First of all, I must say I am completely overjoyed by the oh-so-wonderful Betsy, or Java Cupcake, as she recently asked me to be a guest blogger and write a brief photography piece for her fantastically delicious blog! Cupcakes and photography? Both are individually delightful and together they are enough to provoke an over the top happy dance. I‘m not even kidding. Seriously, baking yummy cupcake treats, photographing those little lovelies and then of course the taste testing, can it get any better?
I think not!
Although I must admit, I’m quite new to the world of photography. So new that I just recently celebrated the first anniversary with my lovely little Canon 30D. I genuinely do not consider myself a real photographer and I’m primarily blaming this on my unwillingness to read instruction manuals or directions. I’ve always been the type to figure things out on my own and in my own way. My creativity is continuously improving and I’m finding myself more inspired each and everyday with the incredible people who do photography professionally. I’d like to think every picture I take is a new adventure – So, let me share my top three favorite pieces of advice with you.
First, the two most common techniques I absolutely believe in, is to utilize natural lighting and to style your subject attractively. Yep. That’s it. Very simple and extremely effective.
Although, in this wonderful State of Washington, utilizing natural light can be quite tricky. At least that’s my primary complaint during those forever long, dark and rainy winter months. I often found myself rushing to finish decorating the cupcakes to simply run outside and take a picture before the sun disappeared. In most cases, I would end up saving my cupcake creations until the next afternoon simply to take a better picture. So, if possible, take advantage of any natural lighting when it is actually available.
Second, most of my food and cupcake pictures are taken right in my own dining room – Hurrah for a sturdy window sill! Not only do I have ample amounts natural light but the presentation is also clean in appearance. I’m personally drawn to the simplicity and minimalism as it directs your focus to what really matters, your subject. Props and backgrounds are fun and can certainly add nostalgia to your photograph; however, using items or backgrounds that are too busy can often distract from the fabulousness of your subject. I like to think a bit of simplicity is often enough to make a photograph ‘pop’ on its own.
Finally, my absolute favorite piece of advice is to photograph absolutely everything you see. Yes, continue to photograph everything even if your significant other looks over to find you attempting to balance a cupcake on top of your pet Chihuahua’s head. Just ignore those judgmental stares and continue on with the silliness! You can read an instruction manual all day but the real lessons will come once you pick up the camera and begin shooting.
Enjoy the endless creativity!