Wednesday, January 4, 2012

How Not To Photograph Your Cakes

was directed to a terrible facebook page by a friend recently. Why was it terrible, you ask? Well, it was full of horrifying examples of how NOT to photograph your cakes.

Looking at the various photos of cakes with all kinds of interesting backgrounds and exposures inspired me to do this post about bad ways to photograph your cake. I used a display cake to illustrate the things to keep in mind.

First, when you photograph cakes, make sure that you use natural light.

Centering the cake in the photo isn’t necessary, it’s more artistic to have everything off-kilter.

Use a neutral background. The floor is good.

If you don’t have clear counter space that’s okay, just put up a neutral background. A paper towel that you hold up works great.

If you don’t have natural light a closeup with a flash is an excellent way to emphasize the whiteness of the cake.

If none of that works just use photoshop to remove a distracting background. Nobody will notice.

Now, you may think that I’m picking on this particular person’s  facebook page, but the sad truth is that I’ve seen way too many photos like this all over the place. My favorite was the one who had a picture of the cake on the kitchen counter. In the background were buckets of fondant sitting on the floor, along with her dog, who was lying next to the fondant.  Nice, two health code violations in one photo!

So think about the picture before you take it. There are two ways to edit photos, one being “in camera” and one being afterward. It’s a lot easier to edit during the process of actually taking the photo than it is to try to correct it later.

 Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at and


SweetThingsTO said...

hilarious - what a great post!

Brooke@AWeddingCakeBlog said...

Kara, I am sitting here, past 1 a.m., laughing like a loon. I LOVE YOUR BLOG.

Kara Buntin said...

:) The saddest thing is that right after this published someone sent me a picture of someone's cake sitting on their kitchen counter with a box of bandaids and some random appliance next to it. I think I was too nice.

Pamela Grove said...

I have another one to add to the list of "don'ts" when it comes to photographing cakes as I'm seeing this ALL the time online lately. What's especially frustrating is that even at the professional bakeries they're doing it and that's taking the picture of the cake cockeyed or catty-cornered. It just makes it miserable to view or study and try to see everything. I can't figure out why people do this. Are they trying to be artistic? Another big problem I'm seeing online FAR too often and it's rarely from overseas listings such as the ones on Craftsy and that's the HORRENDOUS spelling and grammar coming from adults. Folks, if this is as good as the adults can do, how can we expect better from the children out there? Before you hit send for your posting, just do a spell check and see if everything is correctly.