Cake Dummies/photos

Business By Kitagrl Updated 23 Mar 2008 , 1:01pm by cambo

Kitagrl Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 3:10pm
post #1 of 15

After doing some research I decided that increasing my wedding portfolio using dummy cakes is going to be the most cost effective way for me to increase wedding orders, at least for right now.

I ordered three sets of cake dummies from Dallas foam...my question is what is the best/most cost effective way of getting the most use out of these AND my mediums? I read to wrap the dummy in plastic and that is cool...but like I can use buttercream (esp noncrusting) to make several cakes over and over but as for fondant, I'm hesitant to use it because its expensive and once I cover the cake it will begin drying out so I won't be able to reuse it. I really don't like making MMF either, it never turns out the same from time to time. Any suggestions? Maybe cover one cake in white fondant and do several different designs with it? I got a round set, a square set, and a whimsy set of dummies.

Also, is there a cheap way to get a backdrop and lighting kit for photography? My photography STINKS. I have seen really cool cakes online but when I just looked at the cake and not how the photo was taken, it was a cake just as good as I could do...however, the professional looking photography made it look absolutely stunning. I have GOT to figure out how to do that.

I'm getting orders, but not as many as I need....I'm thinking my shoddy photography is not helping. My website is being redone but the guy has been busy and its not being cooked out as fast as I like. But still the photography needs major help. Pretty sad that my brother, who actually has a photography website and takes amazing photos, lives in Florida FAR away from me. I asked him if he wants to move up and be my personal photographer. He said no. icon_cry.gificon_lol.gif

14 replies
DeKoekjesfee Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 6:06pm
post #2 of 15

You just pray the dummies with a little bit of water and attacht the fondant and afterwards you rinse it with water, even if the fondant is vry dry. The dummie (styrofoam) is just plastic.
And i think dummie are helpfull fot the increase of orders and you can practice !

I make the photo's at a neutral spot. You can als put a white board underneat it and one behind it an colse to a window with daylight. Then I use picassa to enhance the photo's, a very easy and free photo thingie from google.

patticake1951 Posted 15 Mar 2008 , 6:13pm
post #3 of 15

What I do is prop a box or something taller than the cakes on the table behind it and drape a solid color tablecloth depending on what color your cake is use either light background w/ dark cakes and dark backgrounds with light ones. You can also get folding display boards at craft store in the art dept. and cover them with something like that, too. They have 2 folds in it already to just unfold and stand up.

beccakelly Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 3:26am
post #4 of 15

i cover my dummies in fondant and let them set till the fondant is fairly hard. then i stack them and use them over and over with different designs. because the fondant is hard, you can decorate them in a lot of different ways without leaving marks, so then you can just take the decorations off and put new ones on without having to reice (like you would with BC). thats why most of my dummies are done in fondant, much easier to deal with on a dummy. i start with "least damaging" to "most damaging" designs and i usually can get 4-5 different cakes out of the same iced tiers. for example, do a cake with satin ribbon and flowers first, and a cake with lots of fondant accents last (since the fondant accents will likely leave water marks where you attach them). my next advice, just decorate the front half of the cake, since thats all that will be in the picture. then you can flip it around and decorate the back and take a new pic.

Kitagrl Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 3:29am
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by beccakelly

i cover my dummies in fondant and let them set till the fondant is fairly hard. then i stack them and use them over and over with different designs. because the fondant is hard, you can decorate them in a lot of different ways without leaving marks, so then you can just take the decorations off and put new ones on without having to reice (like you would with BC). thats why most of my dummies are done in fondant, much easier to deal with on a dummy. i start with "least damaging" to "most damaging" designs and i usually can get 4-5 different cakes out of the same iced tiers. for example, do a cake with satin ribbon and flowers first, and a cake with lots of fondant accents last (since the fondant accents will likely leave water marks where you attach them). my next advice, just decorate the front half of the cake, since thats all that will be in the picture. then you can flip it around and decorate the back and take a new pic.



