I have always had a passion for photography. I love shooting pictures of wildlife. It is a thrill I can’t explain. I had never taken photography classes until I started making cookies. I bought a digital camera over a year ago and it changed everything. It simplified the learning process because I could see the results instantly. Then, for my blog, I started photographing food. My photography passion grew from wildlife to food in the blink of an eye. The good thing about photographing food is I won’t get attacked by bears while shooing pictures of cookies and cobblers.
How to Customize white balance. Does that sentence scare you? Well it shouldn’t. I can show you how simple it is to have beautifully colored photos in a few simple steps. You will never have to worry about a blue or an orange cast again. An inexpensive gray card is all you need. You will save yourself a lot of time editing photos.
I grew up around women who cooked and baked so when it comes to Mother’s Day gifts, it is a piece of cake! Well, something to make cake with is more like it. I though I would share some of my favorite baking and kitchen things with you in case you want to shopping early. I have also added a few others things I love. Mother’s Day is on May 12th this year. I know because it is also my birthday. Yeah!!
I love cute props and great background boards for my photos. I don’t want everything to look like it just came off the store shelf. I like to find things with character that will compliment and add interest to my pictures. Take this cute little pot for example. I think my grandma had several of these but, back then, I didn’t know I would want them. I found this one at an antique store. It was $5 and I happily paid it. I needed a dark background for this picture but, I was losing daylight and needed something fast. So I did what I always do, I used poster board for pictures.
This is going to be a short post. I am in no way telling you what to do but, I want to show you something. I surf the web all the time and I come across some showstopping cookies that I can’t see very well. They are amazing cookies but, the problem is, they get lost by the background. Taking pictures of cookies is not hard but, there are a few things to remember before you start. Let me show you what I mean.
These are some cookies I made for a guest post for my friend Karen at TrilogyEdibles. I wanted to use them to show you about a simple white background and the difference it can make to your cookies.
The plain white background is so much better than this picture of the cookies on the baking rack. Not that this photo is horrible but, the cookies get lost in the grid of the cookie rack. When I see showstopping cookies on a rack I automatically zoom in on the cookies so I can focus on the wonderful details of the cookies without my eye focusing on the rack. I also know photography is art and the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I want all my hard work to be seen in my photos. I don’t want them to get lost in the background.
You don’t have to break into your savings account to buy expensive props. Just find some white paper, poster board, foam board or cute scrapbook paper that is complimentary to your cookies. Your cookies will be the focus of your photo and not the cookie rack.
The title of this makes me laugh because I just got my camera a little over a month ago and am still learning. But thanks to an AWESOME ONLINE CLASS I am taking I am not afraid to use it. I love this class so much I had to share it with you! I don’t want to use my blog to “push things” on you but, when I find something that works and makes things better, I have to share it! The teachers are smart, funny and really talk to me in a “camera language” I understand. So without further adieu, meet Josh and Kevin!
Yes, you read the title correctly! Did you know you can use parchment paper for more than baking? You can! I use it for all sorts of things but, the most unique is for my photography. Let’s face it, you can have the most beautiful cookies in the world and they can look bad because of poor photos. I will never be a professional photographer but, I am always looking for an inexpensive way to take better pictures. I came up with a Parchment Paper Light Box to see if I could use it in natural light. It is not pretty but MAN it works for me! I might invest in “real” photography equipment someday but, for now, this is what I use.
When I began my cookie journey, I had a lot of questions about everything. I felt like a sponge trying to soak up all the information I could. Your photos can make your cookies look AMAZING or just alright! I know how hard we work to make pretty cookies and I want us all to have amazing pictures to show off our hard work. Recently I shared my Sunshine light box with you and now it is time to share a tutorial on how to make photo boards! Photo boards can really help you take your pictures to the next level.
The good thing about these is, you can paint both sides so if you make 2 boards, you can have 4 different photo boards. This project was totally inspired by Recipegirl.com. She is a great blogger with a lot of recipes and wonderful tutorials like this one. I love her site and hope you check it out for yourself!
Photo Board Supplies:
Chocolate Brown Paint
Paint Colors You Like
GLOVES!!! (I didn’t wear gloves and let me just say UGH!!!)
Let’s talk about the wood before we get started. I have used luan that I got at the Home Depot. It was less than $6.00 for a 2′ x 4′ piece. You can get a full 4′ x 8′ if you have a truck to haul it in but I want something I can throw into the back of my Jeep. I also used some scraps I found around my house. Don’t be picky. It is just wood and if you don’t like the final results just paint it brown again and start all over.
Now you will still have to cut the photo boards if you intend on using them in your light box.I cut mine a little shorter than the box so it would slid right in without pushing on sides. I also painted the smaller pieces I cut of because I didn’t want to waste them. I will use them to photo individual cookies. They won’t work for platters but I can use a small plate and they will work just fine for that.
I used the paint I had on hand. This was leftover from a project I did last summer. I was happy to find a use for it. It is Behr floor paint but you can use any dark brown flat paint. I would not recommend a semi-gloss or a gloss paint because it will add a glare or a shine to your pictures. If you chose to use a craft paint I would recommend Ceramcoat by Delta (color chart) and you can purchase it at Wal-Mart, Hobby Lobby, or Michael’s. Burnt Umber 2025 or any dark brown would be a good base color. How much you need depends on the number of boards you are making. If you intend on making several, it may be cheaper to buy one quart of brown because it is the color you will use the most.
The first photo board we are going to make is my favorite. I like white because you don’t have to worry about the board color clashing with your cookie colors. It is my go to board.
Squirt a little white paint onto an old plate. Next, dip the tip of your dry paint brush into the white paint. Brush it back and forth on a rag or dry paper towel to remove some of the paint. For this technique you don’t want a lot of paint on your brush.
No be brave and make your first brush stroke. The most important thing you need to remember about this is work in one direction! Do not go up and down and then from side to side. Make a decision which direction you want to go in and stick to it! You want this to look like an old board and not just random paint.
Now for green! This is the board I used for my alligator cookie. I didn’t like the dark green so I added a little lime green. You can wait for it to dry or add it when the first color is wet. You just need to be careful and not over blend the colors unless that is the look you are trying to achieve.
Perfect!! Do you notice I am not wearing gloves? Big mistake…HUGE MISTAKE!! I know better but sometimes I just get so focused on things and don’t think. Well, I had UGLY hands for days. I used some stuff to remove the stain but it didn’t remove all of it and I had to soak my hands in lotion for 3 days but everything is alright now! Did I mention you should wear gloves????
I love red so again, I followed the steps above to make it. This is one of the smaller pieces I cut off. It is a nice size but I won’t be able to use it for as much as I could a larger piece. It is still nice to add to my collection.
The last thing you need to do is protect your photo boards from scratches or from oil spots from your cookies. You can spray them with a light coat of Krylon Matte Finish Spray. It will protect them without a shine.
Here is the other side of them! I am ready to make some cookies now! I hope you get a chance to make a few photo boards. It really does make a difference in your pictures. I plan on making more. I need pastel colors for spring and warm colors for fall. I think I have a Photo Board” problem.
Leave me a comment and let me know what color you want! Can’t wait to hear.
My only sunshine, You make me happy when skies are gray, You’ll never know dear, how much I love you. Cause you make my picture turn out great! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!)
This is my light box. I have named her Sunshine. She is my sunshine in the rain, at midnight or even at noon when skies are gray. She has changed the way I take pictures FOREVER! This post is not filled with perfect pictures because I did not have my light box to put them in so please forgive me.