How To Photograph Cakes & Tarts

*This class was recorded live & now available for replay.*

This live show focuses on how to photograph food, specifically how to take eye-catching and creative images of baked goods such as cakes and tarts. These types of images are popular for blogs, recipe books, magazines, restaurant menus, and as stock imagery, and you don’t necessarily need to be a skilled baker to shoot them!

Composition and lighting form the main focuses of this show, as Karl explains each compositional decision for the image, including his choice of background and props. He also demonstrates a simple three-light setup, which was achieved using affordable lighting modifiers (including a DIY modifier), and shows you how you could further enhance this by using simple reflectors or additional lights.

Topics covered in this show include:

  • How to photograph cakes
  • Food photography tips
  • Compositional tips
  • How to control reflections on gloss products
  • DIY lighting modifiers
  • Backgrounds for food photography

Related classes that you may enjoy include:

If you have any questions about this show, please post in the comment section below.



  1. Hi Karl, that’s great shooting as always, only now I was able to see this. I have a question related the modeling lamps you use on the strobes. I’m watching that octabox and I see such a white bright light, an excellent light. The modeling lamps on my strobes have a warm, too warm light. I’d love to know if I can safely replace them and what lamps to buy. Thanks.

    1. Hi Corina, unfortunately this is unlikely. A given studio light will be designed electrically and for heat to only handle a specified amount of Wattage for the modelling lamp. Some of my lights have 150w modelling lamps and others have 650w modelling lamps and of course there is a big difference in brightness between the two. Although often I use the 650w modelling lamps on a lower power as they can be distracting. Other options would be to try and darken the room that you are working in so that visually they appear brighter.

    2. I’d be very grateful if you could recommend me the exact model of the lamps you use. Thanks and have a great 2021!

  2. Hi Karl
    Actually I am a landscape and architectural photographer, and I am very happy to be with you, because I want to try commercial photography, and I found your videos and explanation really great.
    My question about this video is the direction of the light, I think the shadow should have been in the same direction as the window effect that I did because it would make more sense.
    Just as I noticed that the light should have come from behind the window, so the shadow would be opposite to what was in the video.
    Just let me say the result is really impressive
    Big Thanks
    Oussama Mazouz

    1. Hi Oussama, thank you but the shadow is following the same direction of the light, the ‘curtains’ could easily be to the side of the window where they overlap the wall but I get what you are saying. If I had made the light come through that space then it would be bright at the top of the photo and distract you away from the main products.

  3. As a brand new subscriber I am pleased with your thoroughness. If this session is indicative of your trainer skills the cost of admission is worth every penny.

    Fantastic job!!

    1. Much appreciated and yes nearly all our training is of this standard or even greater. Our live show replays are very popular and informative but we also have many many classes to choose from on all genres.

  4. So educational. I love the way you compose the shot, and what you do with light is just amazing. I’ve been into food photography as a hobby for some time now and your tutorials are a real eye opener. Thank you.

  5. Great demonstration and fine result. Well, spend 1,5 hr. When I photograph a cake, I usually have a request to cut off a slice, as Ashly did. And that is a mess and massive post-production/retouching labor. I tried to keep the cake in the fridge for a while to keep the interior layer of the cake looks good after cutting (or use dental floss to clean-cut). I’m looking forward to seeing someday how to make it work the professional way. Thanks, Karl for the demo.

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