2008 , 11:07pm
post #4 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by TooMuchCake

Here is a tutorial my son put up on my website that gives a lot of good tips on taking cake photos:

http://www.cakedalaska.com/Caked_Alaska/Photo_tutorial.html

HTH,
Deanna




Thank you! This is just what I was looking for! icon_smile.gif

Nicolle711 Posted 16 Jul 2008 , 1:56pm
post #5 of 34

Deanna, great tutorial! thumbs_up.gif

TooMuchCake Posted 16 Jul 2008 , 3:20pm
post #6 of 34

Thank you!!

Deanna

tx_cupcake Posted 16 Jul 2008 , 3:33pm
post #7 of 34

I have saved that tutorial to my favorites. Thank you so much! I read a lot of food/baking blogs, and a lot of the bloggers take their own pictures. I've found it is very popular to take a picture of a group of something - for example, cupcakes - and focus on the one in the foreground, leaving the ones in the background blurred. I love how this looks, but all I have is a digital point and shoot and I haven't been successful replicating it. Does anyone know if you need a more advanced camera for this technique?

TooMuchCake Posted 16 Jul 2008 , 4:31pm
post #8 of 34

I asked my son (author of the tutorial) and he said that most point-and-shoots have a fixed aperture. (A short depth of field is what you are looking for, and you'd need to be able to manually adjust the aperture for that.) He said you might be able to try using less light and hope it tricks the camera into opening up the aperture. For a really good shot like that, though, you'd need to borrow a more advanced camera. You may be able to see if there's any info in your camera's manual that will help you find out your camera's capabilities.

Go to the Caked Alaska page titled "Wedding... Cookie?" The title photo is f5.6 and 1/125 seconds using a flash.

HTH,
Deanna

tx_cupcake Posted 16 Jul 2008 , 5:22pm
post #9 of 34

Thanks Deanna. I appreciate the information!

the cake whole Posted 16 Jul 2008 , 5:31pm
post #10 of 34

thumbs_up.gif

That is a great tutorial! Well done!!

tonimarie Posted 16 Jul 2008 , 8:38pm
post #11 of 34

Deanna-thank you so much for this tutorial. Wow-I guess I've been doing EVERYTHING wrong! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif This is going to be very helpful for my next cake thumbs_up.gif

missmeg Posted 16 Jul 2008 , 8:52pm
post #12 of 34

I'm so lucky my father is a professional-amature photographer icon_biggrin.gif. By that I mean he buys all the expensive equipment, knows how to use it, but is terrified of putting himself out there to actually take pictures of...you know...PEOPLE. We have a portable studio he made specifically for taking pictures of my cakes (see my gallery). He's been on a learning curve with it, but I love how they look. The best part is that he'll come over as early as 6 am or as late as 10 pm to snap a cake pic if I need him to.

indydebi Posted 16 Jul 2008 , 9:58pm
post #13 of 34

Deanna, tell your son that is very well written with great examples of good-bad-and-ok examples! Good detailed info written so a non-photography geek can understand it and follow the instructions.

It is a great talent to be able to teach .... many experts tend to talk in expert-ease and the 'students' are lost and unable to understand. (Ever try to get a computer guy to explain something to you? icon_eek.gif ) He has a great talent in this regard AND looks like he's a darn good photographer!!

Great job and thanks so much for sharing this with us!!

bobwonderbuns Posted 16 Jul 2008 , 10:26pm
post #14 of 34

A few tips -- always use natural light if possible. That means use natural sunlight (near a window or outside) and lose the flash. My pix are getting better but they still need some work... icon_rolleyes.gif

lardbutt Posted 17 Jul 2008 , 12:08am
post #15 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by tootie0809

I can't take a good picture of my cakes to save my life. What are some good tips to take photos of cakes? What are the best angles, backgrounds, lighting, etc. to show off the height or detail of cakes from side and top?



No advice, but that dog in your avatar is so adorable!!!! icon_biggrin.gif

TooMuchCake Posted 17 Jul 2008 , 12:23am
post #16 of 34

Thanks, Debi! I'll tell him. I'm sorta proud of him myself. He's 17 and has been around cake and cameras for almost as long as he can remember.

I totally hear you about experts speaking "expert-ese." My husband was trying to explain something computer-related to me a little while ago, and I had to call my son in to translate "because Dad's speaking monkey again."

icon_smile.gif

Deanna


P.s. - I love the boxer avatar, too! I have a boxer mix myself.

PattyT Posted 17 Jul 2008 , 12:35am
post #17 of 34

Deanna...THANK YOU!

It is so nice of you and your son to share.

I agree with the others that it is well written, and very helpful.

