Photographing

I certainly am not a pro photographer or even close to being adept at it!  But I have tried many different techniques, cameras, and editing apps and found what works well for me (and doesn’t take TOO much time).

CAMERA

First, cameras.  For a while, I had used my phone.  Later, I upgraded to my Samsung Galaxy camera which is fairly good and has quite a number of options and features.  However, I wanted to upgrade to something better, but I did not have, nor did I want to spend, a great deal of money on a camera.  My friend happens to have an Olympus Pen E-PL6  14-42 mm lens and I was able to test it out at home rather than only at the store like I did with a few other brands.  Since I actually had a chance to see how it looked with my treats, I went with that.  Additionally, it was decently priced at the time on Amazon.com and I did not have a big budget for some of the cameras I really wanted.  All in all, I’m happy with this choice!

Even though my friend explained speed, aperture, and all that, I still don’t really understand nor want to mess with that!  I just use it on “auto” mode.

But for me, what I found most important in achieving good photos was background and good lighting.  I believe that even with a cell phone camera, you can have good quality photos if you have those two things.

BACKGROUNDS

I take all photos in the daylight by a window.  I also use backgrounds that are easy to place in different positions. Moreover, I find them more cost effective and convenient than a backdrop.

I have 4 large thick poster boards from Michael’s Crafts.  I bought some white textured wallpaper from Amazon and marble contact paper from there as well.  I taped the wallpaper to my boards and stuck the marble contact paper to another board (which was an ordeal and I still have some bubbles)!  I also have an actual marble pastry board that I use for videos and photos at times, however, it is SO heavy so the contact paper on white poster is a great alternative.  And cheaper 😉

Here are the photos of some of my backgrounds and how they are set up with a description underneath each:

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This is a side photo of the white thick poster board.  It’s hard and sturdy like a canvas painting board would be.

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Marble Pastry board from Sur La Table

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Poster board with contact paper

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Two poster boards with textured wallpaper, situated this way for length (for a photo with a cake on a stand).

EDITING

Now, as you would notice, when the photos are cropped to fit Instagram (which is primarily what I use to post photos), it compresses them and they are not as clear and beautiful as the original.  I know there is a way around that as I googled it, but it seemed like a hassle so I haven’t tried it yet.  I have Adobe Lightroom for editing which is fantastic, but I do not use it as much because it takes longer, and to be frank, I’m just lazy sometimes!  After making the cakes, decorating, then taking 20 plus photos to get JUST the right one, I’m tired!  I mostly just use the option of “brightness” on Instagram to brighten the photo a bit.  It can still help you achieve a great photo without all the extra time and money.

Here’s an example of my marbled pastry board, one edited for brightening and one untouched.

 

WATERMARKING

Many people choose to watermark photos so others know their work. What I didn’t realize for a while until I looked at two of my photos side my side, was that the watermarking apps I was using were actually making my photos more blurry!  My friend Sherica of Shericakes (http://www.shericakes.com/) informed me of this as well and suggested I use the app “Phonto.”  It does not blur or compromise the quality of photos at all. Thank you, Sherica!

Finally, here are two finished photos.  One with the marble board background and another using the two boards for a cake photo.  As I said, better clarity could be achieved without compressing the photos so much or even using Lightroom or any good editing software.  But if you’re like me and need something quick and easy, hopefully this will help you!  Eventually, I do hope to upgrade my camera and skills.  And if you have any tips for me, please do share!

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