The Saga of My Poor, Poor Poppy Cake

Decorating By Elcee Updated 5 Oct 2013 , 12:47am by JWinslow

Elcee Posted 30 Sep 2013 , 2:07am
post #1 of 45

So, I sent this dummy cake to a styled shoot that a wedding planner I’ve worked with in the past was organizing. I've done a styled shoot with her before and it was a 100% positive experience. Sorry the only picture I have is the one I took with my phone to send to my mother; it's still unfinished here (I added more leaves, another coat of gold on the border, a bit of sheen) but you can get the idea:



The shoot was on a day I couldn’t deliver myself; it’s also 3 hours away, in the mountains. She agreed to take the cake herself. So we meet up to give her the cake and that's when she tells me she’s not going, the photographer is meeting us and will take the cake up (starting to get a bit nervous). The photographer shows up in a PICK-UP truck (starting to feel a little sick). There is nowhere to put the cake except the backseat of the cab. I used some stuff she had to level it and actually seat belted it in. FYI, knowing it was being taken up into the mountains, I had it well-prepared for the delivery. I explained about keeping it cool, driving carefully, etc. and hoped for the best.

A couple of weeks go by and I hear nothing. I finally email my contact and ask about it and I’m told a couple of petals fell off the cake but otherwise it was fine and they don’t show in the pictures. Um, OK, I asked to please let me see the pictures before they are published anywhere. Can I get my dummy back? Yup, but here’s what I get back!


Hyperventilating! OMG, what do the pictures REALLY look like? A couple more weeks go by, still nothing about the pictures, nothing on Facebook, I finally ask again and get an “oh, I thought I sent you the link, here it is”. Well, it looks like they left the cake in the truck for the whole weekend! It’s awful. The flowers are falling off, with Styrofoam showing in some of them. The fondant is melting off it in places and looks all greasy. I felt like crying. I still feel like crying. I'm ashamed to have my name associated with them. This is NOT the cake I delivered.




I just saw the photographer's pictures for the first time last week; the shoot was on July 22. It makes me think they really didn't want me to see them. Besides venting and getting it off my chest, I'm wondering if I should ask the photographer to remove the photos of the cake from the album. They're not on her website or her Facebook page, just in the album she shared with me. I really wish that, as a fellow professional, she had just owned up to ruining the cake and been done with it. The payback for doing these shoots is having the professional pictures for our portfolios but this was a total loss for me :cry:


SIGH, thanks for listening; I'm sorry this was so long. Non cake people just don't get it and I can't really post anything on Facebook since all the players are there.

44 replies
Norasmom Posted 30 Sep 2013 , 2:14am
post #2 of 45

Ask for a re-take for sure.  Tell her that's not representative of your work.  As a photographer, she would not like it if someone edited her photos and botched them up.  You are no different!

liz at sugar Posted 30 Sep 2013 , 2:30am
post #3 of 45

Yes, and maybe deliver next time, or be present during the shoot?  I hope you can have the photos removed.  Your cake was really lovely in your original photo - beautiful concept.



cakeballer85 Posted 30 Sep 2013 , 2:42am
post #4 of 45

AThis is my biggest fear anytime someone picks up a tiered cake from chest is tight until I know a cake has made it to its destination safely...definitely ask for a re-do

sixinarow Posted 30 Sep 2013 , 3:07am
post #5 of 45

I'm so sorry, Elcee! You worked so hard on that cake and remember how excited you were to create it! :( I would ask them to take the pictures down, but I'm going against the flow here --  I wouldn't ask for a re-do. I think I would cut ties and never work with them again -- and definitely not recommend them to anyone. You're out the cost of your decorating supplies and time it took to create the first cake, I wouldn't give them the chance to ruin another one. 

So, so sorry!

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 30 Sep 2013 , 3:22am
post #6 of 45

I agree with six, I wouldn't ask for a re-do, you are out enough time and money. I doubt they will take the pictures down, but I would make sure they take your name off of them. It's not like the pictures are cake wreck worthy, but they certainly aren't up to your standard work!


I'm not sure if I would cut ties, but I would certainly never agree to cater an event where you weren't 100% in charge of delivery. They have proven to be irresponsible and unprofessional in that regard.


It was such a pretty cake! Sorry :(

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 30 Sep 2013 , 3:28am
post #7 of 45

Ugh, that's terrible! I would be so mad! :x


I probably wouldn't work with them again. Either that, or if you do work with them again, only do it when you can bring the cake and take it when they're done, don't let it out of your sight!

Elcee Posted 30 Sep 2013 , 3:40am
post #8 of 45

Thanks, everyone. A re-do is out of the question. It was a collaborative, organized shoot involving several vendors. Not to mention, I'd have to re-make the cake. It is what it is.


Absolutely I will be delivering in the future! I had a different planner insist on picking up a real tiered cake and I went through conniptions over it, made her sign a waiver, scared the heck out of her. I should have done the same thing for this one. The last time I did a shoot like this, I did deliver myself and stayed with my cakes the whole time (see the peach and ivory pics in my gallery).


I think I'll start drafting an email to the photographer. Not only do I want her to remove the photos, I want to get across to her that she destroyed what amounts to a $300 cake and left me nothing in return (without sounding whiney). And yes, sixinarow, I will be quietly cutting my ties with those involved.

sixinarow Posted 30 Sep 2013 , 3:55am
post #10 of 45

I'm sick to my stomach for you!!


