Any Hints/advice For Taking Wonderful Photos Of Your Cakes?

Business By mom2spunkynbug Updated 29 Jul 2008 , 11:37am by beachcakes

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mom2spunkynbug Posted 19 Jul 2008 , 3:56am
post #1 of 26

I'm not a very good photographer at all! And my camera...well, I got it maybe 5 or so years ago. It won't zoom in on small things very well (like cake toppers that I make). I want to eventually have a really nice web site, so I'm wondering if anyone can give me any tips or tricks about taking photos of your cakes?

Here is an example.....Here is my first wedding cake that I did last month. It was in a very dim-lit room. What is better...with the flash on...or off? Just the cake...or with the accessories?

Which do you think is the best picture for this cake?

Thanks for your suggestions icon_smile.gif

25 replies
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jammjenks Posted 19 Jul 2008 , 4:44am
post #2 of 26

I'll cast my vote for picture #2.

Check out this thread on photographing cakes:

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bcake1960 Posted 19 Jul 2008 , 4:59am
post #3 of 26

I take pictures of all my cakes before I deliver.. I purchase fabric.. Black is best.. but I do have red, bl, gray etc. I find fabric with a sheen or a neat texture.. Check Walmart for the $1.00 a yard bins I have found lots there I have a light that clips on differnet places and I use that for additional lighting.. and eliminates Shadows as well..

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dandelion56602 Posted 19 Jul 2008 , 5:23am
post #4 of 26

I go for #1, #3 would be 2nd choice. If you have photo editing software on your computer (your camera usually comes w/ some) you can always crop & zoom, just not too much or it will blur. I think #2 looks a little blurred. I take a million pics in different angles then check them out on my computer. I agree w/ getting fabric too. I also like a cake on location it just gives a little "umph" that fabric doesn't.

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CoutureCake Posted 19 Jul 2008 , 7:09pm
post #5 of 26

If you can't purchase an updated digital at this point, what my suggestion is, is download something like Kodak's software for editing photos. It gives you the option of enhancing a picture and I've had pretty well black pictures enhanced and you can see exactly what the picture was originally taken the way it's suppose to look. All of those pictures would clean up easily. If you can't do that, take the images to Walgreens and you can do that in their kiosk yourself too.

In the days before I got my digital, I'd just take regular pictures, then once I got them digitized into the computer, I zoomed in on areas and that worked great for getting the detail. The key, like any picture is taking a good crisply sharp image in the first place.

Good luck!!!

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MichelleM77 Posted 19 Jul 2008 , 8:56pm
post #6 of 26

I like #3, but is #2 closer to the original color of the cake? That would be my second choice.

I take pictures of my cookies on a black background. I was using light purple (my business color), but the cookies were getting lost against the light background. I think party cakes look best against a black background, but if you have a nice background at the reception location, I think wedding cakes look nice in their setting. Looks good when the table looks nice and decorated too, like your pictures above.

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Joybeth Posted 19 Jul 2008 , 9:08pm
post #7 of 26

I like number 2. I have used fabric behind my cakes as well.

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CoutureCakeCreations Posted 19 Jul 2008 , 9:13pm
post #8 of 26

Number 1 is my favorite. Me second choice is number 3.
I also love to try to take fabulous pictures of my cakes. I have succeeded lately. Check out my gallery. I use picasa as my picture editor and I love it. I suggest that you use it. You will be amazed at how great your pics look.There is a button that you can press and it does everyting for you. It gives me a pretty picture everytime. You even have the option to sharpen it or soft focus (my favorite)
Here is the link. It is free

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charlieinMO Posted 19 Jul 2008 , 11:10pm
post #9 of 26

I like number 1 and 2. I am in the same boat. I hate the pictures I take and that is why I don't post many. I am going to try some of these ideas! Sorry, don't mean to take over the thread. Just wanted to say thanks for asking this question and for all of the answers.

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alanahodgson Posted 21 Jul 2008 , 2:54am
post #10 of 26

If you can avoid the flash at all, do so. Natural light will always make a better picture. That's another reason to shoot the pic before you deliver, unless of course you assemble on site or you'd be waiting for flowers from the florist (which it looks like you may have had to for this cake). The photo editing software will help you improve a picture like #1 or #2 so that they aren't quite as dark but still maintaining some contrast. From a photography standpoint #3 is really not good.

Also, in photography a couple of basic rules include the rule of thirds and using angles.

Rule of thirds means if you look through your viewfinder (or at your digital screen) and mentally divide what you see into thirds horizontally and vertically you should put the main focal point of your picture in one of the 4 spots where the lines intersect. Shooting straight on has little visual interest.

Using angles, again, adds visual interest. Try tilting the camera slightly so you have some diagonal lines in your picture. Try shooting from way up above or way down below.

Also, try using the portrait setting on your camera if you have one. Set your focus on a focal point of the cake-a flower perhaps. After you set your focus you can move the camera to use rule of thirds (keep the shutter button pressed so the focus does not change) and snap your shot. The flower you focused on will be in focus, while what surrounds it will be slightly blurry. This has a really nice effect and creates more visual interest.

I'm not a fabulous photographer by any means (my brother is...check out his website below icon_wink.gif) so I take a bazillion shots at different angles and with the light coming from different places and chose the best one. Usually there's only one or two really decent shots to choose from. Somtimes there isn't even one. Best of luck. I hope that helps some.

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charlieinMO Posted 21 Jul 2008 , 3:40am
post #11 of 26

alanahodgson that is some great advice. Isn't it funny how you can look at a picture and see one thing and then go back and see something different? I have looked at many of your cakes and cupcakes before and thought oh how cute! But I went back and looked at them after reading your post and thought "OH! THat DOES look great like that" and "that's a GREAT angle to take that picture from! Thanks for the advice!

