How to take top-notch baking photos for Insta?

by Lucile Tinchant
Pastry photos for Insta

As a pastry chef, photography is an important way to share your work with your local clientele, but also to promote your talent to food lovers around the world. Without requiring the intervention of a professional or expensive investments, here are some tips to help you take photos of pastries for Insta. They will be used to feed your Instagram account, but also a Pinterest board bringing together your creations, or even for your Facebook page.

The correct installation

Choose a suitable location, with space, and take care to properly set up all the elements that will make up your Insta baking photos. Remove fingerprints, hairs and other distracting elements to avoid the need for post-production retouching.

For the first shot, vary the angles (top view, front view, side view, with the cake placed in different ways) until you find the one that seems most effective in highlighting your pastry.
To ensure your feed is harmonious, then always use the same camera angle: height, depth of field, the angle at which the cake is arranged, etc.
The fact that the photos are consistent in terms of layout creates a very satisfying Instagram grid for users to scroll through! A good point to encourage them to follow your page and gain you subscribers ;).

To take your Insta baking photos, simply equip yourself with:

  1. A smartphone or camera , if possible with a tripod or support on which to place it
  2. One to three lamps to illuminate the cake to be photographed: a main light source placed at 45°, which illuminates the entire pastry; another placed opposite the main light, which will blur the shadows generated by the first; and why not a 3rd light to place behind the cake to detach it from the background, give it volume and reduce the shadow cast.
  3. A large sheet of fairly thick paper (A3 or larger format recommended), to attach to the table and the wall to form a rounded shape if you are taking a packshot type photo
  4. A table (and a wall for the packshot)

Tip: a harmonious Instagram feed relies on the homogeneity of the photographic style: lighting, dominant colors, or even on a “gimmick”*. For example, a simple square of chocolate with your logo, a decorative accessory shown in each photo, or any other reminder that allows you to instantly identify your brand.

The style of photography

Three trends stand out on Instagram:

Clean “packshot” type photos

They highlight the pastry on a mostly plain background, and allow you to create visuals that are easy to “crop out” (via editing software, to erase the background).
To make your pastry the center of attention, use a neutral background , such as a large sheet of white paper or a colored background. This makes it possible to offer a refined photo, and to compose a very homogeneous Instagram feed over the photos, with creations always photographed in the same way.
This type of photo is often taken to populate the product pages of a website, which aims to highlight the product being sold, without embellishment.

“Atmosphere” photos

Instagram account of Yann Couvreur

This is probably one of the styles most used by pastry chefs on their Instagram feed!

Example with the Instagram feed of Yann Couvreur , which offers a local and authentic atmosphere: his photos mix pastry creations and highlighting the Chef, a mixture of materials with a raw appearance (wood, marble), and dominant shades pastel green, brown, beige. The whole thing creates perfect harmony!

Ambient photos allow you to highlight a universe , a brand identity, a style that is consistent with the general atmosphere of your pastry shop. Rustic, contemporary, country, urban, modern, high-end style, “grandmother-style” pastry, vegan: choose your positioning, the true DNA of your company, and use your staging and photos with this identity.

For each positioning, imagine a recurring setting, or one that is specific to each pastry creation. Play with the lighting, natural or artificial, on the way you photograph your pastry: front view, side view, cut up, whole, etc.

Add decorative elements such as fruits, flowers, herbs; it can also be professional equipment placed in the background. Also focus on decorative accessories: tablecloth, tableware, subjects, decorative objects; the idea is to place your cake at the heart of an environment which helps to shape your brand image throughout the publications.

Be careful, however, not to overload the photo, and that the decor does not “eat” the cake: the important thing is to highlight your pastry!

Highlighting professionals

The principle: the cake is photographed in the hands or with the Pastry Chef, the team or the pastry chef who created, decorated or imagined it. It's a way to highlight the artisans of the art, to promote 'homemade' and to reveal behind the scenes and the talents who work to produce the pastries in your store. A nod always appreciated by gourmet customers.

Do these 3 photo styles tempt you? So mix them up! No injunction, just fun ;)!

What are the most common styles of baking photos for Insta?

  • Minimalist style : it highlights the simplicity and beauty of pastries by using neutral backgrounds, sober colors and simple camera angles.
  • Rustic style : we use rustic textures and colors to give a natural and organic appearance to pastries. Elements such as wooden planks, burlap, linen napkins and wildflowers can be used to enhance the rustic effect.
  • The colorful style : it relies on bright colors and colorful backgrounds to give a touch of cheerfulness and life to the pastries. Colors can be chosen according to the season, the theme, your brand identity or the atmosphere you want to create.
  • Vintage style : it uses retro accessories to give a touch of nostalgia to the pastries. Antique items such as porcelain plates or silver cutlery can be used to enhance the vintage effect. Do not use the vintage filters offered by Instagram, which alter the original colors of your cake and devalue it
  • Artistic style : this style of photography uses artistic techniques such as selective focus, creative blur or original staging to give a creative touch to highlighting the pastries.

By using one of these trending Insta baking photo styles, you can add a touch of originality to your photos and grab the attention of your social media followers.

For further

Download our guide “ 8 methods to boost your baking using Instagram ”.
BONUS: 40 Insta accounts of pastry chefs to follow, to inspire you

* Gimmick : Clever process, intended to cause a striking effect

©Image by DCStudio on Freepik