This is the first post in a series of “behind the scenes” food photography in my little corner of the world here in eastern NC. I always seem to have readers emailing or friends asking how I photograph the food I make for the blog. Sometimes I’ll finish photographing, look around at my big ole mess and think, “people sure wouldn’t want to see this chaos”. Well, it appears that a lot of people do, so here goes with this recipe for Carrot Cake with a Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting!
First things first: I have no formal training and still have a ton to learn. I’ve learned along the way for the past 3 years and this is a continuous journey for me. I’m sharing what I’ve learned so far. If you have something to share that you’ve learned, PLEASE DO by leaving a comment!
So this is my little rigged setup in my photography room. I have a bench that I place by the window for natural light. I used 2 black foam boards in an attempt to create a black seamless background. I thought the white icing would contrast nicely with the solid black background.
Since the boards were so narrow, I pulled up an old chair and used my white reflector board to bounce the sunlight back onto the cake and prevent shadowing the best that I could.
The sunlight directly hits that window at about 3 pm this time of year. The sunlight was so harsh that I had to hang a white sheet to diffuse it.
Since the only garnish I used in this photograph was the chopped pecans on top of the cake, I had the bag of chopped pecans handy in case I decided to add more at the last minute. I always try to have extra garnishes that I’m using on-hand if I need them.
My camera settings for the photograph at the beginning of this post:
- ISO — 100
- Shutter Speed — ⅛ s
- Aperture — 3.5
There you have it. Photographing food doesn’t require a lot of expensive props or equipment. The camera that I use is an affordable entry level DSLR Canon Rebel T5i with a 50mm F/1.8 lens. I recommend Plate to Pixel by Helene Dujardin for a WEALTH of information on food photography tips… this book is my food photography bible!