sabatomic: perth photographer » food photography, pet photography and portraiture

Had a little baking afternoon with a friend and we used this recipe for carrot cake with cinnamon frosting. We substituted the carrot cake’s buttermilk for Mundella premium natural yoghurt which gave it more of a light, muffiny feel. It would have been perfect to add some sultanas into the mix as well. Unfortunately, I found the frosting too sweet – next time, I would be keen to try this cooked flour buttercream recipe or this one which look like they’d suit my palate better.

Carrot Cupcakes With Cinnamon Buttercream |

I had bought some new piping tips earlier in the week from a specialty cake decorating store, Cake Tinz N Thingz. It was wonderful being surrounded by so many cake decorating things – edible glitter, novelty tins, ribbons, sugarpaste cutters and moulds. Cake decorating is something I’ve always wanted to try my hand at – when I was little, I found a cake decorating book at the library and I would borrow it over and over again to obsess over the sugarpaste creations and piping techniques. I’m never quite sure why I didn’t start decorating cakes then, but I suspect it had something to do with the fact that we didn’t eat cake very often for health reasons.

What cupcake icing do you prefer? |

I used a gigantic 17mm plastic star piping tip to ice all these cupcakes. I’m happy with the size and shape of the piping tip, but haven’t quite got the swirl technique perfect. I’m not being too hard on myself though because so far my only teachers in cupcake icing have been youtube and pinterest – perhaps I just need some more practice and trial & error at home before seeking out cake decorating classes?

Carrot cakes with cinnamon star buttercream icing |

Below is a pullback shot so you can see my setup for these photos – I’m facing into the window instead of shooting alongside the window, I quite like it.

Food Photography | Behind The Scenes With Sabatomic

I’m getting a little tired of using the same boards and will soon have a new surface to shoot on – I picked up a discarded wood pallet yesterday, found it sitting in someone’s bulk rubbish pile. It wouldn’t fit into my car so I rolled it around the block to a friends house, which took about 30 minutes and a shameful amount of grunting – pallets are REALLY heavy! Will figure out how to get it home soon with the help of Tom :)

Hope you enjoyed this post!

Until next time,

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  • September 4, 2013 - 9:43 pm

    Chisa - Ooh these look amazing! I never have the patience for piping, so I usually just end up inelegantly smearing frosting onto cupcakes. You’ve done a good job with these.

    It’s also really cool to see your setup, lots of good ideas in there!ReplyCancel

    • September 4, 2013 - 11:15 pm

      Sab - Thanks Teresa, a good smear of frosting can look just as good as piping, it’s much more “rustic”? :)ReplyCancel

  • September 4, 2013 - 10:59 pm

    mel - Hi there ! Your pictures are amazing and to be hard with yourself your cupcakes looks great !

    I was wondering where did you get your board to shoot on ? I looking for the same kind of board to shoot food as well !

    Thanks a lot !

    Mel xxReplyCancel

    • September 4, 2013 - 11:17 pm

      Sab - Hi Mel,
      I made the board from scratch using new pine planks, gluing them together, distressing and then staining them. If you google around you will find HEAPS of tutorials on different ways you can distress wood. Good Luck!
      – SabReplyCancel

  • September 6, 2013 - 10:30 am

    Cat - Hi Sabrina – I just wanted to say a huge thanks for all the times you show your photography setup. It is a huge help to a photography newbie like myself and shows us that expensive setups aren’t needed to achieve beautiful shots.ReplyCancel

I was recently very lucky to work with stylist Debra Hayes and Hire Society capturing images of their newest stock. Hire Society have beautiful, classic items available for wedding and event hire – it’s definitely inspired me to start thinking about my “dream” wedding and I don’t even have one scheduled yet! It was eye-opening to watch Debra Hayes at work, putting flower arrangements together and styling her sets. I observed the hard work and the eye for design that combined, made these sets look so wonderful.

Garden Party Bar | Hire Society, stylist Deb Hayes

Punch Bowls | Hire Society, stylist Deb Hayes

Wedding Ceremony | Hire Society, stylist Deb Hayes

Rustic Wedding Styling | Hire Society, stylist Deb Hayes

High Tea Setting | Hire Society, stylist Deb Hayes

High Tea Setting | Hire Society, stylist Deb Hayes

Black Glass Dinner Setting | Hire Society, stylist Deb Hayes

Black Glass Dinner Setting | Hire Society, stylist Deb Hayes

Want to hire any of these sets? Get in contact with Hire Society

And be sure to follow the lovely stylist Debra Hayes on Facebook:

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  • September 4, 2013 - 10:16 pm

    Debra Hayes - Dear Sabrina,
    I experienced pure joy and satisfaction when your photos landed in my dropbox!!!! THANK YOU…..THANK YOU.
    After all those hours and hours of work and hectic photoshoots that always seem to be over in the blink of an eye- it was nice to know that someone else gets it!!! You have a brilliant creative eye and I loved your interpretation of the sets and attention to detail. Really looking forward to working with you again soon-you are amazing.
    Deb HayesReplyCancel

    • September 5, 2013 - 3:35 pm

      Sab - Thank you for the lovely comments Deb!! I was speechless upon reading your comment, I am so happy that I could capture your creations in a way that you also like :) Definitely looking forward to working with you again!
      – Sab:)ReplyCancel

This month’s food photography challenge was to 1) make food with something from farmer’s market and 2) incorporate people into some of the food photographs. Some of my US friends said that their local farmer’s markets were really slow at the moment, but farmer’s markets seem to boom here in Perth all year round, and there’s plenty to choose from across the city! I suppose that’s one of the perks of living in Perth?

