Thoughts

Decorating By Kitagrl Updated 10 Nov 2010 , 10:07pm by Kitagrl

Kitagrl Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 4:27pm
post #1 of 22

Something that bugs me, but not in an angry sort of way...just sort of...I dunno. Its hard to explain.

Anyway you see these gorgeous photos of a 6" or 8" round...plain white fondant with a simple design...then placed on a gorgeous stand and some simple backdrops, and taken with a professional photographer. The entire shot looks dreamy and glamorous, and you MUST have that cake!!! Who cares if it costs $150 to feed 15!!!!!

Then you get it home...and its....what...a white fondant cake with some black stripes and it feeds 15. I imagine it can't possibly look so fancy in the center of the table.

I guess magazines are the same way...just did a second cake for a local magazine, and the size for the wedding cake I did was 8"/6"/4" which serves maybe 35? Now, who buys a gourmet fancy wedding cake for 35 people? Okay maybe some people...but still....and I know the photographers have to use a small cake in order that they can fit the entire thing on the page of the magazine...

I guess its not really a pet peeve but in a way...I appreciate true cake talent rather than a fancy photography shot....now yes, I wish I were a better photographer and I always try to make my cakes look as good as I can in a photo, because that's what sells it to people...

I'm really not even complaining...haha...just thinking out loud!!!! I guess I've seen some photos here and there in the past and thought "Wait...that's not really an exceptional cake...that's just exceptional photography skills." Its funny how the fancy photography can make people just absolutely drool over a cake they'd never look twice at if it were just sitting on a countertop.

I always wonder if people who order cakes that are showcased in dramatic photography are a little disappointed when they see it in person.....

Even my own cakes, a few times, I've seen customer photos and the cake doesn't look as nice as it did in a nice bright white background. The nice photo makes it look like its worth hundreds...but....

Okay I'll shut up now. Am I just being weird?

21 replies
sugalips Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 4:39pm
post #2 of 22

Or it can be the reverse... a really cool cake, but really bad photo. I agree.

Kitagrl Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 4:40pm
post #3 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by sugalips

Or it can be the reverse... a really cool cake, but really bad photo. I agree.




Right...and it would be hard to appreciate the immense talent of the baker when the photo does not show it off.....

jenmat Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 4:43pm
post #4 of 22

ha ha, not weird, I've noticed the same thing.
Actually was watching the 2nd season of Cake Boss (I don't have cable icon_wink.gif this week and was thinking the same thing. Photography skills sell items you may never be able to sell for so much otherwise.
I wonder how many cake photos in magazines are tinkered with too, b/c the majority of the cakes on that show were a mess fondant-wise. Lighting is everything!
I just wish I had that professional equipment to photograph my cakes! I was even thinking about going on ebay to get those fancy flash umbrellas so I could get better pictures!!

Kitagrl Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 4:47pm
post #5 of 22

Do you ever wonder if people are disappointed? I mean say you pay $1000 for a cake you saw in a magazine...and then you see it on the table...complete in its non-photoshopped glory....?

I know the cake I did recently for a magazine...the theme was to match some china patterns...and the cake turned out fine for what they asked me to do...but seriously...I'm really not sure who would ever truly ORDER a cake like that...to match china...in that particular pattern...without seeing it all photoshopped and looking elegant in full color in a magazine and wanting it, just because its THERE!!!!

And not to be offensive but I've seen a few very simple cakes here with VERY VERY talented photography and setup...and it gets tons of saves...I'm thinking...wait....this should be saved on a photography website. haha. (Yes I'm jealous of people who can photograph like that!!!)

Of course then there's people like Rylan who happen to do BOTH extremely well and then well....you just save it because...its pure awesomeness. icon_smile.gif

cakelady2266 Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 4:53pm
post #6 of 22

I agree. I think when you are ordering a cake from someone you should see a real untouched photo of that persons work. When you see a photographers photoshopped picture fit for a magazine and then you see the real thing it a whole other cake.

diamonds-and-rust Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 7:59pm
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

Do you ever wonder if people are disappointed? I mean say you pay $1000 for a cake you saw in a magazine...and then you see it on the table...complete in its non-photoshopped glory....?

