Baking to Bake or Baking to Photograph?

by Russell Smith November. 20, 2018 246 views

I love cooking and baking especially baking this time of the year because the AC does not have to fight with the oven to keep the house cool or warm. As I was taking photos of todays project my daughter asked me if I was on a baking kick because well baking or if I was on a baking kick for well photography? Both duh was my answer lol. It is a challenge to get out of the house into an area that I can photograph nature. Days are short and weekends have been busy so my fallback is food photos. Something I love more and more .

Cranberry Orange Muffins With a Crumble Topping

Crumble topping :

  • 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 Tablespoons Packed Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Cloves
  • 1/4 Teaspoon All Spice
  • 4 Tablespoons Melted butter
  • Combine in a bowl and set to the side . Should be a crumbly texture.


  • 1 3/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 4 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Fine Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1 and 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Butter (room temp)
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1/4 Cup of Orange Juice (about one orange )
  • Zest of One Orange (about a tablespoon)
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 12oz Bag of Cranberries

Preheat oven to 425F and Oil muffin tins (made 18 for me)

Mix flour salt , ginger and baking powder

Cream Sugar and Butter together , Add the zest of the orange and vanilla , Once mixed add the eggs one at a time. Then add the orange juice and mix. Add the flour and milk and mix until combined . Stir in the Cranberries and scoop the batter into the muffin tins . Bake for 5 min at 425F then reduce the temp to 375F and bake for another 13-15 min . If necessary rotate the pans in the oven so they bake more evenly somewhere around the 1/2 way mark . When a toothpick comes out almost dry remove from the oven and let cool for 10-15 min and remove from the tins .

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There are 9 comments , add yours!
Kara Bana 2 years, 4 months ago

This is a tasty image in every way 100! Now if I'm going to continue browsing your page, I need to get something to eat...heart eyes cat

2 years, 4 months ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Kara Bana 2 years, 4 months ago

Thank you :)

2 years, 4 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski 2 years, 5 months ago

What a great question from your daughter! The few times I have tried to photograph food, it has been a completely different experience from cooking just to cook. I think food photography is a lot harder than it seems, but it looks like you have it dialed in. This is a really stellar shot!

2 years, 5 months ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Bethany Plonski 2 years, 5 months ago

It is quite a different experience. I do not know about you but for me I find the more I plan to photograph my food the more attention to detail I use in the cooking of the dish . I also try to have a general idea of the platting and how I want the end image to look.

2 years, 5 months ago Edited
Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue 2 years, 5 months ago

Such appetizing pictures - again! I will try it this week and I'm sure neither muffins nor pictures won't be so good as yours!

2 years, 5 months ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue 2 years, 5 months ago

It has taken me 1000's of images that were less than good to start getting good images :) baking bread comes with less effort .

2 years, 5 months ago Edited
Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue Replied to Russell Smith 2 years, 5 months ago

thumbsup grinning

2 years, 5 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab 2 years, 5 months ago

Russel the photo is amazing! I don't want to sound as a miss know it all or an expert in photography but I bet if you compared this photo with some older photos you would see a huge difference. Your styling ( in my opinion) is perfect and your light (in my opinion) perfect. It is scrumptious looking photo and the recipe is one I can do. To me this looks extremely professional, not that you are not professional ( I hope I am coming across the right way). smile

2 years, 5 months ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Camellia Staab 2 years, 5 months ago

:) I was looking at the comparison before and I could see an improvement . I think I have almost screwed up enough frames to get things correct. The lighting was a combo of flash and led with reflector another subject I have been working on not screwing things up the same way 2x in a row . I understand exactly what you are saying :) . This is probably the best food shot I have done so far with the cinnamon , and blueberry muffins being 2nd and 3rd.

2 years, 5 months ago Edited