Photograph of banana and honey bread

I enlisted the help of my friend Aimee and we ventured out to the Wanneroo markets! I saw cherries imported from the US being sold there and wondered where the other fruits sold there really came from. In the end, I decided to make Banana Bread despite the fact that it doesn’t take advantage of the freshness of market fruits and vegetables. I really wanted to try making something with blood oranges but I wasn’t feeling too adventurous. Besides, banana bread is something Tom really loves to eat and I also felt it would be an interesting challenge to photograph as it is a rather plain-looking food. For this challenge, I ended up buying a tub of Blackbutt honey from the lady at Moore River Honey (too shy to be photographed) to incorporate into the banana bread.

Moore River Honey at the Wanneroo markets

I’ve put most of the photos behind the cut because there are a LOT of them today – if you want to see them, click through to read on. I haven’t added many words in the post today because the photos speak for themselves :) When you’re finished, be sure to follow our food photography circle all around the world to the farmer’s markets in Canada with Tammy Bilodeau, Whitecourt Photographer.

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  • August 27, 2013 - 1:30 am

    Tammy Bilodeau - Ahhh Sabrina these are great! You really captured the feel of your local market, it looks like you have a plethera of items to choose from. The banana bread looks scrumptious and I really enjoyed the simplicity of your set up, oh and can I just mention how much I LOVE that B&W with the flour being sifted! Such a great shot. Love itReplyCancel

  • August 29, 2013 - 11:29 pm

    Allison Jacobs - I just love the way you documented the whole process from shopping to cooking to the end results! The bread looks so yummy with the nuts & honey that I wish I had a slice right now for breakfast!ReplyCancel

  • August 30, 2013 - 12:00 am

    Kim - Liv Life - Oh, Sab!! What gorgeous photos!! I’m actually somewhat envious of your Perth market. Even though I’m in the heart of produce country, our market has been a bit bare lately. Sort of the same thing at every stall. Tomatoes have been gorgeous though!
    Love the banana bread, and I really love that b&w photo, and I usually don’t go for black and white. Lovely!ReplyCancel

For “The Inspired Plate” challenge in July was to shoot a “seasonal dish”. Here in Perth it is Winter, so I decided to make something warm and hearty – cottage pie! I actually used this recipe for Shepherd’s Pie, but substituted lamb mince for beef.

Cottage Pie - July Food Photography Challenge

I actually doubled the recipe and cooked up 1kg of beef mince (between two people) and will be slowly ingesting this over the course of a week! That is a lot of meat. Last week, we made 1kg of beef mince into pasta sauce and now I can’t look at pasta for at least a month. Let’s hope we have some other recipes to get us by in the meantime!

Cottage Pie - Ready to eat!

Closeup photo of the pie - no food is perfect

Want some behind the scenes photos? Here’s some proof that my food was tasty:

Eating cottage pie

Here’s some proof that I get really overeager when it comes to prop shopping… guess I’ll have to make more things in those little casserole dishes!

Food photography setup - prop and lighting test shot

Here’s my food photography setup, if you’re interested:

Behind the scenes - food photography setup

Please check out the next post in our circle, Kim Kelly | Liv Life, she’s made something Summery for you all!

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  • July 29, 2013 - 11:10 pm

    Jennifer Olson | Pretty-Eats - Sab, these are gorgeous. Your colors, props, styling all are spot on!! Wonderful job on styling the potatoes. I so want to raid your prop closet!!ReplyCancel

  • July 29, 2013 - 11:37 pm

    Kim - Liv Life - Well, my summer days are getting shorter, so I’m thinking your longer days are on the way!! LOVE this cottage pie… I’ve never actually made one, but I’ve had them and always enjoyed. I have a feeling my kids would like it as well. Need to remember!
    Great shots, as always. Really like the “behind the scenes” shots… I need to try to do that!ReplyCancel

  • July 29, 2013 - 11:43 pm

    Kat - This looks very hearty and tasty for a winter’s day. I really love seeing your set up as well. I don’t know where I’ve been but I’ve not seen a black reflector used before. I really love that second image, I can reach out and take a gooey bite. Yum.ReplyCancel

  • July 31, 2013 - 5:14 am

    Laurie - You are amazing Sabrina!! I love how you take us on a tour of your life and photography!! Your photos are gorgeous.. and OH MY GOSH.. I LOVE this meal! I miss winter all ready and we’re only into the second month of summer here on the West Coast of America! I am a poor example of a Southern California girl!ReplyCancel

  • July 31, 2013 - 9:13 pm

    Stacey - Wow Sab!!! That looks soooo good and that’s in spite of the Florida heat! Love the great use of props and it’s great to see a pull-back of your shots. Beautifully done!ReplyCancel

  • August 6, 2013 - 10:23 am

    Tammy Bilodeau - Looks delicious Sab :) I love the simple props and the moody lighting, you’ve done a great job…. and now i want some shepard’s pie!ReplyCancel

  • September 10, 2013 - 3:55 am

    Fresh summer cherry crisp » Peanut Blossom - […] take a moment to visit the other lovely photographers in our group challenge circle starting with Sabrina Wong, Perth Food Photographer. Sab is down under in Australia so I’ll be curious to check out her “seasonal” […]ReplyCancel