Advise On Taking Good Photos Of Cakes

Decorating By DaryaC Updated 22 Mar 2012 , 5:10pm by DaryaC

DaryaC Posted 21 Mar 2012 , 9:04pm
post #1 of 16

I have been trying for a few months to figure out the best way to take good photos of my beginner-level cakes. A few cakes I made looked good "in-person", but the pictures did not turn out right at all. icon_sad.gif First I thought I needed a white background (a light-colored linen or foam board), but that didn't seem to help. Now I am wondering if may be adding lights will do the trick. There are so many absolutely gorgeous photos of cakes here on CC, and I am wondering how can one get the look using a basic digital camera (I have a Sony Cybershot). I am wondering if there is any hope for me to ever have a nice looking cake photo... icon_cry.gif


I would appreciate any piece of advise one may offer. Thank you! icon_smile.gif

15 replies
step0nmi Posted 22 Mar 2012 , 3:13am
post #2 of 16

you are on the right track so don't be upset! icon_smile.gif it is great to have a nice clean background and white is a good one. Lots of people use different things for background like the foamcore boards or even some cloth...I like to use some paper draped from the wall and then roll it on the table. it's all up to what you like.

then you need to have lots of lighting. a flash may not be the key to getting a good photo. sometimes it's natural lighting that you need, depending on the cake...in any case, you should have enough lighting so that you are not casting shadows onto the cake and/or the cake itself is not casting shadows.

all of it is in good practice...i never take just ONE photo of my cakes...most of the time it's 10 or more of that one cake. could be a diff angle or multiple of the same angel with flash and without. Test it out! and a lot of the photos you see on here are done with professional cameras...I saved up for my Canon T1i Rebel and will NEVER go back icon_wink.gif buuut that doesn't mean you can't take a good photo with your camera...you just have to play with the settings and get it to the way you like it! icon_biggrin.gif good luck!

bakingkat Posted 22 Mar 2012 , 3:53am
post #3 of 16

http://lilaloa.blogspot.com/2012/01/photo-editing-for-cookie-makers-not.html

I have found that this made a HUGE difference in my pictures. I don't think i've uploaded any since I started editing them but check it out, I won't put a photo anywhere without editing it now. I use the same program that she did. Play with saturation, contrast and brightness, that seems to be what I change most.

SRumzis Posted 22 Mar 2012 , 4:34am
post #4 of 16

I take pictures next to a window with the sun streaming in. I position the cake so only half the cake is little by sunlight, and the other half is lit by just the overhead artificial light. It creates a nice contrast. I use a white backdrop, and I use photoshop for brightness, contrast, cropping, and to insert my company watermark. Play with the light and angles, take a lot of pictures. Practice makes perfect, you'll find the shot you're lookin for a little quicker each time.

annakat444 Posted 22 Mar 2012 , 4:39am
post #5 of 16

Great question! Thanks for asking, I really needed this info too!

AnnieBeeVee Posted 22 Mar 2012 , 12:57pm
post #7 of 16

You have some good advice already.

I also aim for natural light when possible, and put my cakes on a table next to a window in the day time when I can. You don't want you're lighting to be too harsh though, so if blazing sun is shining in, you might want to be a little further back from the window. I also take tons of pictures, flash vs no-flash, pics from different angles (top, front, sides, changing the angle to show a little more or less of the top of the cake, if it's a front view etc etc). And definately use some editing software (even a really basic one like Microsoft Office Picture Manager, should be on your computer if you have a PC) to crop and do basic touch ups of colour and contrast.

Another tip is, if you want to have the cake in focus, but the back ground blurry, use the "portrait" setting on your camera, not the "landscape" setting. Most cameras have these settings on a dial, even a point and shoot, you are looking for a icon of a head vs a mountain. I don't have any special back grounds (but I would love some! Especially white!) but making the back ground blurry makes a big difference. Check out my pics and you'll see what I mean. My messy kitchen is usually the back drop, but you don't notice it as much this way, just the cake!

Hope this helps. And there are plenty of blog with posts about photographing food - just do a quick google search for more info and tips.

AnnieBeeVee Posted 22 Mar 2012 , 12:59pm
post #8 of 16

Just wanted to add, if you check out my pics (there are only 7) some that I have taken only include the table/surface the cake is on, but in the ones that have my kitchen as the background, you can see the difference in how the focusing was done, like I was trying to explain in my previous post. A couple have an out of focus back ground, and a couple have an in-focus back ground, so you can compare them.

AnnieBeeVee Posted 22 Mar 2012 , 1:03pm
post #9 of 16

Crazy duplicate post - sorry, no idea why that happened!

AnnieBeeVee Posted 22 Mar 2012 , 1:05pm
post #10 of 16

Crazy duplicate post - sorry, no idea why that happened - it posted 5 times...!

AnnieBeeVee Posted 22 Mar 2012 , 1:07pm
post #11 of 16

Crazy duplicate post - sorry, no idea why that happened!

AnnieBeeVee Posted 22 Mar 2012 , 1:09pm
post #12 of 16

Crazy duplicate post - sorry, no idea why that happened!

DaryaC Posted 22 Mar 2012 , 4:58pm
post #13 of 16

@step0nmi - Thank you for your response! I get frustrated and often take only 4-5 photos of the cakes. I agree that I makes sense to change positions and angles and take more (after all - I can always delete them!). I think I'll have to do with the camera I have, since decorating is just a hobby for now, but if I ever get to the level where a portfolio will be required, I will certainly invest in a new device.

DaryaC Posted 22 Mar 2012 , 5:02pm
post #14 of 16

@ bakingkat - The article is awesome, thank you so much! I will definitely check out the software and play with it. Perhaps some of the old photos of cakes I have can "come to light" (literally). icon_biggrin.gif

momsgoodies Posted 22 Mar 2012 , 5:08pm
post #15 of 16

Thanks to all of you for the advise!!

DaryaC Posted 22 Mar 2012 , 5:10pm
post #16 of 16

@Tails - thank you for the hyperlinks, I will read through them tonight and make sure to soak in all of the suggestions.

@AnnieBeeVee - Your suggestion of using "portrait" setting is so clever. I never even knew what the default setting for my camera was! But I will certainly pay attention now. What I did notice was that if flash is set on automatic, it usually brightens out the photo too much, so I stopped using flash all together, but then I found pictures to always have yellowish undertones icon_sad.gif I will take a few photos next time in a portrait setting with and without a flash and no artificial lights, and see if it makes a difference. Big thanks!

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