I know the cake I did recently for a magazine...the theme was to match some china patterns...and the cake turned out fine for what they asked me to do...but seriously...I'm really not sure who would ever truly ORDER a cake like that...to match china...in that particular pattern...without seeing it all photoshopped and looking elegant in full color in a magazine and wanting it, just because its THERE!!!!

And not to be offensive but I've seen a few very simple cakes here with VERY VERY talented photography and setup...and it gets tons of saves...I'm thinking...wait....this should be saved on a photography website. haha. (Yes I'm jealous of people who can photograph like that!!!)

Of course then there's people like Rylan who happen to do BOTH extremely well and then well....you just save it because...its pure awesomeness. icon_smile.gif





Hi Kitagirl!


Just wanted to offer a possible explanation as to why many "simple " cakes have so many "saves" (for me, anyway)....they match my skill level and offer inspiration for cakes I could possibly create thumbs_up.gif ...The elaborate cakes are great, but for now are totally out of my leaue...so I save the simple cakes in my faves not because I dont care for the fancier cakes, but because the simple cakes are do-able for me as a beginner.

Cathy

Kitagrl Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 8:07pm
post #8 of 22

Yeah...Cathy I wasn't really trying to put anyone down....I guess I didn't do a very good job of getting my thoughts across! It is true that sometimes a simple cake, photographed well, will give a beginner some really super ideas for doing a neat centerpiece! And its true, the photo looks GREAT no matter what.

I guess I was just thinking about what the customer sees...and then what the cake looks like in person...haha....like I said, just thinking "out loud"!

diamonds-and-rust Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 8:19pm
post #9 of 22

Oh no, didn't think you were dissin anyone, just offering a beginners perspective icon_smile.gif

Kitagrl Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 8:21pm
post #10 of 22

I guess I was thinking "practically" too....I mean the photos of the 6" cakes on pretty pedestals look gorgeous...but....practically speaking....well....

Usually people who spend money on fancy cakes want to feed more than 10 people!!!!

brincess_b Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 8:30pm
post #11 of 22

i think its quite a popular notion that photography can make the cake...
think of bakarellas blog - now she makes awesome cake pops. and she is a photo buff (more than most cakers anyway). and you combine the two, you get stunning pops/ pictures - and a highly read blog.
i know a few blogs that are really good cakers/ bakers (and writers) - but average photography means they dont grab you in the same way as bakarellas do, so they arent as huge.
its a case of ohhh pretty and shiney!!!!

odd though - my cakes fair much better in real life than my photos! i dont know whether thats a good thing or bad!
but if id paid for a $ridiculous$ cake, it better look brilliant in real life and the photos!
get where you are coming from icon_smile.gif
xx

CocoaBlondie Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 8:31pm
post #12 of 22

In regards to the OP. I feel the exact same way!! Even on this site I've seen some cakes that are gorgeous with no favs. Then I see the favorites for the day like you say with stands & backdrops. I guess all of us get fooled by the presentation sometimes. It's like shopping for clothes. You want to buy the ones all dressed up on a maniqiune, because the store put an outfit together so well.

diamonds-and-rust Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 8:34pm
post #13 of 22

Suzy, I just checked out your website....absolutely stunning! YOURS are the types of cakes I aspire to be able to do one day...
Cathy

Kitagrl Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 8:34pm
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by CocoaBlondie

In regards to the OP. I feel the exact same way!! Even on this site I've seen some cakes that are gorgeous with no favs. Then I see the favorites for the day like you say with stands & backdrops. I guess all of us get fooled by the presentation sometimes. It's like shopping for clothes. You want to buy the ones all dressed up on a maniqiune, because the store put an outfit together so well.




Guilty, just last night! Haha saw the cutest outfit on a mannequin and HAD to buy it....seriously the guards wouldn't let me out of the store until I did...haha.

