Food Photography : Piece of Cake?

A shot of the cherry “props”.
What are the challenges one faces when shooting food? Today I have eight cakes to
photograph. In the world of commercial photography; the photographer not only
needs to shoot, set-up lighting, style and also needs to crack a joke or two when
the environment gets a little uptight. Today’s shoot is definitely not a piece a cake.

Adjustment, adjustment and more adjustment.
My set-up for the day.
Fellow photographer Tiong Jin, holding on to my precious mirror.


Weapon of choice is GFX with GF120mm as the main lens.  I also used
GF63mm and GF45mm; basically for a few top angle shots.  Primarily GF120mm
is the lead actor for today’s shoot. As for lighting up of the scene; it’s mostly a
simple 3 lights set-up. 3 Broncolor Siros 800L are the lighting gears. A 60cm x 60cm
softbox acts as the main light. A kicker light to rim certain section of the cake. I did’t want this secdond light to spill and therefore a fine honeycomb grid was used for
better control and focus. The third light was used to light the wall/background area
with just a standard reflector.
I would also like to share an inexpensive but very valuable gear I can;t live without
in food photography . Its name is call the Mirror! Yes, you heard it. I love to use
mirror as a reflector for some small and specific area. By default I will usually
have 3 mirrors in my camera case. A small, medium and a large A4 size version.
These are just ordinary mirrors.
My camera setting for the day. Or there about.
Malakoff before it being decorated.
Heating the cake knife with a blow torch.
One cut is all it takes with a “heated” knife.
Another challenge when it comes to food photography; shooting without a food
stylist. To me it’s not a deal breaker if your client doesn;t have extra budget for a
food stylist; especially after paying you with all their budget. All it takes is a little
more time to discuss with your client and bounce ideas to one another. Discussing
with your client and preparing props before the shoot certainly helps.  Actually
if a photographer is able to style the food; it’s an added advantage.
Here are some behind scene shots. You are also able to see how the lights have been
set-up. And also the a couple of cakes photos. Don’t they all look so delicious?


Carrot Walnut Cake.
Sacher Chocolate Cake.
Walnut Cake.
Truffle Raspberry Cake and Malakoff.
Truffle Raspberry Cake.
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