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My Photography Set-Up

Hey everyone. I hope you’re having a great week. I took a little break because I had another injection recently and I needed some time to rest. So far I’m feeling pretty good and I’m ready to get back to cookies.

This post has been one I wanted to do for sometime but I just never got around to it. I’ve been asked by seveal people how I take my pictures. I knew I wanted to do a post about my photography set-up but I was hesitant to do it because there are already great posts out there on this topic. Also, my way is not exactly the most affordable route to take but it works for me. You see I wish I could give you great, inexpensive do it yourself ideas of how to take great photos but I just can’t. I have spent a pretty penny on getting pictures just the way I like them. I’m not a professional photographer and I never will be. I’m a point and shoot type gal. Sure I own a fancy DSLR camera but I have no idea what all the bells and whistles are used for. You’re going to see that what it boils down to is that I have a really expensive point and shoot camera because of how I use it. I would love to learn more about my camera and get the most out of it but I just haven’t had time to research or take classes. I found what works for my cookie pictures and as the saying goes “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. Lol!

I’ve always had a fascination with photography and I want to get better at it. I think this comes from my father. He wanted to be a photographer when he was younger but never pursued it. He loved photography so much that my sister was almost named Nikon. Good thing my mom said no to that.

Anyway, yesterday I finally decided to take my pictures and get started on this post. Then later that night my friend Kim told me about LilaLoa’s post wanting to see our photo set-ups. It was a sign that I needed to stop procrastinating and get this post done.

On my quest for the best cookie photos I purchased a photo tent and lights and I also made a photo box. Both of these methods just did not give me the look I was going for and I had to do a lot of editing to my photos. It’s probably because I was using the wrong setting on my camera but let’s not go there. I don’t want to tinker with settings. After lots of experimenting with lighting and places to take photos in my house I figured out that the best pictures are taken in natural light so I started taking my pictures outside. It worked great until the Fall rolled around and I was racing home after work to beat the sun going down. It was crazy. I was the opposite of a vampire. They race to beat the light coming up and I was racing to beat it going down. Go figure. Something had to give. I wanted to be able to take pics anytime of the day and in any weather.

I searched and searched and then one day I found it. This is the post that changed everything. After reading it I knew I had to get the Lowel EGO light.

http://www.amazon.com/Lowel-Digital-Imaging-Tabletop-Fluorescent/dp/B0009K50RO?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1202049246&sr=8-1

The light is more expensive now than back then when the post was written. I had already spent so much money on other photography gadgets that I decided I would give it a try but I would just buy one. I told myself that if this did not work that I was done. I would not try anything else. Well it worked and I’m sure glad that it did. I use this light for all my pictures. No matter what time of the day or the weather I don’t worry anymore. Sure natural light is always going to look best but I feel like this light gives me the peace of mind I need to not fret about my pictures anymore.

Now let me show you my set-up.

In my cookie room I have an old TV stand that is not being used anymore so it is now my photography table. On one side is the light and on the other side is the reflector it comes with. In case you’re wondering what the white thing is it is paintable wallpaper that I got at Lowe’s. I rarely need a background in my pics but when I do I like to use this as a background. I have several plates stored in the TV stand but I prefer to use a wooden cutting board to place my cookies on. If you are going to use a wooden cutting board make sure that you condition it often with mineral spirits and board cream so that it can stand up to being washed a lot.

Here is what it looks like when the light is turned on.

At first it does not look bright but after giving it a few minutes to warm up it will get very bright.

Now I’m going to show you my little secret for getting the angle I like for my pictures. It’s coupler rings. I use them to prop up the cookies.

Now remember how I said that my method of taking pics is an expensive point and shoot one. Basically, I flip the light on, let it warm up and take pics with my camera set on the no flash setting. That’s it. I don’t fool with ISO’s or anything else.

I’m not going to go into too much detail about editing pictures but I’ll show you my four step process. Thanks to Lisa {The Bearfoot Baker} I learned about Picmonkey.com on this post. I tried it out and liked it so much that it’s all I use now for editing pictures.

After opening up my picture the first step is to crop it.

The second step is to choose exposure and hit the auto adjust button. Just about 99% of the time this is all that needs to be done to my photo and I’m done. Because of the lighting I use the adjustment is slight. About 1% of the time I don’t like the coloring/brightness so I choose exposure again and either add a slight bit of brightness or take some away and that’s it. Thanks to SweetSugarBelle’s post I learned about auto adjusting exposure.

The third step is to add text. I choose my font, choose my color, adjust the size and play with the fade. I place the text where I want it and then the last step is to save my picture. If you look at the picture above and the one below you will see the slight change the auto adjust exposure made.

So there you have it. That is my photography set-up. Now head on over to LilaLoa’s and share yours with her.

Here are some great posts on photography by three of my favorite cookie gals. Thanks ladies for being inspirations to me and helping me grow.

The Bearfoot Baker:
http://thebearfootbaker.com/2012/01/you-are-my-sunshine/
http://thebearfootbaker.com/2012/02/photo-board/
http://thebearfootbaker.com/2012/07/parchment-paper-light-box-for-natural-light/
http://thebearfootbaker.com/2012/04/picnik-is-closing/
http://thebearfootbaker.com/2012/08/how-to-use-your-dslr-camera/
http://thebearfootbaker.com/2012/09/custom-white-balance/

SweetSugarBelle:
http://www.sweetsugarbelle.com/blog/2012/05/cookie-photography-for-dummies/

LilaLoa:
http://www.lilaloa.com/2012/01/photo-editing-for-cookie-makers-not.html

Comments

  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! Great job…very informative..I have never used Picmonkey….I am going to have to try it out! And the light…I am going to push my cookies like Nike…and sale sale sale…that light will be mine soon!
    Hug
    Kim

  2. Thanks for this post! I’ve been struggling with my lighting and this could be the solution I’m looking for!

  3. This was quite informative and I like your little tip about resting your cookies on your coupler rings!

  4. I love the idea of using the couplers! I struggle with lighting too, maybe I need to invest in something like this!

  5. Very cool set up. At least you have a set up. I just try to take pictures when I can during the day. But, I have no idea what I am going to do once winter comes. Wish we lived closer so we could practice photography together. :(

  6. Thank you for your tips! I’ve already saved picmonkey in my favorites =)

  7. You are the best! What a great tutorial..

  8. Great tutorial!! Thanks so much for the links:)

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