Practical Cake Photography Techniques and Editing

Today I’m going to share with you some practical methods for photography cakes, as well as how to edit images without spending a fortune on costly equipment and backgrounds.

It may be difficult for me to discover useful suggestions for photography cakes. When I initially started out, I saw tutorials and advice for photography food in general (not just cakes), or the tutorials would offer all this costly equipment.

I’d already spent a few thousand dollars on the camera, and I didn’t want to spend another couple thousand on additional equipment and elaborate backgrounds. After much study, books read, courses attended, and some of my own DIY solutions, I thought I’d share my Practical Tips for Photographing Cakes with you.

When I initially began accepting cake orders, I used my iPhone to take images. It works in a pinch, so don’t feel obligated to purchase an expensive DSLR camera. Several of the techniques I’m going to provide are for DSLR cameras, but many of them, particularly the background ideas and editing, may also be utilized with a phone camera, so bear with me here.

Here’s what we’ll talk about:

  1. Cameras and other equipment (dont freak out because its fine if you want to use aphone for now).
  2. Ideas for practical backdrops (stuff thats not gonna break the bank)
  3. Taking photographs (angles, lighting and some camera settings if youre using a DSLR No I wont get too overly technical on you).
  4. Some materials that have been beneficial to me.
  5. Finally, here’s a simple video instruction on how to edit your photos for free (you don’t have to purchase pricey software).

There are affiliate links in this post. I earn money as an Amazon Associate by making qualifying purchases.

Cameras and Equipment:

Well, as I previously said, I used to capture all of my photographs using my iPhone. (At the bottom of this page, I’ll provide a video on how to edit images, which also applies to phone photos.)

My spouse got us a DSLR camera when I first began this blog. It’s not the most costly option, but it’s a significant improvement over my iPhone. Here’s the camera we bought:

Canon Rebel T5 Camera Package

We purchased the package, which included a bag, a normal lens, and a zoom lens. I don’t use the zoom lens for cake photography, but it’s useful for zoo visits.

I purchased the Canon 50mm lens after using the normal lens and doing some research. It’s not very costly, but it makes a significant impact. There are other finer and more costly lenses, and I really want one of them, but this will do for now.

50mm Canon Lens

This little lens is incredible. It enables you to reduce the f-stop number even more. I’ll explain what that phrase means later, but for now, just know that it enables background pictures to be more blurred and that this lens pulls out color and sharpness more than the regular lens.

Here’s an example of a photograph taken with this lens:

See how the red rose is sharp and bright? I also did not add any color or brightness throughout the editing process.

Well, I’ll quit boasting about the lens now.


I just acquired a new camera and am quite smitten with it.

Canon 70D Digital SLR Camera

I like how it has a flip-out screen, various focus points, and everything seems more sharp.

I would have wanted to have acquired a full frame camera, but it will have to wait till the day I win the lottery.

In addition, I just acquired a new lens. It has a wider field of view and I use it exclusively for my films.

24mm Canon lens

Fixed lenses are the 50mm and 24mm lenses. It simply means you may zoom in and out, but you must use your body to get closer or further away from the topic.

I like fixed lenses because they provide a much clearer, sharper picture. The 50mm and 24mm lenses are also very reasonably priced.

Practical Backdrops for Photographing Cakes:

Before we go into the technicalities of lighting, angles, and approaches, let’s speak about backdrops and photo backgrounds.

The majority of the examples in food photography lessons are from a top angle. So they’re either standing over the meal taking a photo, or they’re shooting a picture extremely near but at an angle, revealing just a hazy image of the backdrop.

If you need to take a picture of a finished cake or possibly a shot that includes the birthday man or gal, you’ll need to get the whole cake in there and generally at a face-on perspective, so you’ll need to think about what’s behind your cake.

There are several stores where you may get pricey backgrounds. Several of them are made of vinyl or even wood, and the majority of them are pricey. By pricey, I mean $60-200 per, which isn’t too awful if you just purchase one, but the trouble is, you don’t want just one choice.

I’ve got some ideas for inexpensive and easy DIY backdrops that won’t break the wallet. You can always upgrade later, but doing it this way provides you more alternatives for less money.

