Using Other's Cake Pictures

Business By gnee_gvc Updated 29 Jun 2010 , 12:48am by Jayde

gnee_gvc Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 4:34am
post #1 of 19

I'm fairly new at cakes. I've had a couple of quinceanera and wedding cake requests. Since I don't have many personal wedding cake pictures, is it acceptable to present the client with other's cake pictures as ideas?

If I do that, should I tell the client that they are not my cakes or only if they ask? There are several simple cakes online that I like and know I could replicate fairly closely. I don't want to turn off a client because I am a newbie.

How did you start doing consultations before you had pictures to make a portfolio?

18 replies
karateka Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 4:44am
post #2 of 19

Here is my opinion:

Never use other's pics.

If you do, you must tell clients you didn't do them yourself.

I wouldn't be surprised if you were using other people's pics that you had few clients. I wouldn't order from someone without seeing the quality of THEIR work.

I got started by making cakes for the fam and taking pics of them. You really need a portfolio of stuff you personally have made.

jmo

kkbritt8 Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 4:44am
post #3 of 19

I think building the portfolio is all part of the fun of cake decorating. Because then you can offer to make cakes for any and every occasion just to gain the experience and exposure. Also, you can buy some cake dummies to decorate and take pictures. These can be reused so you can practice new ideas that you learn and take pictures of that as well.

Right now I mainly decorate for friends and family, but I ALWAYS take pictures of all of my cakes before delivering them. After doing that for a while, you'll find yourself busy on a regular basis and also with a great portfolio to share!

Good luck and have fun with it!

mbark Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 4:46am
post #4 of 19

It's necessary to build a portfolio so potential clients can see the quality of your work, however I see no problem showing other's photos as an example of replicating a design as long as you give proper credit.

CWR41 Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 4:56am
post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnee_gvc

is it acceptable to present the client with other's cake pictures as ideas?

If I do that, should I tell the client that they are not my cakes or only if they ask?




If you must present them with cake pictures that aren't your own, make it clear that it isn't your work whether they ask or not... let them know the pics are from your idea book.

I agree with everyone's advice, and it would be best to show your own work.

mamawrobin Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 4:59am
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by CWR41

Quote:
Originally Posted by gnee_gvc

is it acceptable to present the client with other's cake pictures as ideas?

If I do that, should I tell the client that they are not my cakes or only if they ask?



If you must present them with cake pictures that aren't your own, make it clear that it isn't your work whether they ask or not... let them know the pics are from your idea book.

I agree with everyone's advice, and it would be best to show your own work.




Ditto thumbs_up.gif It's "best to show your own work" because that is the "quality of work" that YOU can produce and it's only fair to the client that they know what YOUR skill level is.

gnee_gvc Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 5:07am
post #7 of 19

It's just that the clients that requested a consultation have no real idea what they want....so I thought of using other's cakes as ideas. Kind of like the haircut books you look at when you go to the salon.

I like reading all this input, because I feel a little at a lost. I do have about 20 pictures of cakes that I have made as examples of my work, but they are mainly one tiered cakes.

How many cakes is it recommended that a portfolio have?

mbark Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 5:11am
post #8 of 19

again, I think there is nothing wrong with bringing "example" cake photos so you have a wide variety of looks for the client to choose from. I do this often when someone has an idea of a cake that I have not yet done, thus it's not in my portfolio, I'll actually look for photos on CC of cakes I absolutely know I'm capable of replicating, then show them to the client to see what they think & go from there on the design.
Are you able to do more than a single tiered cake?

karateka Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 5:12am
post #9 of 19

I don't think there's anything set in stone as to how many. It's more the variety.

Do a few stacked dummies in buttercream and in fondant. Showcase different techniques. Do basketweave on one, scrollwork on another, geometric fondant appliques on another, maybe some drapes...

Look through the galleries here and pick a few different styles that you like and have fun. If your clients see that you have done several different types of cake successfully, they will be more apt to believe you can do theirs.

For inspiration, how about having some cake picture books, ie Martha Stewart weddings, or one of Colette's books. Then they know it is for inspiration without having to ask. Although this does involve some monetary outlay, it takes money to make money.

catlharper Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 5:29am
post #10 of 19

I agree..make your own and take photos. In the meantime try sketching out ideas for your clients.

gnee_gvc Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 5:31am
post #11 of 19

I have done two 2-tiered cakes and one 3-tiered cake to date. My practice cakes have mainly been one tier because I don't really need to be eating that much left over cake.

I will order some dummy cakes to decorate. I think I will try to find different techniques to decorate cakes with, not just what I like. icon_razz.gif Can you reuse dummy cakes?

