Decorating Dummies For Portfolio, Need A Plan!

Decorating By BakingGirl Updated 29 Sep 2009 , 1:09pm by BakingGirl

BakingGirl Posted 27 Sep 2009 , 2:43pm
post #1 of 11

I am looking for some help to plan my dummy decorating. I am finally one step closer to taking my hobby to a business. Looking through my cake photos one thing is glaringly obvious, I have not done many cakes which can be described as a wedding cake. Wedding cakes is the market I want to move towards so I need some pictures in my portfolio so that prospective clients can see I am capable of doing them.

I have a big box of cake dummies sitting in my closet waiting to be used, I just need a plan for the decorating. I want to take the dummies to a professional photographer to be photographed, so I want to be able to get lots of different looks without having to bring lots and lots of different cakes.

What I am thinking is one plain cake, add something get new look, add something else get a more ornate look, add something else get different look. You get the picture? If I can do this with three different cakes I will end up with a decent amount of wedding cake photos.

Any suggestions on decorations and how I can plan these steps ahead so that it works well in a situation where I have to work quickly to change the look?

10 replies
indydebi Posted 27 Sep 2009 , 4:39pm
post #2 of 11

that's exactly how you do it. take a look at a series of photos I have on this flickr page: Scroll down to the bottom to the Daisy's Pink Center cakes. You'll find a plain cake, then I added ribbon, then I added the daisies. You could get about 5 photos out of this if you added dots, scrolls, THEN the daisies.

on page 3 of my flickr site, at the bottom, is a 3-tier cake with black ribbon on a fountain. There's a pic of just ribbon and then after I add the flowers.

On page 2 (bottom) is "orchid wedding cake" ... pics with and w/o flowers.

If you're careful you can also remove (for example) red ribbon and red roses and add blue ribbon with white roses to show a bride the same design in a different color. I did that on a dummy cake by icing 2 sides in red and 2 sides in black: You could even do the 4 sides in 4 different colors or styles to get 4 different cake looks.

MissCakeCrazy Posted 27 Sep 2009 , 9:08pm
post #3 of 11

I am going through the same thing too. one thing that I have thought of doing is with a square wedding cake, you could make completely different designs on the back and front of the cake as the photo isn't going to show the back of the cake. You just fondant the cake in one colour and choose 2 designs to do on back and front. With a round cake, you can still half decorate each side making sure that the back design isn't seen in the photo.

CakeDiva73 Posted 27 Sep 2009 , 11:57pm
post #4 of 11

I had planned on doing the same thing - start with white, add flowers, remove, add different colors, styles, remove....eventually I would add fondant accents, piping and work my way up, then remove the stuff and ultimately paint/airbrush the final cake (which should be pretty banged up at that point) add more accents over the dings to get one last pic out of it.

My whole thing is the picture taking skills suck. I keep trying to figure out how to take those awesome close-up-blurry-background pictures that I see in magazines and even with the macro feature on my digital, it's just not the same.

Have fun with your project!! icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 28 Sep 2009 , 12:29am
post #5 of 11

CakeDiva, you can blur out the background on Photoshop.

BakingGirl Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 3:31am
post #6 of 11

Thank you everyone for your suggestions, it is much appreciated! I did not get any topic reply notification so it took me a while to realize I had replies. Thanks Debi for the links to your Flickr page, it is great to see it step by step.

I am going to have to go through my many cake books and pick some designs that are easy to add to in steps.

Just another question for those of you who do dummy cakes, do you ice in Royal or do you do BC?

dsilvest Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 3:40am
post #7 of 11


BakingGirl Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 3:47am
post #8 of 11

I meant for cakes which represent BC cakes. I want to be able to show both. I mostly do fondant cakes but I want to be able to show prospective clients that I am capable of doing bc if that is what they prefer.

indydebi Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 10:04am
post #9 of 11

BC only. I just slap the BC directly on the dummy.

MissCakeCrazy Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 10:11am
post #10 of 11

Another dilema I have is the spray of flowers that you would have on the cake. I am not experienced in these, have never done them before and am only confident in making roses. When you are doing dummies to put in a portfolio, how would I go about obtaining a spray or can I do without. I really don't want to spend money at the florists getting fresh flowers for different designs. Do you think if I told the florist that if she donates a couple to me, she would get free advertising from me by recommended her to my customers?

BakingGirl Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 1:09pm
post #11 of 11

MissCakeCrazy, I don't think you HAVE to have a cake with flowers on it in your portfolio. Having said that it is probably what a lot of people are looking for so if you are using your pictures as a marketing tool it is not going to be a bad idea to include a flower cake. If you look at Debi's links earlier in this thread you can see how flowers really make a cake look special.

Unless you are planning to offer handmade gum paste flowers I would not bother making your own flower spray. If you are planning to display your dummies in your shop (if you have one) I would get realistic silk flowers so that you can keep them on the cake. They are not likely to be any cheaper than real flowers so if you are not keeping the flowers then you might as well get real ones. I like your idea of free advertising to a florist who donates flowers to you.

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