Thursday, February 11, 2010

Adventures in Cake

Experiences, good or bad always teach you something. What you take from the lesson is always up to you. Thought I'd ramble on about a recent adventure in photography that had both it's good moments, and bad, and a few of the resulting images!
I was commissioned recently to photograph these beautiful wedding cakes, and was very excited. This kind of request looks great on one's resume, and helps you connect with more local businesses. The session went well, but unfortunately had to take place in the bridal show venue the company was participating in (the only time so many freshly decorated cakes are all on display together,understandably) and this was less than ideal, as I was soon to discover, lol!
Word to the wise, in situations like this, insist on being able to shoot them either before the show opens, or within a more controlled environment. Shooting during the show meant I couldn't control the lighting (there was a booth across from the cakes who's lighting kept flashing and changing, reflecting off the cakes and messing up my metering), and that I had to time my shots quickly while there were lulls in the crowds. My tripod was getting in the way, as was my assistant with the giant reflector which I was hoping would help me bounce some added light. I also had to shoot within the display, not able to position each cake ideally.

It certainly was a challenge I wasn't as prepared for as I thought. And it was a lesson well learned. I now know what I would push for when setting up an opportunity like this, as well as gear I would need for in the future in situations like this. An off camera flash unit comes to mind, lol.
This was still a very rewarding experience, don't get me wrong, and a very valuable one. And I'd be interested in hearing if any of you have had similar experiences where you realized a job or shoot was going to be more difficult than originally thought.

I thank Grace, The Artist of Cake for allowing me to expand my portfolio and trusting me to capture the beauty so evident in her work. You can find her at

Thanks for letting me ramble on, have a good one folks!


  1. A lot of photographers find themselves in this situation, and you will again. Since this is a paid shoot, remember that the images need to live up to the standards of the client, not yours. You might like to have hours, lots of backgrounds and lights, and a food stylist. But if you get the shots she needs for her marketing, you have done what is required.

    Skills to create serviceable images in less than ideal conditions are possibly of more value than perfect studio skills?

    (They look nice enough to me btw!)

  2. Thanks so much for your insightful comment!
    I heartily agree... being able to work in less than ideal conditions can really hone one's skills! And can be more rewarding.
    The client did say she was pleased with all the results, and I simply tend to be my own worst critic at times. This really taught me a great deal.

  3. I would say this is what I have faced many times and I know I have to do the same as long as I am photographing people and products. This is someting you need to remember that let no one come in your way while you are photographing. Yes off camera flash is the first thing you need right now.

    Most photographers tend to overdo some things like lighting effects, backgrounds, props and obviously the great and famous Photoshop/Corel. On the other hand some are like lazy bums and think that They will get through with minimum effort by only satisfying their client. But for me its like me and my client both should be happy about the work. A balance is inevitable. If you can not break your own record then you will become like stagnant water. I liked your photos very much and I know you will live upto everyone's expectations in future, even your own. As you know you are my inspiration so keep up the good work and keep inspiring me.

    Arijit C.