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alanahodgson Posted 21 Jul 2008 , 12:25pm
post #12 of 26

CharlieinMO, I'm glad you found the info useful. Thanks so much for your nice comment.

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mom2spunkynbug Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 2:18am
post #13 of 26

Alana - now that was REALLY a compliment! I handmade those roses out of gumpaste/fondant! THANK YOU! icon_biggrin.gif

Thanks everyone for your feedback.

Alana I looked at your brother's website - did he get it through BluDomain? I'm off to check out your pics now icon_smile.gif

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alanahodgson Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 3:33am
post #14 of 26

Ha Ha! I noticed on your website that you said they were sugar and I thought...oh! She's good! She had me fooled! And I ESPECIALLY LOVE your black and white cake with the paisley!!!

I'm not sure who hosts my brother's site. Its new, but I'll ask him.

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Solecito Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 6:20pm
post #15 of 26

Thank you for sharing!!

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mom2spunkynbug Posted 27 Jul 2008 , 9:39pm
post #16 of 26

Ok...I did another wedding cake (my 2nd), and Alana, I was trying to remember your advice icon_smile.gif

I took like 25 pictures of the cake LOL And I got (I think) a pretty good shot! I tried to remember not to take a photo straight on (I did a few times at first!).

What do you guys think of this photo...(I tried to get a little of the fireplace in the shot as well)

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alanahodgson Posted 27 Jul 2008 , 9:51pm
post #17 of 26

Hey! Very nice! Much better than the last shot! You're an excellent pupil!

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dandelion56602 Posted 27 Jul 2008 , 9:53pm
post #18 of 26

I think it turned out very nice! Can't wait to have the chance to take a pic of a wedding cake!

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mom2spunkynbug Posted 27 Jul 2008 , 10:52pm
post #19 of 26

Thanks! icon_biggrin.gif

Well with this cake, I did have to wait for the florist to arrive (over AN HOUR icon_mad.gif ) so I started taking some pictures of the (naked) cake to see where I could get the best shot from. There was a dark fireplace on one side and a bright open window on the other. Although I was irritated that the florist took that long, I'm happy I had some extra time to fool around with the camera.

I'm eventually going to get a web site through BluDomain (that's why I asked if Alana's brother's site was through looked like something they would do).

But I started a blog too! It's at


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alanahodgson Posted 27 Jul 2008 , 11:53pm
post #20 of 26

Whoops! I'll e-mail him right now!

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mom2spunkynbug Posted 27 Jul 2008 , 11:57pm
post #21 of 26
Originally Posted by alanahodgson

Whoops! I'll e-mail him right now!

Oh that's ok! No biggie! I was just wondering icon_smile.gif

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Kim_in_CajunCountry Posted 28 Jul 2008 , 2:10am
post #22 of 26

Your second attempt was great! I've always been a photography enthusiast (definitely not an expert at photography or cake decorating) and my baked goods have given me new subject matter - and new challenges.

Since most of my confections are finished in the wee hours, there's no light coming in through the windows so I turn on as many lights as possible, use clamp on lights and take pictures both with and without the flash. I take LOTS of pictures. I usually use the Portrait setting. To get really good closeup detail I use the macro setting on my camera. My camera has a lot of advanced features, similar to an SLR type camera. If you have a smaller camera, you may not have as many options. Since it's digital and you're not having to pay to develop pictures, I suggest that you take tons of pictures and experiment until you're happy with the outcome.

Natural light is always best and my house doesn't have much natural light streaming in - good for the electric bill, bad for photography. So I've begun experimenting with photographing my cakes and cookies outdoors. The best light is early morning or late afternoon, preferably when the skies are overcast but still quite bright. You want to avoid bright, direct sunlight because your pictures will be washed out, similar to what can happen with a bright flash. Several of my pictures have this unfortunate effect. Of course, moving a wedding cake outdoors wouldn't be an option, so augmenting your existing indoor lighting is probably your best option.

In the pictures below, I placed my cake and cupcakes on a small table out in the middle of my backyard, which I draped with black fabric. (My neighbors must think I'm nuts). I angled the shots so that you mostly saw fabric or grass, rather than neighbors' homes. I thought the warm glow of the setting sun complemented the bright frosting. You can check out my other cake and cookie photographs on Flickr by clicking on this link.

Keep up the good work and feel free to ask if you have any specific questions.


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alanahodgson Posted 28 Jul 2008 , 11:18pm
post #23 of 26

So this is what my brother had to say:

"No, Creative Motions Design.

It's designed for photographers. But it would definitely work for the cake biz.

And remember, any of your cake friends want "artsy" high res pix of their cakes tell them to call me. I'll do house calls.

$150 hr per visit. and it will include high res and web res pix."

Ha! $150 an hour!!!! I don't know if any of you will be calling him any time soon!

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Bakingangel Posted 29 Jul 2008 , 3:55am
post #24 of 26

Alana, your brother's pictures are wonderful! He is soooo gifted! He definately captures the emotions of the moment. I smiled and cried at some of his pictures because of the love and tenderness shown through his work. I wish him all the success he can possibly desire.

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alanahodgson Posted 29 Jul 2008 , 11:12am
post #25 of 26

That's very nice of you to say! He really is gifted. And he has a fabulous camera that I'm convinced is at least 50% responsible for caputuring those tender moments icon_smile.gif. Once you've touched a camera like his everything else will be total junk. Just imagine the emotion he could capture in a lovely $150 photo of your cake! Haha!! No really. He's amazing!

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beachcakes Posted 29 Jul 2008 , 11:37am
post #26 of 26

Thanks for posting this info - it's awesome! I have the hardest time photographing cakes. I usually take a dozen or so and lucky if I get one i like!

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