Your photos should look as good as your cakes!
You've just spent hours creating an edible masterpiece, and you can't wait to share your creation with the world! Sometimes in our haste we forget to think about little details like wiping the counter, or sweeping the floor before taking a few snap shots to up load to CakesWeBake, but wait... Photographs are the medium we use to share our art with most of the world and our peers- the folks who don't get to see our actual cakes attractively displayed in all of their glory. After all the time you've spent mastering your skills as a cake decorator, it will pay to take some time to make sure your photos are presenting your work in its best possible light.
The first thing to keep in mind is to keep the cake the subject of the picture. Eliminate distractions like people, tools, icing bags, and general clutter from the backgroud to keep the focus on your cake. Make sure that anything that CAN be seen in the photo is clean and presentable. Wipe your counter, sweep and mop your floor, and clean any other surfaces that will be visible in your final compostition. Don't take pictures of cakes in the refrigerator!
Here are a few tips compiled from professional photographers who specialize in product photography:
Get some Background-
The first thing you’re going to need is a background to shoot the product against, you’ll notice that the majority of products are shot against solid colored backgrounds as this takes any distractions away, so the only thing to look at is the product! Shooting against a solid colored background also means the product is easier to ‘cut out’ in Photoshop if needed. Select a color that will provide contrast against the main color of your product to help the image to "pop". Try using a sheet, tablecloth, or cardboard to create a mini studio.
Lighting is pretty important in shooting products, the idea most of the time is to get the product fairly evenly lit, avoiding harsh shadows, so make sure you set up in a room with bright lights, or one that has bright ambient light coming through the windows.
Simple compositions tend to work better with products. Zoom in to get as much in as possible, while leaving some space around your subject to "frame" it in the final composition. Avoid shooting from strange angles as well.
When shooting against a background, you don’t actually want it to be in focus. Place the product a bit in front of the background. If your camera is equipped with an adjustable aperture try it on a wide setting. The goal is to have your product in sharp focus, with an out of focus background.
Play around with product placement and focus, and take as many images as you think is necessary; It's always best to get a good selection and choose the one you want.
Image editing software such as Picasa can be downloaded for free and can make the difference between a good picture and a great picture. Take the time to straighten and crop your images before posting or displaying them.
Good Luck, and Have Fun!