Best Camera for Cake Decorating and Food Photography
What is the best camera for cake decorating and food photography? Over the last few years of cake decorating and food blogging if there is one most important lesson I have learned is “good photos’ good photos,’ good photos’. No matter how awesome your cake or plate of food is; if you cannot get a good picture of it – it really does not do justice to your cake, to you as an artist or get picked up on social media by people looking for the recipe.
We eat with our eyes first. Right?So often when you need a recipe what do you look for first? The ingredients? No!! The image. If that bowl of soup looks good – you wanna get that recipe. You wanna recreate the same. That’s what good photography does – works like magic.
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Often for some cakes that need to be published in a magazine I get a photographer to shoot it. Magazines need good quality pictures because that’s how they look their best. But these photo shoots can be really expensive.
In the last few years I spent a little over my budget for professional photographs before I realized I’d better get me a good camera and some photography lessons and tools so I can do at least 80% without professional help. I still do get a professional to click some of my magazine submissions but If you see my photographs over the last two years as compared to the previous three years there has been a huge difference.
The reason is a combination of things GOOD
- Camera –
- Photo Editing Software
- Photography Lessons.
Wanna know how I took my photography from the images above to the images below in less than 2 years? Read along.
These are my Food Blog pictures before and after. See the ones on top? Meah? And look at the recent ones? Wow! must better enh? And these don’t have any photo styling done. You see no prop added, nothing.
Now look at my Cake images from two years ago and now. See how crisp and clean the recent images are? You can actually see the details in these much better?
The purpose of this post is to show you the importance of taking good pictures really. But I called this post Best camera for cake decorating and Food photography because I know that’s what people really want me to tell them. So below I will be honest and tell you what I camera I own and what I use as well as what camera I have on my wishlist. These are all excellent choice and I hope you will find atleast one of these will fit in your budget.
A little about my experience that some of you may identify with.
When I started cake decorating I started with a regular digital camera and I thought my cakes were good. But over time I started questioning my pictures.
- When I saw similar cakes to mine and yet their cakes looked so good. I kept telling myself it was the cake – I need more practice.
- My cakes never got picked when I submitted them for the magazine. Why they were not clicked with high resolution or professionally. Yup! in the first two years none of my cakes every got published.
- My closeup shots were terrible. It would be so blurry that I’d never share close up images of my cakes.
The turning point.
About two years ago we had new neighbors. This lovely neighbor of mine is a photographer. He’s name is Nir Friedman and he use to be the food photographer for a famous TV show here in Israel. Now he does freelance and teaches photography to professionals as well as at the local school.
As neighbors we often send goodies to each other and once or twice he clicked my cupcakes so beautifully. Just simple cupcakes and I’d go wow. Is that my cupcake? We got talking photography and he offered some really valuable advice and suggestions like
- the first advice he gave me was to change my camera asap!!
I did! I got myself a second hand Panasonic Limux GH 1 – I think I almost cried when I saw my first picture! So crisp and clear! I could see details of my work.
- Get me a good photo edition software – back then I use to use Picasa!,
Don’t laugh!! I use to consider myself technology impaired cause it all went over my head until I started blogging five years ago. Blogging taught me SO MUCH!! Anyway, I got me the Lightroom Photo Editing Software and of course PhotoShop!!
This really turned things around for me. I began to see that my work looked more crisp and clean. My food pictures were so much more brighter and realistic.
- Take interest in learning to shoot manually.
Once I started seeing so much improvement in my pictures, I automatically started questioning more about how to improve things. Lucky for me I had a neighbor who I could get a few lessons from. So when I’d make food for my blog, I’d time it at my lessons so I could use the lessons more practically.
I have been lucky to learn from him but also have an opportunity to try many cameras? He often gets cameras from work home to test them and I have seen some really amazing cameras that can honestly blow your mind and get you on Amazon to check the prices. Often of course I see the prices and wanna hide in a hole in the ground. If you know what I mean.
So what is the- Best Camera for Cake Decorating and Food Photography.
Well, ideally you want the best but often can we cannot afford the best!! Can we? Rolling my eyes lol …
I still have the one I really want on my wishlist. So here’s what I have, here’s what I use and here’s what’s on my wishlist.
I – The Camera I own
Panasonic GH1 – It’s a good camera for image as well as for videos. The quality is good and crisp. 60% of my food and cake pictures are taken with this camera. I really love it. It’s now an old model so if you choose to buy a Panasonic I’d suggest to get a later models. All in all this is still my go to camera and lense.
II – The Camera I borrow
TheCanon EOS 30D – – This is an awesome DSLR and often I borrow this one from my neighbor with the long lense for my food pictures.
In fact I tell him to sell it to me second hand. He has four cameras and many lenses so often he let’s me borrow them for my cakes and food photographs. How nice of him – Isn’t it.
The camera with the Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM Wide Angle Lens is great for cakes and
the Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM Telephoto Zoom Lens is great for my close up shots like this.
III – My Wish list –
The one that I really really want. I was hoping Santa will buy it for me this Christmas but…. NOT………… ah well may be for my Birthday next march 2017. It’s not cheap and since I have a good camera It’s not really an emergency so I will just have to wait until I can afford it.
If you are like me and want to take beautiful food pictures, with close shots. Then you want this lens. Canon EF 100 mm 2.8 IS
Photo and Video Editing Software – (best camera for cake decorating and food photography)
Now that you have taken some good pictures with (he best camera for cake decorating and food photography), you need to ensure you get some basic editing done. And while there are many good ones out there. I personally think the best is Lightroom and Photoshop.
I use the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 for my image editing. What I love about it is that you can do batch edit so if I have clicked a picture with the same light and settings then I can actually edit a batch all at once rather than doing each image one at a time. Saves you so much time.
This is an incredible tool and they have lots of videos tutorials too. Unfortunately, you have to work one image at a time. The editing possibilities are endless. It’s just one tool that’s great for beginners as well as seasoned photographers alike.
Video edition software
If you like doing video editing then the easiest and best I think is Cyberlink Powder Director. I’ve been using it for over 4 years now. There are endless features and great tutorials on how to use it too. I use to edit all my You Tube videos on this program. Now a days I also so use Imovies on my Iphone – videos that I made for my Instagram and Facebook are geneally made on my iphone for convenience.
Photography Lessons – (Best camera for cake decorating and food photography)
How shall I say this? Having the right tools and not knowing how to use it to it’s full potential is like giving a slow driver the keys to the Fomula one race car. He probably won’t know what to do with it. Right? In the same way – having a good camera is good but even better is if you can learn how to use it to it’s potential.
I was lucky to have a neighbor who gave me a few food photography lessons and that too practically. I’ve taken many of my blog pictures with him in our photo sessions. I am still learning and I know there is a huge potential and growth left for me. I am exploring them one step at a time. More importantly I am seeing progress in my pictures and I feel proud of them.
There are many online resources and free information available. Personally you get what you pay for and instead of going from resource to resource I’d rather pay for the right lessons. If you ask me there are two great resources out there.
One is – Food Photography School by the Minimilist Bakers and Tasty Food Photography by Pinch of Yum.
If you want to learn just the basics of photography with regards to cakes Then Craftsy has a good class.
Building Your Business: Beautiful Cake Photography (w/ Carrie Sellman)
That was a long post and I do hope you find the information useful. I would love to know what camera you currently use ? And what do you think of your own photography skills. Do you get a professional to click your cake or food photos?
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