Good evening cakers. Hope I'm posting this question in the right area. I'm trying to build my portfolio and need advice on how to take the best pictures. I see a lot of cakes with a solid color (usually black) background. I know there's a photo cube you can buy but I'm not looking to spend money on that at this point. Is there a way to change the background in the picture?
The cheapest way to get a convenient backdrop for your cakes is to purchase one of those tri-fold boards kids use for science fair projects. They fold up flat which makes for easy storage. You want a solid, neutral background so it doesn't interfer with your cakes. If you are trying to modify a photo you've already taken, you can use photo editing software to color the background in black.
It's a lot easier to put a nice solid background behind the cake than it is to change the background when you've taken a photo. It can be done with a photo editing program but it's time consuming unless you want to invest in Photoshop.
I use a science fair backdrop...you know, that folding cardboard thing that your kids have to use for science fair displays. I put the cake on my silver stand, put the background behind it, and that's it. The sides on it are useful for directing the light the way that you need it. I've also seen some lovely photos with a piece of fabric as a backdrop...thumbtack the fabric to the wall high enough that it will fill the whole background of the picture, drape the fabric over the counter and just set your cake on it
I have a window that I put a tension rod in with a black curtain I got on clearance at walmart. Not a real nice one but it is black and works. I set the curtain to drape over the table, set my cake down or on a stand and take a picture. The wedding cake in my pics is done like that. I did get a bit of a halo around the top tier but that is from the porch light being on. I also have seen people add photo frames and some basic scrap book techniques. I like the ones that focus more on the cake not the scrapbook abilities.
What do you think about a white background? I have a friend who's making my website and he has some photography experience and he said that I should be taking my photos against a white background.
What do you think?
the white background will wash out your light cakes, especially the white cakes. The color cakes will look OK but the black or darker colors really make the cakes pop.
Yeah, I always thought darker was better. Maybe I'll give it a go with both next time and see what looks better.
Thanks for your reply jlynnw.
Sorry to hijack your thread Donnabugg
Good lighting is a must. You can use you natural light or use daylight bulbs. You can also diffuse it with a white bed sheet/table cloth.
I usually spay paint foam core boards for the background. Also, like Texas_rose mentioned, a photo editing software would come in very handy. I use it to adjust lighting and fix the background.
I have one length of black velvet and one length of ivory velvet that I use for back drops. I prefer velvet over other fabrics as they don't crumple and especially the black just "disappears" into the background. I have heard that blue backdrop is one of the best colours for cake backgrounds, learned that on a tour of the Wilton headquarters so figure they would know what they are talking about, so ever since I have kept my eyes out for a blue velvet fabric but have not found one yet.
I agree with buying a cheap tri-fold board from Michael's (or wherever). I set mine up on a table next to the window, then I drape fabric over the board using clothes pins to hold it in place. I bought a bunch of cheap fabric in different, neutral colors at Hobby Lobby. I think I spent about $10 on everything. Natural lighting is a must, though.
Does anybody have advice on photo editing? I know there is photoshop, but that is a huge investment. Do people use online sites that are free and/or cheaper? I think that would be helpful to know.
For those of you looking for an affordable alternative to Photoshop...I just recently started using a photo editing software called GIMP. Its set up like Photoshop in many ways and will perform many of the same functions, including retouching and special effects, though admittedly it doesn't seem to have ALL the bells and whistles, but for simple image editing, you can't beat the price, which is FREE!
You can find out more about at their website www dot gimp dot org.
www.picnik.com can't be beat for it's freeness. I recently upgraded to the pay version. It's pretty cheap.
I've pondered this question for awhile..why I didn't ask sooner I have no idea..I should have saved my brain power and trusted it to my fellow cakers! You gals (guys) always have such great ideas!