Sunday, April 6, 2008

Candy Blog Photo Studio

I get emails and comments all the time asking how I do the photographs for Candy Blog. So I thought I’d show you my home studio (yes, I cleaned up for the photo).


My Equipment:

  • Camera: Sony DSC-V3. It’s 7.2 megapixels with a 4 x zoom and a very nice Carl Zeiss lens, I bought it gently used on eBay for $375 to replace my original DSC-V1 that bit the dust after taking about 26,000 photos.
  • Light: Arri 650 Watt Fresnel. It has a nice Chimera (diffuser) to give a less harsh light. It’s on a light stand that allows me to adjust angle and height. (It’s being anchored by an old messenger bag filled with cans of stewed tomatoes.)
  • Shooting Table: Interfit Photo Table. It has a large flat surface of matte white plexiglass with a curved background that gives that seamless look.
  • Tripod
  • Candy Photography Tools

    My Tools:


  • Scissors to cut open packages.
  • Tac ‘n Stik is a soft and rubbery putty.
  • Exacto Knife to cut products open, open packages and trim candies if needed
  • Fan Paint Brush is a little brush I use to dust of candies, especially chocolates when photographing
  • Draftsman’s Brush was a castoff from my husband that I only recently adopted for use in the studio, great for cleaning up after sugar sanded candies
  • Ruler is perfect for lining things up and of course checking the dimensions of objects
  • Other items in my arsenal: a floral frog (to hold up lollipops), tweezers and large sheets of white posterboard to bounce fill light
  • I store most of these underneath the table, which means that they’re always readily available.

    Tac 'n StikThe Tac ‘n Stick is indispensable stuff. I used to have a bunch of yellow stuff (I don’t know what brand) but switched when I found the white/gray stuff at the drug store a few months ago, since it blends in better with the background.

    It’s completely moldable. I pull out little bits for propping up chocolate eggs or roll out a teensy string to put behind spherical candies like malted milk balls. I have a large wad of it on an old votive candle on both the base to keep it from slipping and on the face of it to stick the back of packages to, this gets them to sit up straight.

    It’s probably the best $2 you can invest in your tools.

    I also have a bunch of props and prop-em-ups sitting around. I have little glass vases, a selection of brandy snifters, wine glasses and ramekins. They don’t make it into the shots very often, but sometimes I like to play.

    I usually keep a few small dishes ready too. As I’m photographing, as you may have observed, I take a bite out of a lot of things. I usually just set the rest aside on a plate or put it back in the package to finish later. But there’s usually a dish of leftover items for my reviews that I munch on later that day or the next.

    Stay tuned for a tutorial on getting that white background look in photos.

    Related Candies

    1. The Traveling with Candy Balancing Act
    2. This Week in Candy - Too Hot
    3. Disneyland for Candy Bloggers
    4. Candy Shopping in Los Angeles
    5. Browse the Candy Blog Photo Archive

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:43 am Tracker Pixel for Entry     Behind the ScenesCandyFeatured News

    1. Thanks for sharing this with us!  Your photos are always beautiful!

      Comment by Amanda on 4/06/08 at 1:43 pm #
    2. I love how much detail you put in to photographing the candy…I especially like it when you lay out each individual piece of candy in color order smile

      Comment by rebecca on 4/06/08 at 3:25 pm #
    3. Cool studio. Love it that there’s candy everywhere! smile

      Comment by Bunny on 4/06/08 at 3:51 pm #
    4. I noticed the light diffusing curtain on the window. Do you have any white balance issues shooting during the day? Thanks for sharing, your photos always look very well done.

      Comment by brian on 4/06/08 at 4:41 pm #
    5. love seeing how everyone creates their delicious photos! thanks for sharing.

      Comment by kat on 4/06/08 at 6:37 pm #
    6. wow!  I will appreciate your photos even more now, knowing the level of care that goes into them.