I’ll give you some brief ideas and then show you what I use the most.

There are affiliate links in this post. I earn money as an Amazon Associate by making qualifying purchases.

Ideas for Backdrops:

  • Paper for scrapbooking
  • The foam board (You can get these at your local dollar store)
  • Presentation board with three folds
  • Display boards
  • Paper for wrapping
  • Wood boards or purchased wood backgrounds may be costly if purchased readymade.
  • Paper backdrops and vinyl backdrops are examples of printed backgrounds. I recently acquired the following items, which I adore: Etsy Vinyl Backdrops
  • I’ve also painted my own backdrops on foamboards. I then use matte modge podge to seal it.
  • Another thing I did was buy a white table top from Ikea. On one side, I have a white table as the backdrop, and on the other, I have marble contact paper.

You should also consider include components like as dishes, cutlery, napkins, confetti, cake stands, and so on in your photograph.

If you’re just starting started and want a more affordable solution, start with the paper backgrounds I provided above.

They aren’t as good as vinyl backdrops and aren’t waterproof, but if you’re looking to save money, they’ll suffice.

So here’s how you can use them:

For each design of paper backdrop you chose, acquire a flat foam board as well as a tri-fold presentation board.

Use the printed background to cover one of each. Wrap it up like a gift and tape it shut.

Therefore, at this point, you’ll have a background and a foundation for your photos.

If you require a pure white backdrop, leave certain foam boards and presentation boards white.

The best part about them is that you can mix and match them. You may arrange your cake on a simple white foam board and then use the rustic wood print as a background.

Let’s look at how I put them up now. Here are a few examples of how I stage shoots:

I put a reflector to the left in this one so the light would bounce off the subject.

I embellished the picture with shredded white gift filler in this one.

Here’s another variation with some props, scrapbook paper beneath the cake server and dishes.

You may vary the look of your images by experimenting with different backgrounds and objects. Here are a few examples of how to get a more rustic style rather than a light and bright one.

All I did was alter the backdrop and add some tablecloths and a gold-painted chicken in the background. P.S. That’s not a real chicken; it’s been painted gold, and I don’t want any calls about it.

I hope to make a Part 2 of this article at some point since my strategy for photographing cakes has altered somewhat as I’ve acquired additional equipment in terms of backgrounds and lighting.

Yet, if you’re just getting started, the aforementioned approach is a terrific and economical way to produce amazing photos.

Taking photos (and some technical stuff-not too much though):

Now, let’s go into the technical details.

If you have a DSLR camera or intend to purchase one, I strongly advise you to switch it off automatic mode and onto manual mode. I guarantee you can accomplish it. You only need to put aside some time to practice, but it is enjoyable!

Thus there are various aspects of photography that you should be aware of. In brief, there’s an interesting approach to examine how exposure works in your images.

It’s called the exposure triangle, and it’s made up of three parts. All of these adjustments will put you in the sweet spot.

I’ve created a brief infographic to assist explain it.

Without getting too technical, you’ll need to tweak them every time you snap a shot. It is typical. You can’t just put things up and expect them to operate every time.

You’ll need to adapt when the light and surroundings change. (By the way, if you really want me to go technical on you, please let me know; I’d be delighted to write a more in-depth article on this.)

The important lesson from this is that getting acclimated to the settings will take some time, and each camera is set up differently. So set a challenge and a goal for yourself to practice with it for 10 minutes every day. I guarantee you’ll learn something new every time. I’m always learning and striving to become better.

The next step is to ensure that you shoot a TON of photographs. Take them from various perspectives, such as stop down, straight on, side view, and so on. Take some broad images first, then turn the camera and shoot some tall shots.

My best advice is to switch off your inside lights and go closer to a window or an outside light source. This is critical. If you keep your inside lights on, the white balance will be thrown off and your images will have a yellow hue.

When I film movies and photos, I usually utilize a pair of umbrella lights. I like natural light, but I utilize umbrella lights when it is overcast or gloomy on one side of my kitchen.

Here are some images from various perspectives that I shot while preparing for this article. You can see how the various backdrops and objects vary the feel (or mood) of the image, and how shooting numerous images from different perspectives keeps things interesting.

