Like many of us I follow a number of cake related companies on social media sites and forums. Not only do other companies showcase fantastic work and inspire us, they also highlight a couple of bug bears that can be easily avoided. These are; not covering cake boards and taking poor quality images of work.
Read my tips on how to complete your cakes and take great photos that will make people like and share your work.
1. Covering a Cake Board
A lot of cake decorators spend hours modelling, baking, covering and decorating a cake to perfection. This requires skill, specialist tools and equipment, and a bucket load of time. It often upsets me to see a stunning cake creation being spoilt by the unsightly silver cake board shining back on an image. Although it can take a little bit more time and effort to cover a cake board, the overall ‘look’ and appeal to the final design is vastly improved.
You can have lots of fun designing a cake board to match the theme of your cake, or keep it clean and simple with a crisp white finish and satin ribbon trim. You can purchase various ribbon trims such as satin, lace or a diamonte style ribbon depending on your design.
To cover a cake board:
- I tend to add a little bit of water to the cake board using a paint brush.
- Roll out the fondant to the diameter of the cake board and smooth over using a smoother tool.
- Roll it onto a rolling pin and transfer onto your damp cake board.
- Using a smoother, iron out any creases or air bubbles.
- Holding the cake board in the air, balanced on your fingertips, get a sharp knife and carefully hold the knife vertically at the edge of the board. In long slow gliding movements trim off the excess fondant to create a perfectly covered board.
- Measure your ribbon by simply wrapping around the cake board and marking off where the ends meet.
- Using double sided tape or glue, cover the edge of the board.
- Finally attach your ribbon and voila!
2. Taking Pictures of Cakes
I’m no expert by any means when it comes to photography. However, I am aware of some basic principles, and dos and don’ts when taking pictures of cakes. Again it upsets me to see a stunning piece of work being showcased on a kitchen work top with shopping bags, toys and general clutter in the background. It doesn’t do the skilled decorator any justice nor the masterpiece they have created. Here are a couple of pointers;
- Use natural light opposed to spot lights or household lighting.
- Use a background, this can be achieved inexpensively by using wallpaper, wrapping paper or a plain wall.
- Play around with angles of the shots and take close up pictures of detail on the cake to showcase your skills.
- Use Instagram, Pintrest, Twitter, Google Plus and of course Facebook to share your images and create an interested audience.
- Finally use a photo editing programme on your computer to add watermarks, logos and brighten up an image if taken in low light. Let’s face it, British weather is rarely bright and sunny unless you’re more fortunate to live in sunny climates.
- Don’t take pictures at night, you will end up with ugly shadows and poor colour quality ruining the overall image.
- Don’t take a picture from above as it will make the cake appear small and out of proportion.
- Don’t spend a fortune on lighting and photography equipment. A simple light reflecting disc can maximise the natural light on the cake when taking a picture . A phone camera or inexpensive digital camera can achieve a good quality picture of your work if you’ve taken note of some of the pointers above.
Go and have fun creating the final touches to your cakes and get sharing your wonderful creations with me. You can follow me on Twitter, Pintrest, Facebook, Google Plus, and Instagram to see my latest creations.