Now there are some awesome ideas here, thanks! I love the "only do half" idea and also ribbons/flowers and go from there. Do you just use silk flowers?

beccakelly Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 4:20am
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl



Now there are some awesome ideas here, thanks! I love the "only do half" idea and also ribbons/flowers and go from there. Do you just use silk flowers?[/quote]

i used silk in the beginning, and my brides are always surprised when i tell them the flowers are silk. they really do look good. now that i've gotten into gumpaste flowers i make my own. buying fresh flowers would be pretty, but more of an investment. and you can't reuse them, the way i can reuse my silk/gumpaste flowers. i've been in biz for about 9 months now and when i first got started my portfolio was almost entirely of dummies to show brides what i can do. you learn real quick how to save $$ when doing that many portfolio pics! they're a great way to start booking with brides though, and you can do some really fun cakes and be creative!

Kitagrl Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 12:19pm
post #7 of 15

I would love to get into gumpaste flowers but I don't know that I have the time right now when all my kids are young, I'm thinking once they are all in school I'll tackle that one. I can make roses, that's about it.

TooMuchCake Posted 16 Mar 2008 , 3:14pm
post #8 of 15

I use rolls of solid-color wrapping paper as backdrops for my cakes. I get many of them at Dollar Tree so they're really inexpensive and I have about a dozen colors.

I once took a two-tier cake (real cake because I was taking it to school for the other moms) and covered it in fondant. I decorated it over and over, each time making the decorations more elaborate to cover the place where I'd added/removed decorations from before. I think I got four different looks out of the same cake. Baby shower, small kid b'day, wedding-y a couple times.

Deanna

FlowerGirlMN Posted 19 Mar 2008 , 2:36pm
post #9 of 15

Get a twin sized sheet from somewhere cheap like Kmart.. quick backdrop. Most of my backdrops are just that!

Also.. I don't do anything to dummies (plastic or water) when I'm covering with fondant. I just put the mmf on it, then peel it off when I'm done.

Have you come across the "Perfect mmf, the easy and no mess way" thread I started? That's how I make it, and it turns out great every time.

Hope that helps!

FlowerGirlMN Posted 19 Mar 2008 , 2:41pm
post #10 of 15

Btw, I've seen the *blocked* thing a few times today.. what exactly is getting blocked? Is it a certain site, or just all sites??

TooMuchCake Posted 19 Mar 2008 , 3:29pm
post #11 of 15

There was some trouble a while back with an online ordering place, and their name is blocked. I once tried to recommend a Nicholas Lodge book, and the name of that website is the same as part of the name of the book, so when I tried to type in the name it was blocked. It was s u g a r c r a f t

Let's see if we can see that or not... There may be other things being blocked but that's the only one I know of personally.

Deanna

BrandisBaked Posted 21 Mar 2008 , 1:34am
post #12 of 15

Instead of fondant, I cover my dummies with lightweight spackle, and then sand them down to get a perfect finish. I then spray them with a clear coat... then I can airbrush them, decorate with fondant, royal icing, etc. and then remove it all (except the spackle), wash them (I use a cleaner with bleach) and reuse.

FlowerGirlMN Posted 21 Mar 2008 , 2:33am
post #13 of 15

Good lord... that sounds like a TON of work!

BrandisBaked Posted 21 Mar 2008 , 3:11pm
post #14 of 15

It's no more work than decorating a cake to begin with - and then you can just redecorate the spackled dummy (which looks like fondant) over and over again.

I've done 4 tiers (largest was 22") in less than two hours (not including drying time).

cambo Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 1:01pm
post #15 of 15

What a great thread kitagrl! I also just invested in some dummies to build my wedding cake gallery and was fretting over the cost of fondant, etc, and I HATE making my own! I love the idea of only decorating 1/2....why hadn't I thought of that! I guess I'll find several designs that I like and figure out how to make them work! Also, I have a mother-in-law that's a decorating/accessory freak, so I'm going to decorate one table several different ways to enhance the look of each cake before I snap it's picture!

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