DISCLAIMER: I am not a trained photographer by any stretch of the imagination.
I don't know about aperture and ISO and raw images and such.
I just like to take pretty pictures of my cookies.
I just wanted to share one little trick for anyone else like me.
Decorated cookies can take a LONG time to create. I think that it's really important to have a great photograph that showcases your hard work! Since I also sell my cookies, I want a great picture that will be appealing to my clients.
I always try to photograph in natural light, if possible.
Here's my photographing set-up in my studio. I arrange a small table near the glass storm door, allowing lots of natural light to shine in. I lay my cookies and props on photo backdrops, like ones found at SwankyPrints. It was a little after noon and overcast when I took this pic, thus creating the shadows.
I use a white, foam backboard (think science fair project backboard) when I photograph my cookies. It has seen better days, but it still works!
As I photograph, I place the backboard opposite of the light source. For example, the light was coming in from the right in the picture above. I placed the backboard on the left side of the cookies. The light from the door on the right reflects off of the board and illuminates the left side of the cookie-scape.
I know it's a simple concept, but it makes a big difference!
Let me show you some examples.
1. NO backboard used.
Notice how much shadow there is on the left side of the cookies?
Sometimes, I REALLY like the shadowy effect. It can show off the texture of the cookie.
2. Backboard used to the left of the cookies, at a 90* angle to the table.
There is a lot less shadow here, but the definition in the tail was lost a little to the brightness. The picture is much brighter, overall.
3. Backboard used to the left of the cookies, but angled away.
This resulted in a little bit of shadow, but not too much.
Here's another look at the three pictures, side by side, for easier comparison.
Three more things to note:
1. Follow your photographing heart. Do what you think looks good! Some might think that all three of the pictures above are garbage. I'm okay with that! I like them, and that's what matters to me. Tomato, Tomahto.
2. Still consider using photo editing software. I use the editing features in iPhoto and Picmonkey most often. Some small tweaking with software can make a great photo even better!
3. PLEASE, WATERMARK YOUR PHOTOS. Not only does the photo belong to YOU, but the subject of the photo is YOURS, TOO. I won't get into discussing those individuals that steal photos- boy that burns my biscuits! But when you watermark your beautiful photos, people can find you!! I have been able to reach out to many cookiers to ask about technique, design, or even just to say a kind word, all because the picture was watermarked.
Now get out those cameras and take some great pictures!
Or you can just bake some of these cute bunnies, carrots, and eggs, with the cutters from That's A Nice Cookie Cutter!
A rose by any other name would be . . . an acorn? In this case, YES! Thanks to Sugarbelle, you can create a cookie rose with many shapes- other than a rose cutter!
I actually own a rose cookie cutter, but it was a little too small for my liking . As I was digging through my many many many bins of cutters, this acorn cutter caught my eye! Upside down, it's the perfect shape for a closed rosebud!
What you'll need:
* acorn shaped cookies
* flood and thicker royal icing consistencies, in your favorite rose color
* thick, green royal icing for the sepals (the little leaves at the base of a bud)
* petal dust for light shading (optional)
What to do:
1. Cut and bake your favorite acorn shape and size.
2. Turn the cookie upside down. Flood the base of the rosebud. Let dry.
3. Use thicker royal icing, in the same color as the rose, to pipe the lines of the petals. Use my picture above as a guide. Or just do a little swirl at the top!
4. Use a petal decorating tip (my favorites are the PME leaf tips- 50, 51, 52) and the thick green icing to create the outer sepals
5. After a few minutes, pipe the center sepal. You're done!
If you wanted to, brush on a little petal dust to give some shading to the rosebud.
It's up to you!
These easy rosebuds are pretty on their own. . .
. . . or great as accent cookies with some other Valentine's Day sweets!
Happy Valentine's Day!
I'm Amy. Wife, Mom, former science teacher- and now full time cookie baker on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Pull up a chair and we create! I'll bring the coffee- maybe Mike (The Cookie Widower) will make it for us.