Posted December 14, 2014 by Adam Hofmann
From what a person had for dessert to wedding cakes, it seems like everyone is taking pictures of their food these days. So why shouldn’t bakers just pick up a camera, take your own pastry photos, and save a few bucks? This may work for some, but for the majority of people, this will take a lot of practice. A baker doesn’t walk into a bakery and instantly know how to make crème brûlée — similarly, you won’t know all the tips and tricks for capturing a great pastry photograph. However, if you do take your own photos, remember these pastry photography tips for bakers and pastry chefs.
Pastry Photography by Raymond A. Werner
Watch Your Lighting
The lighting you use can make or break your photo. If you need to take your pictures at night, avoid using a direct flash. The built-in camera flash will generally overexpose your images and ruin them. Natural lighting tends to work well in most situations, while backlighting can be a key ingredient to helping showcase your texture and to making your food appear warm in your pictures.
Pastry Photography by Kelly Oberg
Remember the Rule of Thirds
In photo composition, the Rule of Thirds refers to the rule stating an image is divided into nine equal sections. To take the best photographs, place your subject anywhere except for in the exact center of the image frame. Otherwise, your image will appear unbalanced.
Create a Variety of Poses
Don’t stand in one place. Capture plenty of pictures from a variety of angles and poses. Move your pastry or dessert around. Make sure you, or your photographer, take images from up above the dish and from down below it. Also, capture images from up close and have others taken from further away. It’s better to have a variety of options and to remove those you do not like, than not to have any images you can work with.
Pastry Photography by Lisa Ramsay
Details are Important
Since desserts and pastries are generally shot close up, it is safe to say every tiny detail will be crucial. The smallest flaw will be magnified multiple times. A nice serving dish or other props could be the difference between an ordinary image and an exceptional one. Think about all aspects of the photograph, from the food all the way down to the color of the plate you want to use.
Pastry Photography by Adam Watstein
Position is Key
If you zoom in too close to your dish, you won’t even know what you’re looking at. You want your food to fill up most of the image frame. Make your viewer feel like they are inside your bakery. Take action shots of the baking process as well as the end result.
Practice Makes Perfect
Teaching yourself about your camera, how lighting works, and what angles work best are all a part of the learning process. Look around online at pictures other bakers have taken. When looking at an image, focus on what inspires you. The sayings “Practice makes perfect” and “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” are very applicable here. Your photography skills will grow with every picture you take.
Pastry Photography by Adam Watstein
Whether you’re creating a portfolio of your work or need images for a new menu, there are plenty of bakers and pastry chefs who use food photography for their business. Whether you do or do not use a professional photographer is up to you. However, it is important to remember that lighting is crucial to your photo. You want to take plenty of photos in each pose and using different camera angles to allow for plenty of choices for the end product.
About Adam Hofmann
Adam is the Head of Marketing for SmartShoot. He looks after all things content marketing, SEO, social media, customer acquisition and growth. When he's not geeking out at the office, he's off on adventures taking photographs of the world.
Keep in touch: @smartshootinc