Were you planning on keep this one for display? If so, you might include in your email that you were planning on using this as a display cake and because of the damage you can no longer use it or the pictures. 



SecretAgentCakeBaker Posted 30 Sep 2013 , 4:09am
post #12 of 45

AYour cake was so pretty. I'm so sorry that happened to you.

AZCouture Posted 30 Sep 2013 , 5:37am
post #14 of 45

How in the HELL did that happen to a dummy cake??? Seriusly, WHAT did they do it?? It's not rocket science, keeping a dummy safe and secure, good grief!

cazza1 Posted 30 Sep 2013 , 7:19am
post #15 of 45

Such a shame.  Such a pretty cake.  I would be ranting.

vgcea Posted 30 Sep 2013 , 9:20am
post #16 of 45

AI would be so mad! What they did says a lot about who they are: inconsiderate, dishonest by omission, and very unprofessional. I would cut ties with them in an amicable manner. They're not worth stepping out of line for. (((HUGS))). It was a beautiful cake.

rebecca67e Posted 30 Sep 2013 , 12:39pm
post #19 of 45

so I can see that your cake before delivery was very pretty, and obviously a huge mess by the time it got back to you. but please forgive me, I can't understand what's so bad about it in the photos at the place itself. I'm not an experienced baker and to me it doesn't look all that bad at all. maybe I'm just not very observant and need the flaws specifically pointed out to me :duh:


anyway, I am very sorry this happened to you. that cake was really lovely.

cazza1 Posted 30 Sep 2013 , 12:43pm
post #20 of 45

rebecca have a close look at the purple fondant. 

SweetCarolines Posted 30 Sep 2013 , 1:34pm
post #21 of 45

AThe fondant is melting and wrinkled and the flowers look like sad pandas.

I´m sorry this happened, I´d be so pissed. The fact that were kept trying to avoid you for two months just makes it worse. A professional would just fess up straight away and take it like a champ.

rockymtnbaker Posted 30 Sep 2013 , 5:30pm
post #22 of 45

Oh, Elcee, I'm so sorry this happened to you. Your flowers are just amazing...I hope you can get some closure regarding this somehow.

JWinslow Posted 30 Sep 2013 , 10:55pm
post #23 of 45

Elcee, I'm so very sorry this happened to you.  I know you put your heart into all your cakes. It's just not right.  The cake was so pretty - loved the poppies. So bummed for you :(



vgcea Posted 30 Sep 2013 , 11:10pm
post #24 of 45

AElcee I know you're upset but [B]please make sure they do not have your name anywhere near the disaster they created[/B]. This could get pretty expensive if potential clients see it associated with your work and think this is the quality of work you produce.

howsweet Posted 30 Sep 2013 , 11:14pm
post #25 of 45

 A lot of people are just incredibly stupid about handling cakes and there's no way to tell which ones, so now you know everyone has to be treated like that planner. Even after I scare the heck out of them, I put on a worried look. And I don't feel bad about it because they should have just paid for delivery. I think I'm going to start calling it cake insurance. Maybe that will drive the point home.


I'm not sure how that was only a $300 cake, but it was positively gorgeous. Your letter to her might be a good time to raise your prices. That was a lovely, high end cake.




vgcea Posted 1 Oct 2013 , 4:46am
post #28 of 45

AElcee, the tricky thing is, since the photographer took the photos, he/she has a right to the photos and can do with them as he/she pleases. I think you could suggest they remove or the photos of the cakes but if they must use the photos, they must remove your name from it. You have a right to not have your business associated with the photos even if you don't have rights to the actual photos.

If anything, I would suggest a tone that points to how disappointed you are at how the whole thing was handled. You want them to feel the need to apologize not fight back. Here's what I would send:

Dear photographer, Thank you for including my work in the photoshoot dated x/y/2013. I had looked forward to having my work showcased along with the best in the industry, and I trusted my work into your hands with that expectation. Unfortunately, for reasons best known to you, the result has not been the case. I'm sure you will agree with me that what you have photographed is drastically different from what I placed in your care.

Not only is this unfortunate turn of events a significant hit to me financially as that display cake was worth $300, the pictures add salt to injury by displaying a cake that is below my standards. Those photos put me in a bad light for future business from potential clients who would see this poor representation and think this is the quality of work I produce.

As a way of moving forward, I'm requesting that these inaccurate representations of my work be removed from the collection. Also, I would appreciate it if you would remove my name from these images, and the photoshoot as a whole.

I hope this would not be as much of an inconvenience for you as it has been for me. I appreciate you for your consideration, and hope we have another opportunity to collaborate in a way that puts both of our businesses in good light. Thank you.

Sincerely, Elcee.

Evoir Posted 1 Oct 2013 , 10:44am
post #29 of 45

The photographer might choose to do anything and everything with the photos, but s/he doesn't have to attribute that cake to Elcee. It can just be a cake in a photo. Right?


Elcee...I'm so sorry this happened to you. I could not possibly work with someone like that ever again, despite the previous positive experience. In fact, I'd probably be cranky every time I had to see or talk to them from this point on!

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