Author & Editor: Megan Ritz
DESIGNING A CAKE FOR A PHOTOSHOOT
To be able to do an uninhibited, unedited version of an inspired idea is the dream of any artist. We love joining Photoshoots despite the extensive time commitment to design & decorate a cake. These projects are worth it for us to get to partner with awesome vendors and for the opportunity to stretch our creative comfort zone. Photoshoots give us this opportunity. It’s not often we get to design and create a cake without having to take the customer’s preferences, budget & servings into account. For a photoshoot, there is a lot we consider, but it really comes down to our creative expression.
There are a lot of elements to consider when we design a cake for a shoot and we take this design process very seriously; brainstorming as a group to help fine tune every element. If you’ve ever been curious about what the behind the scenes looks like, or interested yourself in creating cakes for professional photoshoots, the process goes a little like this…
A photographer or coordinator will reach out to us asking us to partner with them for their project. This steer skull wedding cake, for example, was designed for a photoshoot at the Indiana Dunes State Park. Jenny Mundy Photography (IG @jennymundyphoto) reached out to us with the idea to do a desert styled photo shoot & sent us her inspiration board.
I asked a few key questions to get an idea about her vision and what she would need from us. Checked our schedule to make sure we could fit in it. Talked to our Cake Artists and measured their excitement. If they are feeling inspired, I will do everything I can to make it possible for us to join the project.
Once we decide to join a project, we start brainstorming ideas. We research techniques, find inspiration online and draw sketches to help pull our ideas together and ensure we have a finished, balanced look. Sometimes inspiration strikes and we have a complete, flushed out idea. Sometimes we have half a cake and need to harness the collective genius of our team to pull it all together. Other times we have 10 ideas for the same shoot and can’t decide! Regardless of what we have, we share it with each other. We offer critiques, suggestions, and encouragement.
This process of brainstorming as a group not only gives us confidence, but it gives us more creative, fully-developed ideas.
As the Owner, part of my job during this process is to ensure we keep all the ‘other stuff’ in mind. Some of the questions I ask myself: Do we have the resources we need for this project? What is the price point if a customer wanted to order it? How will it look with the other cakes in our showroom? Does this fit what is expected from the Photoshoot? Is it original? Is it practical for our timeframe? Does this give the decorator an opportunity to stretch themselves, creatively?
As Cake Artists, the brainstorming process is far more complicated. Just a few of the questions they ask when critiquing designs: Does it look finished? Is it balanced? Does it make my eyes tired? How do the colors look? Is it complete? Are there any uncomfortable or distracting elements? What draws my eye? Is there a better technique for any element? Do I love it?
Once we’ve brainstormed & helped the designer pull their idea together. They make a final sketch. This is when we all marvel in anticipation of seeing the finished project.
Making a cake for a photoshoot is different than making a cake for a customer. Photoshoot cakes are designed to last on display for years. Here’s how…
MAKING THE CAKE FOR A PHOTOSHOOT
Making a cake for a photoshoot is different than making a cake for a customer. When you spend hours on a project, you want it to stick around. The goal for a photoshoot cake is to keep it on display in our bridal showroom afterwards. We keep these cakes on display for a year, sometimes several years, before they get destroyed from curious fingers and discolored from sunlight.
So how do you make a cake that lasts for several years?
There are several changes that must be made in the products we use to create a display cake. Anything we make has to be possible out of cake and it has to look exactly the same as it would if it was real cake.