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How to get into product photography: Making cakes irresistible online

Catching your audience’s attention is no longer just about taste – it’s also about sight. For e-commerce platforms, especially those specializing in treats like sweets and cakes, the significance of first impressions cannot be understated. And the key player in making this first impression? Photography.

When customers can’t physically taste or smell your product, the visuals become the main draw. Great photography does more than present a product; it tells a story, evokes emotions, and tantalizes the senses even from behind a screen. 

For any e-commerce owner, here are some essential nuggets to ensure your sweets and cakes aren’t just mouth-watering but also eye-catching online.

Lighting is everything

Lighting is a foundational element of photography, and its significance is magnified when it comes to product photos. Proper lighting can make the difference between a product looking appealing and enticing or dull and unattractive.

The magic of natural light

Natural lighting, especially the soft, diffused light of an overcast day or the golden hour, illuminates the natural colors and details of sweets and cakes. Unlike harsh artificial lights that can create unappealing glares or overly dramatic shadows, natural light maintains the authenticity of your products. The subtle interplay of light and shadow can highlight the velvety texture of a chocolate cake or the shimmering surface of a glazed donut.

Directional lighting

The direction from which the light hits your product can be a game-changer. Side lighting, for example, emphasizes the texture of your treat, be it the flakiness of a pastry or the smoothness of a mousse. Backlighting, on the other hand, can give your desserts an ethereal glow, perfect for translucent or shiny confections.

Composition and angles

Online shoppers make split-second decisions based on visuals. A well-composed photo with an appropriate setting can immediately convey the value and quality of a product, making it more enticing to click on or purchase.

Setting the stage

Every component in the frame contributes to the narrative. Plates, cutlery, and scattered ingredients not only provide context but also evoke a sense of environment. Are you aiming for a rustic charm or modern chic? A wooden table versus a sleek marble counter can communicate that.

Versatility of angles 

Each angle you choose narrates a unique story. A top-down or ‘bird’s-eye’ view is perfect for showing off patterns or symmetrical designs, like the decoration on a cake or the arrangement of a cookie platter. A side view or 45-degree angle shot, meanwhile, offers a glimpse into the depth, layers, and intricacies, making multi-layered cakes or filled pastries come alive.

Authenticity over perfection

When consumers see images that appear too polished or manipulated, they may question the authenticity of the product. Authentic images foster trust because they provide a genuine representation of what customers can expect to receive.

Embrace the flaws

In an era where everything seems photoshopped to perfection, genuine and raw visuals stand out. A dribble of sauce, a crumb on the side, or an imperfect icing swirl can sometimes be more captivating than a flawless image. Such details suggest freshness, immediacy, and handcrafted quality.

Story over studio

Capturing the making process or a behind-the-scenes glimpse can bridge the gap between the seller and the consumer. It humanizes the brand and lets the audience in on the journey of the product, from raw ingredients to the final delightful treat.

Consistency across the board

When your product images follow a consistent style, lighting, and setting, it reinforces your brand identity. Over time, customers start associating specific photographic elements or styles with your brand, aiding in instant recognition.

Branding through imagery 

Just as businesses have specific fonts or color schemes, maintaining consistency in photography style solidifies brand identity. It’s not just about the product but also about how it’s perceived. Consistent color palettes, lighting styles, and compositions create a visual thread that makes your brand instantly recognizable amidst the clutter.

Beyond aesthetics, consistent imagery speaks to professionalism and reliability. It assures the customer of a standard, a benchmark that your brand sets and consistently meets. Over time, this consistency can foster trust and loyalty.

Enter Varak: A Success Story in authentic e-commerce presentation

Product photographies of Varak cakes.

Varak, co-founded by the dynamic duo Preet and Diva, is a testament to the power of authentic presentation. Their story started with a shared love for food and grew into a successful venture thanks to their individual expertise and sheer determination.

Having started in 2020, Varak soon blossomed, largely due to organic growth and the powerful pull of word-of-mouth. And behind this success? A blend of unparalleled quality, innovation, and, importantly, authentic e-commerce presentation. 

Their photography perfectly captures the essence of their brand – fresh, high-quality, and crafted with care. They’re not just selling; they’re offering a taste of their journey, their dedication, and their passion.

The takeaway

Your e-commerce platform is your digital storefront. Just as a beautifully decorated shop window draws customers in, outstanding photography entices online shoppers to explore further and, eventually, hit that ‘purchase’ button. It’s not merely about showcasing a product but narrating a story. As seen with Varak, with the right combination of passion, skill, and effective online presentation, the sky’s the limit.

For e-commerce businesses, especially those in the food sector, investing in quality photography is not a luxury but a necessity. Because when it comes to sweets and cakes online, the eyes indeed eat first.

We hope this article helped you with how to get into product photography. Keep reading OmniShop blog for more useful e-commerce tips!

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Let’s book a 30-min mobile strategy session and give your shop a boost.