week 12

Week (12) of cakes, cups and food photography made simple!

Cake news and fun, food photography

Last week saw a lot of tres leches (three milks) cakes and I’m just finishing off the last Strawberry tres leches cake … yum!  I’m delighted I’ll soon be joined by some lovely friends enthusiastically taking up the Tres leches cake challenge so we can have fun making this cake together!  Woohoo!

Come and bake tres leches cake with us! :)

Come and bake tres leches cake with us! 🙂

But man cannot live on tres leches cake alone so my stomach eventually requested ‘something different please’ and I gave it a trial lemon mousse raspberry charlotte royale which turned out to be delicious (must make another one to tweak!) and some fluffy savoury spelt scones, or biscuits in the US. Recipes coming soon.  Wait… biscuits?!

Biscuits and cups

Yes, biscuits.  Blogging is an education in US terminology.  When I discovered our British scones are sometimes called biscuits over there I was shocked.  I’ve recovered now but still not sure about ‘cup’ measurements as whenever I sense lack of precision I start twitching (joke)! 🙂  Though I don’t know what I’d do without my beloved weighing scales.I love my weighing scales!Admittedly I used cup measurements for the tres leches cake’s soaking milk as exactitude wasn’t required.  I might become a partial cup convert and have already chosen two cups to help me out – we’ll see where this goes!  Any advice from ‘cup’ people is welcomed!

Food photography made what?

I’m sorry I promised to make food photography simple.  I’ve only been trying to take proper food photos four months so offering ‘tips’ seems silly – I mean, what do I know?  Still, here’s a ‘simple’ list of advice I was given or picked up from some great blogging photographers.

  1. Always photograph your food in natural light. It could be near a window, on a window ledge or the balcony/garden.  You can use a white umbrella to diffuse direct sunlight.  Great advice given by professional photographer Sarah at Chilly Bella Photo Art.
  2. Make time for your food photography – an inspiring article at Cooking without Limits.  Expect to take a while setting things up and trying stuff out. Do research, play with your camera and check out other bloggers’ food photos to emulate.
  3. Take loads of photos.  Different angles, places, parts of food.  You can cut things or not.  Try zooming in on your food and leaving the background blurry.  Or take an aerial shot standing on a chair.  Play around.

    Zooming in and getting a blurry background on my black t-shirt!

  4. Vary your backgrounds to encourage diversity on your blog and make each subject distinctive.  One of many tips at a workshop by Carolina who hosted a photoblog event at la cocina de Carolina.  Also essential if you’re doing photocollages.
  5. Collect props like cheap antique teacups, wooden boards, lovely cake stands, and real or plastic flowers and plants.  Read Props for food photography at Cooking Melangery.

    Raspberry charlotte

    Plastic flowers and the glass of champagne tell the story of a celebration, maybe romantic!

  6. If you lack tables or backgrounds dig up clothes or other stuff.  I’ve used the usual tea towels but also a Desigual flowery raincoat, dress, tee-shirts, crochet blankets, a velvet fleece and my lace IKEA curtains.  No piece of material is too humble or colourful for me.  And something metal like a fork or cake server adds a certain je ne sais quoi.

    Using fresh fruit and a striking Desigual raincoat backdrop!  Aerial view.

  7. Tell a story:  with a background cactus for a Mexican dessert or lace for a traditional cake.  A table set for tea or breakfast.  Show the baking process.  Brilliant advice and examples are given by The creative mama and Sawsan at Chef in Disguise.

    This photo says have brioche for tea but also shouts Lili, you need to do a food styling course! 🙂  An ‘earlier’ photo.

    A British fruitcake on a homely crochet background, reminding you of a nice warm and cosy loving home. Hopefully! 🙂

    Trying to make ingredients attractive!

  8. Use apps on your mobile phone like photostatic collage and Instagram.
  9. Try picMonkey free version to avoid paying for Photoshop.
  10. Use retouch in your editing tools to ‘eliminate’ unwanted crumbs or holes.
  11. Large size photos look more stunning.
  12. Finally, if your food doesn’t look yummy in the photo take another shot.  Or leave it for another day and eat the food!  It’s a win-win situation. 🙂  Or take a bite out of your food – a popular technique used on foodstagrams.

Someone took a bite out of my macaron!

Hope some of that is useful for you and I’ll just ask you a question:  can food photography be fun?

Who’ll take first bite?

Fun but messy ‘food styling’!

A reader made this…

And here’s the latest contribution to the ‘lovely stuff you guys made from the blog’ sidebar gallery.  It’s from Claudette, aka my mum. 🙂  She made a really beautiful apple tarte tatin with Chinese five spices and tamarind juice instead of paste, and recommends Pink Lady apples, cooked a little longer.  The slices and cream look so pretty and delicious.  Now there’s a stunning photo and plate too!  Actually, can I have the plate please Mum?  Hee hee…  She also says she loves the maple syrup caramel.

A stunning Apple tarte tatin with Chinese five spices and Tamarind by Claudette

And on that five spicy note I’ll be off sweet reader.  It’s been nice seeing you again and I wish you a capital Magnificent Monday, Wonderful Week and Happy Baking, Cooking, Snapping and Eating!!!  🙂

P.S.  If you send me photos of stuff you’ve made they really don’t need to be arty or perfect, though so far they’ve been wonderful.  Anyway, I’m just happy to see what you’ve made! 🙂

P.P.S.  Do you have any more ideas about how to work on food photography and styling?

Posted by

Baking on Sundays with my French mum was a lovely part of my childhood. Later I experimented with baking books or internet recipes and did the pâtisserie course at Le Cordon Bleu Paris. Still trying out new recipes and inventing cakes with influences from all around the world, including some healthier ones. Yes, love cakes!!! Hope you'll love them too and have fun baking. :)

36 thoughts on “Week (12) of cakes, cups and food photography made simple!”

  1. I love the idea of the black tshirt! I was like WOW that’s how she did it!! I also like the idea of telling the story, setting the scene. Thanks for posting this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you and you’re welcome!! It’s interesting to know someone was wondering about the black background… and likes the story idea (which I learnt from the other bloggers I mention). Very happy you enjoyed this post! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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