Taking Great Photos of Your Cookies

By fakelvis

If you want to sell cookies, you absolutely HAVE to have great looking cookie photos. In a time when every business needs a web site, there is just no getting around this. But a professional photographer can be costly.

Today, my guest blogger, Robin Carroll from Dolce Cakes, gives you some pointers for taking great photos of your cookies at home.

Step one: Get a decent camera. There’s really no excuse as a quality camera can be had for a minimal investment. If you’re willing to spend the money, a Digital SLR camera is even better because you will have greater control.

Step Two: Bake your goods, and make ‘em look pretty! These babies aren’t just for eating anymore. They’re models. You need to make them look beautiful because that’s the first thing that people are going to notice. Especially over the web, you want them to look delicious.

Step three: Begin collecting simple or unique plates for dishing on. These aren’t the plates you eat breakfast on. These are shiny, beautiful, bright (or simple) plates and bowls that you’ll be using to showcase your wonderful foods. I like to stick to solid colors, either black, white or earth tones. I try not to do anything bright because I believe that it may overpower the simplicity and natural beauty that a cookie has to offer.
Step Four: Plate your goods, and make them look nice. I like to plate in odd numbers. I hardly ever like to put four of something on a plate, unless the shape calls for it (square cookies) however, most baked goods are circular, so I like to place in 3’s or 5’s.

Step Five:Find a light source. I always, ALWAYS do my photography in natural light. Want to know my secret? Partially cloudy days. I open up a window and there’s my soft light source. You DON’T want to use something harsh and bright like a florescent or incandescent light bulb. These will blow out the image and make it blurry, as well as reducing the color or tinting it a shade you might not want.

Step Six: Set up your area. I typically like to set a chair next to my light source and face a wall that’s blank. This helps give me a nondescript background for my image. If you don’t have a blank wall to shoot against, put up a sheet of fabric that’s a solid color. Sit about 5-10 feet away from this wall, if possible. You don’t want to focus in on the wall when you’re trying to showcase your baked goods.

Step Seven: Set your camera to close-up mode. This means that it will focus on things closer to the lens. If you leave it on your standard setting, your images will turn out blurred.

Step Eight: Decide your angle. Imagine a line from the center of your plate pointing out of the dish at a 45 degree angle up and to either the left or right of the dish. This is where you want to hold the camera. I like to make sure that I can see some of the top, mostly the side, and across the dish to see more than one of the goods.

Step Nine: Hold your shutter button down enough to trigger it to focus. Make sure that it’s focused and that the angle is correct, that there’s nothing in the background to distract from the goods.

Step Ten: Press the shutter button down even further and HOLD STILL. Let the camera take the picture. Repeat steps Eight-Ten until you get the image that you want.

From there, you can take the image off of the camera using the camera cord or by inserting the Storage Card into your computer, like I do. Use it as you like. Usually a digital camera set on close-up mode will give you a pretty good photo, so there’s not much doctoring that you need to do. I usually will bring it into Adobe Photoshop and hit Enhance> Auto Levels to try and bring some more color into the photo. This is only if it was a really cloudy day and my cookies/cakes got a little washed out.  Post your images on your site or just keep in a folder for safe-keeping.

As always, good luck! And have fun! You’ll be surprised what you can do if you just try it out!__

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