If that cake is making you hungry, the recipe is available here: Vanilla Bean Cake is my favorite.

Other Resources I’ve found helpful:

The most useful resource I’ve discovered is a Cake Photography lesson I attended on Craftsy. Since it is designed for cake, I found it really useful. The class may be found here:

Lovely Cake Photos

Lindsay with Pinch of Yum’s e-book, Delicious Food Photography, was another excellent resource. It’s more for general food photography, but I learnt a lot about how to use light well. The cool part about her book is that you can print it off and have it with you when shooting images.

Tasty Food Photography E-book target= blank rel=noopener noreferrer>Tasty Food Photography E-book

How to Edit Your Photos:

I currently use Lightroom to edit my images, but when I first began, I used Pic Monkey. Obviously, there are more complicated methods, however when you don’t have a lot of time and want a quick answer, Pic Monkey works well.

You may see it here: Pic Monkey

I’ve created a video lesson to demonstrate my picture editing method. Each shot doesn’t take long, and I’ll go through the sequence of things I like doing.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Pic Monkey is no longer free, however it is still less expensive than Adobe Lightroom for beginners.

Look it up here:

There are additional picture editing tools available, particularly if you take images with your phone. Just do a fast search on your app store and read the reviews.

That’s all there is to it. I wish I could meet you in person and give you a slice of cake if you’ve read this whole article and reached this point. Really! At the very least, you deserve a gold star! It was a lot of material to take in all at once, but you got through it.

Lastly, I’d want to emphasize that you don’t need a sophisticated setup to shoot beautiful images. I have a small kitchen, but it IS possible.

Your next task is to get out there, create some wonderful cakes, and photograph them! Isn’t that a fantastic reason to bake extra cake?


How can I improve my cake photography?

Cake Photography: Utilize Natural Light to Ease the Shot…. Choose the Optimal Light Direction…. Keep It Simple….
Choose Your Props Wisely…. Choose the Perfect Angle to Showcase Your Cake…. Employ Food Styling Techniques to Improve the Subject…. Sculpt the Light with Fill and Bounce…. Nail Your Focus with a Lower Aperture.

What is the best photo editor for cakes?

The finest picture editing software for food photography is PhotoDirector, which is available for iOS and Android smartphones. You may rapidly apply professional changes to your food images or cake photography with this software. With one simple program, you can swap backgrounds, clean up your picture, and modify the color of your image.

How do you take good pictures of a cake on Instagram?

Drool-worthy Cake Photography Tips
Understand Your Camera. Take a minute to modify your phone’s settings if you’re using one (and, let’s be honest, you probably are)….
Get back to nature. Natural light is your best buddy.
Find the Finest View. Don’t settle with the first photograph you take.
Hide the Clutter…. Maintain Consistency…. Add Some Style.
Oct 8, 2020

What makes a cake look professional?

CAKE TIP #5: Trim your layers so the tops are totally flat before assembling to make your cakes seem more professional. If your cakes come out of the oven with a domed top, trim it with a serrated knife so it lies flat. If you kept the domed tops, your cake would become uneven and skinny.

How do you take professional pictures of baked goods?

Use window light if you’re not an adept with artificial lighting. A diffuser or scrim will assist in softening the light. To brighten your topic, position a white piece of cardboard opposite your light source. When the light is gentle and the colors are vivid, desserts look their finest.

How do bakeries make pictures on cakes?

The picture is printed on edible “icing paper” or “rice paper” sheets rather than paper. These particular sheets are completely edible, non-toxic, and safe to consume. Cornflour, potatoes, and rice are used to make the paper. Food coloring is used to make the edible ink utilized in the printer.

What photo editor do most photographers use?

When it comes to picture editing software, Adobe Photoshop is usually regarded as the gold standard. Professional photographers and graphic designers use it for good cause all around the globe. Photoshop is an extremely powerful tool that can be used to create almost anything you can think of.

How do you take aesthetic baking pictures?

Food may be shot from three different angles: straight on from the front, three-quarter downward, or above. Looking through your camera lens or screen as you walk around the subject to find out which perspective highlights the features you want to emphasize is a useful exercise.

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