"It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well. "
- Rene Descartes
If there’s one thing that a lot of bakers and cake decorators struggle with, it is taking perfect photos of their cakes. In the age of social media and pictorial representation, putting up images of your gorgeous cakes should be on your top 5 to-do list. Believe it or not, great photos can also get you more customers!
So the next time you bake that lovely cake, make sure to use these cake photography tips
Know your camera
Camera settings can be the most intimidating part of learning how to take a perfect cake picture. Aperture, shutter speeds, ISO, white balance, buttons, switches and dials all seem to baffle most of us at first, understanding this is very important before starting cake photography. If you’re using a phone take a minute to adjust those settings. Even a phone camera has adjustable settings that let you play with focus, brightness, crops and more.
Knowing how to shoot with artificial light, which can be quite complex and requires expensive gear. Natural light is the best option when you’re new to cake photography or don’t have a lot of experience. It takes only a few simple tricks to make the light work for you when shooting cake pictures.
- Make sure you’re working close to a window so you get the most out of the available light.
- Use a diffuser, or a translucent material or curtain as a diffuser. This will soften any harsh light or sunshine coming through the window.
Choose the Best Light Direction
Having good quality light to work with is not enough. You also need to work with the light in the right direction. There are three types of light direction you can work with in cake photography: side lighting, backlighting, and side backlighting.
- Side lighting is when the light is coming from one side. If you imagine the face of a clock, it’s at either 9 o’clock or 3 o’clock.
- Backlighting is when the light is coming from directly behind the subject, at 12 o’clock.
- Side backlighting is in between the two, at around 10 o’clock or 11 o’clock.
Choose the Best Angle to Highlight Your Cake
The best angle is always the one that brings out the qualities of your subject. What might work very well for one image, won’t necessarily work for another. Before you pick up your camera, consider the cake you’re shooting. Decide which camera angle will bring out its best features and serve the story you are wanting to tell. In general, frosted cakes with layers typically look best shot straight-on to emphasise the layers and height of the cake. If the swirls of icing are the focus, a three-quarters shot might work nicely.
Give it some style
Sometimes the cake is just one part of the whole picture. If your cake is starring in a birthday party, you might want a shot that captures some of the non-cake decorations. And if your creation is just as beautiful inside as out, try the classic slice-on-a-plate shot. Yum!