Make Or Break Photography

Written by Marianna Saran

Macarons by Pierrick Boyer, photography

The business of food photography has exploded. Thanks to social media, we are bombarded on a daily basis with stunning images of cakes depicting works of art, delectable desserts and delicious food. It makes being noticed in a large pond of extraordinary- not to mention creative- snapshots very difficult. No longer is a substandard picture of your hard work acceptable. It could in fact make or break your business.

I am by no means an expert in photography. I’d actually be lying if I didn’t say that I get a little green with envy, at some of the pictures people manage to capture. I admire many captivating photos from decorators and food artists all over the world. I especially love the professional photos of Executive Pastry Chef Pierrick Boyer’s edible artistry, which is captured by photographer Ewen Bell.

The same can be said for the photos taken by Living Light Photography for Wild Rose Sweets & Styling. The gorgeous sets and stunning cakes are truly amazing.

Cakes & Styling by Wild Rose Sweets & Styling, photography Living Light PhotographyWhile most of the high profile artists do have full time photographers, I was surprised that many of the pictures I love are actually taken by the decorators themselves- on smartphones! They just know little tricks that help get a perfect looking photo every time. So I went on the hunt for an online course that was particularly targeted at cake and food photography.  Turns out I found the perfect one.  Capture Your Cake has been created by Miranda Piotrovska, owner of Sweet Sticks, and Photographer Andy Knight, owner of Forscene Studios. The course came to fruition after Miranda received negative feedback from a customer about one of her cake pop images.

Miranda turned to Andy to help her find a solution to her photography issues. After some research Andy noticed that bad photography was a common problem in the cake decorating industry, with many wonderful creations falling flat. “As a professional photographer it is disappointing to see such amazing creative cakes and the photos which don’t do it justice.  Empower yourself and be proud of your creations every time you show your photos.  I have tried to simplify all the expert techniques I have learnt over the years and bring it to your smartphone.  It can’t be easier now to compete with the magazine quality imHighlightsages” Andy said.

Capture your Cakeis a fifteen module video course and is very true to its name. You will learn everything you need to know to capture a great picture of your cake (or any of your fabulous food creations). As soon as the course commenced I was picking up all sorts of tips and tricks (but I won’t spoil the surprise, you’ll have to enrol to find out what they are).

Throughout the course you will learn about the different types of lighting and how to use them, to best encapsulate the mood and emotion of your subject.  Andy demonstrates the importance of how to position your subject, along with how to use reflectors, in a bid to give your photo depth by altering the strength of light and shadow.  You can see how important lighting really is from the two different pictures, of this lovely cake made by Lady J Cakes.1. LadyJ

If I had a dollar for every time I heard a cake decorator say, “here’s a picture of my cake, it’s not great because I finished late last night and it was an early pick up”, I’d have more money than Mark Zuckerberg. There’s really no room for excuse though after Andy proves that a late night picture is really no problem at all. Using a couple of techniques and photo editing apps, you can have a picture to post- that may even look better than one you have taken during the day.

SmartphoneSetting up your cake and choosing props can be a headache. Capture Your Cake will instruct you with a variety of good practices to keep in mind during your photo shoot set up. You’ll learn all about composition and how create interesting focal points and depths to your picture. There are also great tips specifically for photographing large cakesand dessert tables.

Andy talks about the importance of colour combinations, and how to choose backdrops that will enhance intricate details on your cakes. Then he’ll ensure you can put everything you’ve learnt together, complete with
editing and the all-important watermark.


Equipped with the knowledge from this course, in my opinion, the look of your photos will start to improve immensely. No longer will you have dull, boring, images. Personally I have been working on my photos such as this one I took of my Chocolate, White Chocolate and Raspberry Tiramisu.

Of course I still need a lot of practice implementing what I have learnt- but practice makes perfect. It’s definitely an improvement on some of the shots I have taken in the past.

This course also includes online support and feedback on your photos, from Andy himself. He’s specifically created a forum to ensure everyone is on the right track. You’ll also receive an eBook, so you can go back and easily make reference to the techniques you have learnt. So if you don’t have the luxury of your own professional photographer- what are you waiting for?

Head to Capture Your Cake to enrol and start snapping some fantastic pictures!

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Blog post reproduced with permission from Marianna Saran of Marianna’s Caking Me Crazy

As a former news journalist and mother of two, Marianna Saran has taken her passion for writing and cake decorating and transformed herself into a new aged cake journalist. She loves to blog about her cake and cookie creations and tries to push herself to explore new mediums of decorating, even though some are quite intimidating at times. Interviewing renowned cake decorators from across the globe gives her a spark of inspiration as she hears their stories. It reminds her that in life all you need is love from your family and friends, a cookie in one hand and a piece of cake in the other! Sit back and enjoy the journey as you follow Marianna on a roller coaster of sugary creations! Check out what else Marianna is up to at her Blog and on Facebook


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