3 Super Easy Cupcake Photography Tips

Foodfotografie_photokina_20080925In going through different blogs I usually found myself enchanted by the beautifully photographed images of cupcakes on almost every  page that I clicked, scrolled or swiped through. I was always stumped at how these bloggers seemed to get the perfect picture of their baked goods. 

In writing for my blog I often struggled with getting the right picture to post online. Often times my photos would come out to blurry or too dark. I was a bit frustrated with myself until I stumbled upon a few blogs that outlined how to achieve those same breathe taking images. 

Here I have put together a short list of three easy ways to get the perfect snapshots for your blog or website. It turns out that all it takes is some good lighting, a nice set up or background, and a little creativity and patience. 

 Oh, and having a camera helps too. cupcakes-690040_1280 Natural lighting is your best friend. Find yourself a window and set up shop there. But be careful, because though natural light is optimal for shooting baked goods, you don’t want the harsh light that gleams on a hot day. You want the softer lighting that’s produced when it’s slightly cloudy out. But because we can’t control Mother Nature, feel free to place a white sheet over the window to soften the rays when necessary. You also want to bounce that natural lighting off of something (back on to the cakes) in order to lessen the shadows on them. This is where a white poster board comes in. Just fold it in half so that it stands tall and angle it directly across from the light source. Chocolate_Cupcakes_with_Raspberry_Buttercream Setting the scene is important. Whether you’re taking pictures of just one cupcake or a whole batch, it’s crucial that you have a nice scene set up for your photo shoot. You might not believe it but having a good background helps when photographing cupcakes. Sometimes you will see a blurry but colorful background like the photo above, other times the background is a solid color. When a special ingredient is used you might also see it in the background. Be creative. You can even throw a couple of sprinkles or fruits on the surface you’re using to add a little color or finesse. But with what ever you do be sure to keep it simple, you don’t want to distract from the star of the show. Sometimes the best background is no background at all, just a close up of your beautiful creation. How-to-edit-food-photos When something goes wrong, use another angle…or Photoshop. It’s hard to have a plan for photographing food and not have something go wrong. This is where patience comes in. You might find that while you are taking pictures your frosting starts to melt (after all, you are using the sun for lighting), or that you can’t seem to get your shadow out of a shot. But no need to sweat it, when the frosting melts, scrape it off and re-pipe. When your shadow keeps getting in the way, angle the cupcakes so the light is hitting them to the right or left. Keep snapping until you find a photo that jumps out at you. 

Something that I appreciate about cupcakes is that if you mess one up terribly you have about 23 more chances to get it right. But when all else fails you can just work a little Photoshop magic and edit out the blunders. You can also change the color levels of the image to get the perfect picture. If you don’t have Photoshop, there are plenty of free image editing programs out there. GIMP is one that I like to use. 

Now wasn’t that helpful? Follow those easy steps and in no time you’ll have people drooling over your edible works of art. 

For more info on taking pictures of baked goods check out these resources: 

Editing Food Photos — Your Cup of Cake 

Cupcakes and Cameras — Bakerella 

10 Tips for Photographing Cupcakes — City of Blackbirds


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