Thanks again - Pat

doitallmom Posted 17 Jul 2008 , 12:38am
post #18 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by amberhoney

Don't rush it. I've seen photos of lots of good cakes here ruined by people taking the photo the second they decide they are finished, with icing bags scattered around and mess everywhere. Soooo tacky icon_lol.gificon_wink.gif





I am sooooooooo guilty of this. Thanks for all the info!

sari66 Posted 17 Jul 2008 , 1:08am
post #19 of 34

very cool tutorial thanks for sharing it

Cake_Princess Posted 17 Jul 2008 , 7:54am
post #20 of 34

[quote="amberhoney"]Don't rush it. I've seen photos of lots of good cakes here ruined by people taking the photo the second they decide they are finished, with icing bags scattered around and mess everywhere. Soooo tacky quote]

I don't think those individuals are deliberately trying to be tacky. Some people don't know how to properly compose a picture and others are just more concerned with showing their creation than with the actual taking of the photo.

Besides, this is the digital age - almost any mistake be altered digitally especially if the picture is in a RAW image file format.

miny Posted 17 Jul 2008 , 8:30am
post #21 of 34

Thanks Deanna (and son) your tutorial is very clear and helpful, and the cake icon_lol.gif ...... is beautiful. thumbs_up.gif

tonimarie Posted 17 Jul 2008 , 12:51pm
post #22 of 34

OMGoodness icon_surprised.gificon_surprised.gificon_surprised.gif Your son is only 17??? I assumed the way that it was written-by that I mean professionally-with all the tips and examples of good vs bad that he was a 20 something professional! Wow is all I can say! I'm speechless. He should become a photography professor. thumbs_up.gif

jammjenks Posted 17 Jul 2008 , 3:12pm
post #23 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by doitallmom

Quote:
Originally Posted by amberhoney

Don't rush it. I've seen photos of lots of good cakes here ruined by people taking the photo the second they decide they are finished, with icing bags scattered around and mess everywhere. Soooo tacky icon_lol.gificon_wink.gif




I am sooooooooo guilty of this. Thanks for all the info!




I used to do this until I realized one day how bad it looked in my photo album. I try to be more careful now. Most of the time, once I finish a cake the only clean counter space is just around the edge of the cake board. (Only because I needed to take the picture!) I just told my dad, ameteur wood-worker/builder for me, last night that I needed him to build me a small picture box/backdrop to take my cake pictures in. Missmeg- would it be a lot of trouble to post a picture of your portable studio? I do like the way it makes your cake gallery pictures look.

Side note:
When DH heard me mention to my dad that I needed one so that no one would see my mess in the pictures, he "politely" responded with, "Just clean it up and no one will see a mess." Gotta love dh sometimes...

sarand Posted 18 Jul 2008 , 7:22am
post #24 of 34

Hi, The best advice i can give is always have the light behind you and put your camera on 'auto'... for a good effect i bought some cream and burgandy silk and used this to put as a background... this gives a really good effect.

Good luck

Lemonydoodles Posted 18 Jul 2008 , 5:09pm
post #25 of 34

I am an amateur photographer & think taking pictures of cakes, etc. is really an art icon_smile.gif I always use natural light, a good camera (love my Canon Digital Rebel), a steady hand or tripod & one of my best tips is to make sure your background is a solid color....I have used everything from actual backdrops to t-shirts (since I mainly do cupcakes, they fit)......also, don't be scared to get up close & personal w/ your cake.....in other words, not all pictures should be taken from afar icon_smile.gif Good luck.

Solecito Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 6:25pm
post #26 of 34

Thanks for sharing!!
I'd like to add: when you have to take the picture at the event site, be careful with the background, I had some pictures taken of my cakes when there's a piece of person on the back and I don't realize this until it's too late to go back and take the picture again.

Atomikjen Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 6:41pm
post #27 of 34

Deanna you are fantastic for posting this!!!

Thank you!

TooMuchCake Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 6:43pm
post #28 of 34

I did this awesome outdoor wedding a couple weekends ago, and forgot to take our backdrop with us. (HINT - put a roll of plain sky blue wrapping paper in your car for deliveries just as if it were part of your repair kit, so you can be prepared for messy backgrounds!) In one really good pic of me finishing up the cake, the florist in the background looks like she's standing on the top of the cake like a pathetic backwards topper. icon_smile.gif

Deanna

mellormom Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 6:44pm
post #29 of 34

I just use my white sheet and hook it to my kitchen cabinets. (I put one side through the hinged part of the door and the other side of the sheet on the other side and shut the door) If your taking pictures up close then it doesn't matter your background because all you see is the sheet. Then I stick my turn table under the sheet and put my cake on top. It's not professional but it works and the cakes don't look that bad.
Jen...

pumpkinroses Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 6:44pm
post #30 of 34

Thanks for the info. That is going right into my favorites when I get home. I need all the help I can get on taking pictures.

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