I like the published book ideas for inspiration. I'll have to look at published books that have cakes in it that I think I can make.

karateka Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 5:48am
post #12 of 19

I put my dummies in the dishwasher and re-use them often.

mamawrobin Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 6:24am
post #13 of 19

[quote="gnee_gvc"]I have done two 2-tiered cakes and one 3-tiered cake to date. My practice cakes have mainly been one tier because I don't really need to be eating that much left over cake.

I cannot even remember how MANY cakes I have give away or thrown away. Some only made it to the "smooth buttercream" lesson. I have made cakes over and over and over just to get a recipe right or to learn how to properly level, fill and crumbcoat. Or how to properly cover with fondant. I probably covered 10 "practice" cakes with fondant before I had it down. I have made cakes just to practice smoothing buttercream. I have also made them just to learn how to properly stack. It was very important to me to learn how to properly construct a cake because it doesn't matter how a cake is decorated..if it isn't constructed well it doesn't look professional.
I also have some dummy cakes but to be able to learn how to make a "real" cake look as perfect as you can you have to work with real cake. A dummy cannot teach you how to level, torte, fill, crumbcoat and how to prevent bulging. These things can only be learned from actually working with real cake.

Dummies are great for trying different or new designs and for building your portfolio though.

costumeczar Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 10:41am
post #14 of 19

Make sure that the pictures you're showing people are actually things that you CAN do, too. You don't want to overpromise, then deliver somethng that isn't up to the quality of the picture you're showing someone.

Make sure that you don't put other people's pictures on your website. There was an article in the paper today about a court case where someone used someone else's pictures on their site, and both they and the web designer were sued. The court said that you can't blame someone else, if the photos are on your site you're responsible for copyright infringment, and the web designer can be held responsible too.

The dummies are the best way to get photos. You can start with one that's relatively plain and take photos, then decorate it some more and take more photos. Remember that you can also decorate the front and back of it to get more use out of it, you're only taking pictures of one side at a time, so doing the back will give you a "second" cake to photograph.

minicuppie Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 12:07pm
post #15 of 19

Indy has 2 gallery books for her BTB's to look through. She makes it very clear that one is her own work and the other is the "wish" book. She explains it better than I just did, but IMO it is a great idea.

jillmakescakes Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 1:03pm
post #16 of 19

I also my photo book of cakes that I've done as well as several magazines with ideas. I haven't printed off pics of other people's cakes (like cakes from CC) but, if after discussing what the client wants, if it reminds me of something from CC, I'll tell them "I saw something similar on one of my favorite cake websites... let me print that off."

But, I definitely think it needs to be clear that YOUR work is YOURS and other people's work is THEIRS.

LNW Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 7:26pm
post #17 of 19

I have a lot of cakes in my portfolio but not very many wedding cakes. I have books that I've bought used at Amazon.com (very cheap) so when someone does ask about a wedding cake and needs some inspiration I have those to show them. I also try to buy the Wilton yearbooks when they discount them at Hobby Lobby/Michaels. They usually have the latest trends in cakes pictured in their books. The styles change so much from year to year unless youre making cakes all the time its hard to know whats in and what isnt.

I don't have any pictures in my portfolio that aren't my own. Some cakes that look relatively easy to make are deceptively difficult. I would be afraid of telling someone I could make a cake and they order it only to find out it was a lot more challenging then Id previously thought and not be able to do it right.

_christina_ Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 10:32pm
post #18 of 19

I don't think you should ever present a photo when it's not your work. Even though you think you'd be able to replicate something, you'd be surprised. The simplest cakes are often the hardest due to the amount of perfection.

Also, how can you show them a 4 tier 'example' having not had adequate practice stacking? Or a square tiered cake with actually making your perfect squares?

There is no substitute for practice and while dummies are great for design practice I think real cakes are better for total cake practice. I am wiling to bet you can find people to sample your practice. My sons eat mine as does my hubby. Things often get taken to his work, their school and friends and some of my hubby's activities.

I think, if I had a couple who were looking for a design but didn't have specifics I would show them multiple thoughts, designs I have done or create a custom design for them. Even if you take inspiration from other cakes you've seen I wouldn't present a photo that they will base their expectations on, I would sketch them something.

Jayde Posted 29 Jun 2010 , 12:48am
post #19 of 19

Without reading through all of the suggestions, why dont you ask the client to come in with some pictures or drawings of what they would like. Then you can build a cake from there with the client.

It doesnt have to be pictures or drawings either. I can draw inspiration from anything they like, a piece of fabric, a invitation, a print, a color combo, a style like retro or art deco.

I find it easier to design something when the client has done their research and knows what they want, rather thanme presenting a whole bunch and them settling on a from the box design instead of something that they had help in designing. Those consults are more fun anyway icon_smile.gif GL!

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