With social media, sometimes you find an account and become a fan long before you know the person behind the photos! That was the case with Sara Amin...or as many know her as @patisserie.de.zee. There's no denying the beauty in this photograph!
Sara is the one-woman show behind her home bakery Patisserie De Zee. We recently asked her how Patisserie De Zee came about and what a fun story she has!
Baking has always been a passion of mine. For me, one of the ways to say I love you is fresh home-baked dessert. But I'm also a computer scientist at heart, with baking and photography as my major hobbies. While I studied for my Ph.D. in Boston, I found that baking took over my life as a form of stress relief and a way to cope with studying and failed research. I graduated a few years later and moved for a job. A few months into that job, I found myself with a lot of time on my hands at home during the lockdowns to hone my baking skills (March 2020). A few months (and lots of treats!) later, I decided to officially launch Patisserie De Zee and share my passion with the world.
I love challenging bakes and learning new techniques. This also pushed me into recipe development as I learned the hard way that recipes found online or even in cookbooks aren't always cut and dry, especially when you're using different brands for ingredients. I've tried adjusting recipes to fit specific diets like paleo, keto, gluten-free, eggless, vegetarian, and Whole 30. Months of testing can go into a recipe to perfect it, especially as you try new desserts with new flavors and textures. I've learned a lot about ingredients and how they chemically interact with each other (my biochemistry studies come in handy). All of this also led me into exploring white sugar-free desserts (stay tuned to indulge in a collection of desserts that are healthy, guilt-free, and satisfactory for your sweet tooth).
Why did you decide you needed SnapIt Boards, and how do you use them for your business? How often do you utilize your boards?
I followed SnapIt Boards on Instagram for a while, and I saw lots of pictures that captured my attention. I initially started with a budget and tried to DIY backdrops, which worked out for a while when I was learning everything about styling, editing, and light. Then SnapIt Boards introduced their SnapIt Seconds - boards with minor imperfections for a discounted price, and I decided to try for myself.
"And let me tell you, I was hooked - from the quick delivery, to the amazing packaging, to the high quality of boards and how light they are. I use them all the time now - when I'm shooting the different baked treats I want to promote or even just share for fun."
Even when I'm sharing on my stories to promote other businesses for a quick shout-out, they come in handy. I always have at least one of my SnapIt Boards out next to a patio window which is my favorite spot for shooting at home.
And yes, I'll read your mind, you want to ask me about those minor defects. Playing around with styling, I learned how to set up my cookies and macaroons around any minor blemish to hide them or take a picture at an angle where they don't show. I highly recommend them if you are on a budget to start with the SnapIt Seconds! They are a win-win. A win for you because you get a pair of two-sided boards with great savings. A win for SnapIt Boards because they get to make money on pretty amazing boards and aren't having to waste those boards (they are a small business, after all).
Where's your favorite spot to use your SnapIt Boards?
Because the boards are so light, I use them pretty much everywhere in the house, depending on the mood that I want my shoot to have. I've used them on my bed since my room has a nice afternoon, warm light. I've used them in my office where a tree next to my window gives nice shade effects. And my favorite spot is by the patio window in my living room, where early morning light is my best time of the day to shoot and get the light effects I love the most.
What benefits do you see when using your SnapIt Boards?
SnapIt Boards give me the ability to showcase my bakes in a very realistic and professional setup. I don't need marble or quartz kitchen tops to do that for me, and I don't need a cement brick or a wooden table to give me a realistic feel. After all, I'm still starting out, am on a budget, and live in an apartment, so I don't have the luxury of having a studio just yet. I can also take them anywhere. I've done shoots at a friend's place several times, and being able just to pack up and get help with styling ideas made my life a breeze in that aspect.
Favorite thing/feature/aspect about SnapIt Boards?
They are light, and they come to life in pictures. Don't let how they appear to the naked eye fool you. They always say open your camera to see how it looks, and it's true when it comes to SnapIt Boards.
We'd also love to hear your top 3 product photography tips.
I started out as a hobbyist and tried to support my business without breaking the bank. So I'd say if you are someone like me, follow different photographers within the same genre you will be shooting to get some creative ideas. But at the end of the day, follow your own style.
You don't need to break the bank to get there. I do most of my shopping in Dollar Tree stores, party stores, thrift stores, yard sales, and wherever I can find a deal too good to pass up. Also, you don't need all the fancy light equipment to take a good picture. Experiment and learn about your own home environment. Have one setup and take a photo every hour throughout the day to find the best time when you like your pictures the most. That's a tip I took lightly when I first started, but it made a huge difference when I understood how different times of the day can affect my end results.
This is what SnapIt Boards is all about! We love seeing people explore their passions and helping small businesses thrive! Thanks for sharing part of your journey with us, Sara!