Sunday 17th May is World Baking Day, one of our favourite international days, We have covered cake photography on the blog before but any baking enthusiast worth their salt knows that baking is so much more than cake! With this in mind, we’re covering some more general food photography tips that you can use whether you’re a pie specialist or brownie enthusiast. There are a number of charity baking days that have become regular fixtures on the UK calendar now including the annual Macmillian coffee morning. World Baking Day is not associated with a particular charity, instead, the aim of the occasion, which is sponsored by Stork, is to encourage you to pledge to bake for someone you know to let them know you care. If that sounds right up you’re street and you’re reaching for the oven gloves now, don’t forget to keep your camera on hand to capture some magic baking moments to transfer to canvas. Here are a few crumbs of baking photography advice to get you started….
For many there is as much beauty in the methodical preparation for baking as the end result, so consider photographing your work in progress as well as your baked goods at the end. If you want to snap your flapjack or millionaire’s shortbread in all it’s glory, don’t just take a photo from above, cut it up to show off the elements that make it delicious. Drizzle over a little reserved sauce, coat things with cream or sauce savouries with gravy – a little oozing on the plate will help make things look even more delicious. Plates in restaurants are wiped clean put a few carefully placed crumbs suggest baked goods are there be eaten. Photograph them in natural light if possible – use a card to bounce in extra light if you need to or create a light box. Everyone has their own food photography style but keeping your subject in focus with a little ‘fuzziness’ in the background will make it clear what the star of the photo is.
It’s the little things that really make food photos, so getting a handle on food styling is key. Building up the necessary cutlery and crockery collections, pretty tablecloths, wooden boards, slates and fancy cake stands can be an expensive affair.
Buy from boot sales, charity shops, vintage fairs. If you want to create a uniform look perhaps for blog photos, think about buying crockery in bulk from catering specialists – a stock of plain white plates can help you display your dishes at their best. Not all food styling properties need to cost money though – you can use free things from nature – twigs, fruit, flowers. Think about incorporating the items are using in your recipes too – your equipment and ingredients help tell the story of your bake. Photograph a shower of icing sugar or add an extra garnish of chocolate chips, even a baking sheet used as a background can add something to your photo. You can share your World Baking Day efforts on Twitter though we’d be more than happy to look over (or sample) your culinary artistry too. If you have some particularly delicious outcomes, why not create your own custom canvas?