When I think of cake doughnuts, I think of breakfast and coffee. It might not be healthy, but a good cup of coffee and a classic cake doughnut is a pretty great way to start your day. That’s how I start my day anyway. It always revolves around me being able to make espresso at home. If I had to trek to the local coffee store every morning, I think I’d collapse!
Like every food item you will shoot, there are a million different ways that you could compose the picture. By thinking ahead and knowing what you want your image to say, you can easily narrow down these choices. With cake doughnuts reminding me of coffee and morning breakfasts, I decided that I wanted a morning type scene. Soft and subtle colors, white plates and a single cup of coffee with one cake doughnut.
After playing around with composition, I decided the doughnut looked better with a piece missing. This might sound like a strange concept, but sometimes addition by subtraction is what your photo needs. What I mean by “addition by subtraction” is by subtracting (in this case a piece of the doughnut) I am adding interest to the picture. With the doughnut missing a section, it looks like someone was just beginning their breakfast. Adding the trail of crumbs is more interesting than a whole doughnut.
The whole addition by subtraction concept isn’t new, you see it all the time in pie or cake shots where a piece is missing. Addition by subtraction also works when you are adding props to a scene, sometimes you will have way too many props on the table and removing a few actually adds to the picture by making it less distracting. While this concept isn’t new, my choice of background is something you might not expect.
What do you think I was shooting on top of? A table cloth? A blouse or skirt? (If I was a girl, and owned clothing with that pattern that may work), out of guesses?
Well if you guessed an ironing board then you are correct! Yes I shot this on my travel sized ironing board. I really liked the print on the board, and thought it looked like a table cloth so I gave it a shot (yes bad pun). Given the shape of the board, I knew is would have to be a vertical shot. Having a vertical shot wasn’t a bad thing. With the height of the coffee mug, I was going to shoot vertically anyway.
For my lighting set up. I had window light on the right and a foam board reflector on the left.
When it comes to figuring out your backgrounds and props they can be anything. Really I mean anything! As long as they make sense! If the ironing board was a loud plaid print, I probably wouldn’t have used it, but the subtle print added a nice element of interest to the picture. If the print was in a bright red or orange, I might have been hesitant to use it, but the subtle monochromatic palette of greens worked perfectly!
What is the most interesting background you have ever used in an image?