Kitagrl Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 8:35pm
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by diamonds-and-rust

Suzy, I just checked out your website....absolutely stunning! YOURS are the types of cakes I aspire to be able to do one day...
Cathy




Aww thanks..... icon_smile.gif

Kitagrl Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 8:38pm
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by diamonds-and-rust

Suzy, I just checked out your website....absolutely stunning! YOURS are the types of cakes I aspire to be able to do one day...
Cathy




Oh and I have to say....cupcakes, kinda like a few of my pix on my website HAHAHA....are the worst!!! I mean, take a cupcake, swirl some icing, dab some sprinkles...then put it in a nice white, dreamy looking photograph with good lighting...and it looks like the most luscious, delectable, gourmet item in the world! But in the end...its just a stupid cupcake with a swirl of icing on it. LOL.....

So see some of my own photos fit the bill too. thumbs_up.gif

costumeczar Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 8:48pm
post #17 of 22

It's the same in all the wedding industry, though. They now have the photo shoots where you have the setup receptions and dreamy-looking photos of brides and grooms posing with a piano in the woods or some nonsense like that. It's all over the place. The wedding blogs that I read are completely monotonous with the types of photography they use. And I have no doubt that people use photoshop to improve the cakes, because it would go against a magazine photographer's nature to not use photoshop to change SOMETHING. It's just another example of false advertising.

DSmo Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 8:56pm
post #18 of 22

This is an interesting topic. I never thought about it that a cake could be misrepresented simply with the photography. My "real" job is as a graphic designer and I deal with this sort of stuff daily, so I guess I just know what I'm looking at regardless of fancy photography or not. It would never have occurred to me that people didn't always see exactly what was there... quality cake decorating vs. shoddy decorating. I would love to be able to afford to have some of my photographer friends take pics of my cakes, but it would only be so that I could get proper lighting and accurate colors (and in focus!). That said, I don't doubt that magazines retouch photos to remove minor imperfections. But even so, you still have to start with a darned great cake. No amount of retouching is gonna fix a crappy decorating job.

brincess_b Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 9:02pm
post #19 of 22

todays cake wrecks post is kind of relevant...
http://cakewrecks.blogspot.com/2010/11/picture-perfect.html
although i dont think that cake is a wrecky as most, a good photo is hiding some pretty big flaws!
xx

Corrie76 Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 9:22pm
post #20 of 22

Haha! I was going to suggest taking a peek at today's Cake Wrecks since it had to do with beautifully photographed "wrecky" wedding cakes. I've noted to myself from the beginning that the daily "favorites" was as much about the photography as the cake's quality themselves. Alas, all my cakes continue to be photographed with my crappy cell phone,lol. One thing I can apreciate about some of the cakes that I've favorited, that have been photographed really well is that I can see the details well enough to figure out how the cake was decorated. When a photo is blurry or badly lit- it can be hard to decifer what tip might have been used or what kind of icing or product being utilized. One of my pet peeves, which I think you were trying to express as well, are the extreme close-up pictures- the one's where you only see like 1/2 the plain cupcake and it's all artsy and stunning- but at the end of the day is still just a regular old cupcake with a star-tip swirl of BC and a splash of sugar.....these pictures really get a lot more glory than neccessary....I don't know, lol, now I'm rambling too and not sure I'm expressing my thoughts or agreement with your thoughts really well. icon_biggrin.gif

CocoaBlondie Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 9:31pm
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadameRaz

One of my pet peeves, which I think you were trying to express as well, are the extreme close-up pictures- the one's where you only see like 1/2 the plain cupcake and it's all artsy and stunning- but at the end of the day is still just a regular old cupcake with a star-tip swirl of BC and a splash of sugar.....these pictures really get a lot more glory than neccessary....





I second the motion! I doubt anybody needs a reference on how to swirl BC & add a piece of candy on top. I've done a ton of these for fun, but have never posted them.

Kitagrl Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 10:07pm
post #22 of 22

I have a few where I made a cake with matching cupcakes and they really do make a cute pic.....but still...the cupcakes alone aren't too glorious in person.

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