Haniela's: Biscotti Photo Shoot

Biscotti Photo Shoot

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Few days ago I made delicious biscotti, as my KitchenAid Artisan 5-qt. Stand Mixer  mixer was working its fluffy love into the butter and sugar I started to think about : "How am I going to take a picture of these?" I decided not to dip them in chocolate, although super delicious cookies, they look pretty ordinary to the eye and  to take a photo that looks appetizing and talks to you in a way  so you want to eat that cookie is a hard task, well at least for me it is.

 I wish there was a way to capture the smell .. just as they came out of the oven, but smell vision is yet to be discovered. They really smell heavenly, and what I love about these is that not only they smell good they also taste good and you can enjoy them throughout the whole week as they keep really well in the airtight container..well that is if you can hold yourself back from these. Sometimes I think I need a biscotti restraining order...so I don't eat them so quickly.Yum I'm eating one right now. Recipe.

Back to the subject..PICTURE PERFECT BISCOTTI. I knew I wanted to take a picture of them in the glass, 1- the glass I used in my photo with the bell shape cup I bought at the Dollar Store weeks ago,and what a smart move that was, it worked out perfectly.

As you can see there is another 2- small container with the napkin inside, well in fact that container I bought at a craft store for 33 cents/ I also used it in this photo -EASTER------------------------------>
and as for the napkin, I'll let you in on my secret. Few weeks ago I visited a local nursery and I spotted a wall covered with decorative paper napkins, paper plates and I was just stunned, I think  I spent good 10 minutes just going through all of them,  absolutely gorgeous collection , one in particular caught my eye...there was a  blossom image and so stunningly  beautiful :


so I took one package and then I saw the price...$8/20 napkins/  All would be fine, but I only needed one napkin, I wanted to buy them as a prop for my food photos, so with the deep sadness I put it back on the shelf, as I was leaving the store I spotted the same blossom design on the 3 - hankies, they were $1.98, so I bought them.

Just like I have done before I ironed the paper napkin.
Use the steam setting, it  smooths out the creases perfectly.

 Another example where I used ironed paper napkins are these photos:

---> These napkins I bought at Ikea, they are wonderful, really a great find, the quality is superb, they are pretty thick for a paper napkin and are quite large too. They have a nice soft feel to them.

Another example of paper napkin ----------------->

<----Also here I used a blossom paper hankie

4-Ladybug Ribbon - gift from a friend, but I'm sure you can get it the craft store.
5- Azalea flower

As for my set up here is a complex photo
A - always use tripod when taking food photos, I have my camera set on self timer to eliminate any shaking
B - my favorite tool, light diffuser, I also like to use silver reflector, but it wasn't necessary for this photo.

I will be posting a short tutorial about light diffuser soon.

Technical Info
-for this shot I used my Nikon with 17-55mm f/2.8G. I love this lens so much, it gives you a sharp image at maximum focus, just love that!!Wonderful lens with versatile use.I highly recommend this one!
-manual settings for ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed
-manual focus
-raw format
-I took about 10 different photos, I only ended up using 2 of them.

Useful Links
Basic Photo Tips -aperture,shutter speed,ISO
Tips on Food Photography
Food Photography setup
Here are the the  final shots:


  1. Love this post, Haniela! It's great to see how you work and how you make your art look and taste (i'm sure) delicious! Thanks for posting this. Curious, what camera and lenses do you own and which do you like best? thanks :) lisa

  2. did both come through, haniela? sorry, i'm having a hard time over here, but since you are reviewing, i am looking to see what your lenses are besides the one you mentioned. i want a longer zoom, i think,,then i go to macro. i'm so confused!

  3. Wow, thank you so much for this tutorial. I'm camera shopping at the moment. How you style & set up for a shot is really interesting... and I love that you ironed the paper napkins!!!
    P.S. Your shots are gorgeous!!

  4. Thank you Lisa and Jeniffer, glad you like this post, I think I might do this more often, it is a learning experience for me as well.

    Right now I use Nikon D300, I used Sony semi professional and after that Nikon D200/sold it last year/.
    D300 works wonderfully under low light conditions, but it is a little pricey, D200 was nice one too.
    Lisa , when taking food shots I really like to work with 50mm1.8/wish I had 1.4/,and I also have macro which I use quite often as well,but ever since I started using 17-55 I love it, I tried portraits with it and it was wonderful as well. I take it everywhere with me now. It is so versatile.

    I wonder what are you planning to photograph, I have worked with 70-200/doing some wild life shots/, it is superb, but so heavy and tripod/mono was a must for me, as my hands shook a lot.

    I also had used 18-200, that was really good one too, sharpness was really good throughout most of the range and it wasn't as heavy. overall performance was great.
    I guess it really depends on what you are aiming for.
    Hope this helps a little. I'm still trying to learn about these things.

    Jeniffer, thank you dear. Good luck with the camera shopping.
    I love my blossom "napkins"

  5. Great post Haniela! I've never thought to iron a paper napkin, that's great!
    Also, I'm very interested to hear more about the light diffuser. I remeber you mentioning it before (with your blue asian style cake). I think I want one, so I'll look forward to hearing more about it.

  6. I thought I was the only person who ironed paper. I iron paper napkins, tissue paper (sometimes to recycle great paper for another gift) and wrapping paper to help with my background photos. My husband always shakes his when he sees me doing it.
    Thank you for such an informative post - I enjoy each and every one of your beautiful photos!!!