December 9, 2023

It is known that chocolate and social media were meant to be together. It’s a great way to share beautiful images that will make customers wait in line for their delicious bars, bonbons, and other chocolatey goodness. Unfortunately, entrepreneurs and business owners aren’t all photographers. This is not something many people do naturally. We don’t always have the budget to hire a professional photographer for every post on social media. What can you do instead? These are simple tips for chocolate photography to help you take and edit photos for your social media accounts. Your smartphone is capable of taking great photos. We are not talking about using chocolate photography to create your website. It is best to leave that job to the pros. Your website is a crucial business tool.

Your social media pages can be thought of as a storefront. If someone walks by your business on the street, what impression would they get? 

We are grateful that Jessica Washburn, EC grad and chocolatier extraordinaire, collaborated with us for this post – we love Jessica! You can also check out her Instagram page @pastrypastmidnight. Her new chocolate business Bliss Chocolatier has its own Instagram account. These are some great tips and tricks for creating beautiful social media accounts.

Make sure your product looks as beautiful as possible when it is close-up

You must first make sure that your product looks great. No finger marks, no smudges, or ragged edges. Many photographs have been taken of products that are delicious but not presented in the most attractive way. It is brown-colored chocolate, so it can quickly go from appealing to disgusting (if we aren’t mistaken).

Setting up your photo shoot area: The flash is not your friend

Next, consider how you’re setting up your photo shoot. Instagram is full of photos that clearly show that they were taken in a darkened room with an overhead lamp. Even worse, in a dark area with an overhead lamp. It can create shadows and reflect off chocolate in strange ways making it difficult to take beautiful photos. Unless you have a studio or shop that can use lights correctly.

Here are the two most common photography setups Jessica uses in her images. They can be used with or without a reflection depending on the lighting. These same angles and setups can also be used in front of large windows. You can see that the sun is not directly shining into the house. It is visible where the sun shines directly onto the house from her back door. I have also set up a small studio in my front hallway before. A tripod is something you might consider purchasing, regardless of whether you’re using a smartphone or a digital camera. A tripod helps stabilize the camera and reduces blurriness.

Photo studio in the front hall

Food looks better when it is lit from the sides, the back, or both. Photographs should be taken in natural light but not direct sunlight. A window is ideal, so you might need something white to reflect the light from one or more sides. A photo with a well-lit composition will have a better natural depth and look. This can be done with two to three pieces of white foamboard that you can find at any office supply shop. Make sure you turn off your flash.

Flat light versus directional light

You should also consider directional vs. a flat light. The following two photos are comparable. The first photo is one Jessica took on a dark day. Because of commitments, she was unable to shoot at the best times of the day. She took her bonbons outside to a shaded spot on her patio. This is where the sun meets the shade. It was quite flat, but there was plenty of soft light.

As she was about to stop shooting, the light became bright enough for her to bring her subject inside and place it in front of an open doorway. The beautiful directional light from the upper right corner added depth and highlights to her image.

Photographing your chocolate: This means you will need to take multiple photos

Although it may seem obvious, you’d be amazed at how many blurry product photos you see on Instagram. You don’t need to get magazine-quality photos every time. However, it should be sharp and focused at all times. You can take the shot from several angles, including overhead, sideways, with different props, close-up, and further away. You will have many options. In the best scenario, you’ll have multiple photos you can use later. A library of product photos is always good. You may also want to take multiple photos since you have set up your studio.

Take your product out of its packaging before you take it to photograph

If you don’t want to photograph your packaging, you should take the product out of your camera before you start taking pictures. Clear packaging is difficult to photograph. The reflections created by the packaging make it hard to see what the product looks like inside. You should experiment with different angles if you have to photograph your product in clear plastic packaging. To achieve this, you may need to prop the packaging from underneath.

Editing photos

You can find many photo editing apps for your phone that will allow you to edit your photos. Even the best editing cannot save a bad picture. Tips 1 through 4 is the best places to start. Pic Tap Go and Snapseed are some of the most popular apps we’ve used. You may need more advanced tools depending on the job you are trying to accomplish with your photo. Pic Tap Go offers filters that can be applied to photos. Many bloggers choose one they love and use it for nearly all their photos. This is because they want to create a cohesive look for their Instagram feed. Snapseed can be used to fix certain spots in photos that are too dark or too bright. You may need to experiment to find the right app for you. They are generally very easy to use.

Instagram allows you to edit photos

Good chocolate photography is essential for all social media channels, not just Instagram. We thought we’d share some Instagram editing tips because images are the main focus of Instagram. The Instagram app allows you to edit your photos. The photographer taught us how to edit photos in a social media photography class. It works for all types of photos. Click on the “edit” button to open the photo that you want to post. 

There will be variations depending on the photo. However, we have found that these values work well in general. Below is an example of an unedited photo. The edited version follows. The photo will come alive if you simply brighten it and reduce some shadows.

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