I had the urge to write about this post, simply because I wanted to share my experiences being a cake decorator. I have learned not only do I decorate cakes so that it looks beautiful and a masterpiece, but how do I capture it through a camera lens so that it looks beautiful and desirable, and for potential customers. It has been a big learning curve so far, looking at my photos when I first started and what I could produce now.
When I started Van Goh Cakes, I had my trusty little Canon G1X. I have been eyeing a DSLR camera prior to, but did not have the confidence to commit to it without the skills. During my fairly poor attempt in researching for a camera that a friend of mine, Adam, suggested I get the Canon G1X. The camera served me well for my personal use, and produced SLR-like quality photos which I really like (thanks Adam!). My earlier photos demonstrated little skills and comprehensive understanding of photography.
It was only after introduced to a course with Frank Selmo from How to Photograph Your Cake, that I learned the basics of photography. Aperture, ISO, shutter speed soon became common lingo when I started taking photos. I was now more confident in using the manual settings on my Canon and experimented more with differing settings.
Now, I do find that the Canon has limitations – as much as it “does the job”, it does not do a lot of close up shots perfectly – I often find myself using the macro settings a lot, especially with cakes where there are a lot of fine and little details that I would like the camera to capture. So now, I have a new camera (love my gadgets!), presenting to you my uber cool Nikon D5300! I must admit this time around I did not do any research, went to JB Hifi and had it purchased with the help of Adam again – feels good to have a friend who is camera and photography savvy! Since then, I have found the photos to be uber beautiful, and it focuses on the details that I want yay!
I guess I really need to learn more about showcasing a cake. I love cake studios that provides such beautiful shots of their cakes…. Let me find you some examples:
1. Faye Cahill from Faye Cahill Cake Designs – her cakes speaks volumes as it is without needing an elaborate backdrop/setting. All it needs is a neutral background, and some awesome cake stands!
2. Kara from Kara’s Couture Cakes – she wrote a blog post about the importance of photography herself, and has demonstrated different backgrounds for her beautiful creations. To read the blog post, it’s titled Photographing Your Cakes To Look Awesome
3. Lori from The Caketress – what I love about her cakes is that they are paired with almost editorial/Vogue-ish shots in such great settings. And she looks so haute couture herself too that the pairing is just perfect.
4. Emma-Lee from Emma-Lee Cake Designs – I learned a photography tip from her through the Australian Cake Decorating Network forum, and I noticed it has been a growing trend of taking photos of the cake with a luminescent background, it has such an ethereal quality about it 🙂
5. Brenda from Sugar High Inc. – Her figurines and cakes look beautiful, because she has such great backdrops (which by the way, are for sale) that goes so well with them. Some other amazing cake decorators have featured her backdrops on their portfolio too.
I tried a few techniques of my own in the last year, some produce mediocre results, and some just fell absolutely flat. Reason?
1. Natural lighting is just waaaay too important for a good photo. Taking photos of a cake in the dark is just not worth the effort whatsoever.
2. The little unit I live in has absolutely no beautiful corner where I could take organic and beautiful shots of the cake in a setting, but I am aiming to work on that. Eventually.
So any suggestions would be helpful, pop over to my Facebook page, have a good look at my photos (but not too close, ok?) and see what would you suggest. With cake comes happiness, so eat lots of it!