      Comment by R on 4/07/08 at 7:17 pm #
    7. Dear Cybele - Your photos are wonderful.  It’s one of the best parts of the blog.  Love, Mom
      P.S. I think that old yellow sticky stuff was “Fun Tack”.

      Comment by Eva on 4/14/08 at 3:45 pm #
    8. Cybele's avatar

      brian - the light from outside doesn’t make much difference once I turn on the light. I don’t often take photos during the day, anyway. That window faces northwest, so it gets mostly bounce light off the neighbor’s white stucco house.

      Mom - thanks! I couldn’t remember what it was called.

      R - I’ll try to put up some more about how to set things up and what to do after they’re shot.

      Comment by Cybele on 4/21/08 at 12:41 pm #
    9. How great! I love the fun tack tip.

      Comment by rachel on 5/15/08 at 5:17 am #
    10. I think it’s neat how you photograph the candy as if its a person. Plus the way you take pictures of the candy so you can see the inside is super cool.

      Comment by Candy Lover on 6/24/08 at 11:24 am #
    11. I have used bent white paper in the past for the “seamless” look in photographs.  The white plexiglass is a slick way to do it.  Thank you for sharing.

      Comment by BarkMan on 8/11/08 at 6:04 am #
    12. how would you test which candy has the most food coloring hard candy or not hard candy?

      Comment by Brenda Chavez on 10/26/08 at 10:27 am #
    13. I found that the Cracker Barrel Restaurant has the Sunkist Fruit Gems stocked regularly on their shelves.

      Comment by Anthony on 10/26/08 at 10:43 am #
    14. Very nice job !

      Comment by Cymon on 4/16/09 at 11:12 am #
    15. We are importers and distributors for confectionery and snack products based in Auckland.
      Your website is great and very informative.
      Your studio setup is our model now for taking pictures for our catalogue and your photography is fantastic!
      Can’t find your tutorial on getting that white background. Have you not come around to it or am I missing it?
      Thanks and regards,

      Comment by Shekar on 3/19/10 at 10:36 am #
    16. Cybele's avatar

      Shekar - sorry about that, I should have revised this post with a link.

      Here it is: Candy Blog Photography.

      Comment by Cybele on 3/19/10 at 10:46 am #
    17. Hello Cybele
      I know you have your photos on but cannot find you there… help?

      Comment by Tricia on 4/22/10 at 11:32 am #
    18. o my god your light setup is amazing and simple, i purchased a light box for my jewelry pictures and the damn light box cost me $400   :( may i ask what that white curved half box is? did you purchase that or make it?
      your pictures are amazing, wish i had done the same :(

      Comment by beading on 10/26/10 at 11:49 am #
    19. Cybele's avatar

      beading - you may ask what that lightbox is but I did actually say what it was in the post. You can google “Interfit Photo Table"t to find what the current price is and who sells it.

      Comment by Cybele on 10/26/10 at 11:54 am #
    20. I am trying to get more info on Lifsaver history. Some time in late 30s or 1940s there was an add for Lifesavers put up in Grand Central Station in NY city. It was huge & was a Polaroid 3D (Stereo) ad called Vectograph. It was taken with a Graphic stereo camera by Charles DuBois Hodges (not a relative). A vectograph is made of slices of an image arranged so it follows you in Stereo as you pass by!I have a miniature (postcard size) of this ad. I would like to know dates or anything else about it? JPG available of Vectograph!

      Comment by Dick Bolt on 7/27/11 at 7:48 am #
    21. I didn’t know really where to post this but I just wanted to let you that I have fallen in love with your blog, this is coming from a weirdo introvert that HATES the internet. I have never found a blog that I call “Home” but ring the bell because I finally found it. I love how factual and how you explain candy, you’re like a wine aficionado, well except for sweets. I am truly a big nerd, specifically a history nerd and how you tell us when and where these candies came from and the break down is awesome, yet you don’t drone on and on, fact after fact. So thank you for getting me hooked, you’ll most likely be seeing me again smile

      Comment by Emily on 4/22/15 at 9:18 pm #
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