How to photograph a wedding cake?

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Wedding cakes are known for their grandeur and magnificence, something that needs to be captured in a photo with equal splendor. Huge three or four tier cakes, sometimes based on a theme, no doubt taste delicious as they are made by the best in the business.

But the kill joy moment comes later, when the hosts flip through the wedding pictures and see that the cake in the photo is far from what they remember it to be. Photographing wedding cakes is different from shooting normal cakes.

The difference lies in the settings and lighting, which poses a challenge. But at the same time, the advantage is that of a beautiful wedding party and smartly dressed people around. At a wedding party, the setup is not in your control. So you cannot go on to add your own lighting if the one already there proves inadequate.

1. Be comfortable with your camera. A point and shoot camera with latest features or a DSLR would work best. Practice clicking pictures in low light because that is going to help you while shooting at the wedding party.

2. Do not use the built-in flash in your camera. We cannot emphasis enough that in-your-face light almost never produces good photos. Use your flash to ‘bounce’ light from the left off  
(90 degrees left) of a wall or whatever is available (and not up or down). This will create a pleasing soft light that will hit the cake from the left.

3. It is especially important to have a little light behind the cake.  So look for an angle in which the decorative lights come in the background. You probably won’t be able to move the heavy cake, so it’s best to move yourself. The lights need not be close to the cake, a little farther away will make it blurry and give the cake a more defined look.

4. Take close up of the cake to shoot the detailing done on this piece of art. The baker has obviously worked hard on it, so give him his due credit and capture those tiny details like flower work or the top piece.

5. Human involvement will add an interesting touch to the photo. Get the bride and the groom in the frame, and you can get some interesting candid photos. Picture possibilities, apart from the cutting the cake, can be when they are admiring it, or giving a piece of it to each other, holding a cupcake et al.

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