How to transform a wedding cake
If you're new to making wedding cakes or you simply want them to look a bit better in photos, here are some tips I've put together that I hope will help.
Tip 1: It's all in the detail
A plain cake doesn't really show what you're capable of, especially if it's coloured. Although simple is often elegant, something is needed to lift your cake, whether it's flowers, lace and/or a stunning topper. The cake above is an ombre design, meaning the peach colour gets darker on each tier down. But even the white ribbon isn't enough to make it pretty. It needs a little more.
Tip 2: Don't go overboard
That said, cakes as highly decorated as a fairground ride don't always win people over. Just because you can pipe a trellis, make cake lace, create a peacock from sugar and cover a cake with edible pearls doesn't mean the more the merrier. The above cake simply needed some carefully placed sugar flowers with green leaves to offset the main colour.
Tip 3: Sort out your background
If you're photographing a cake in situ then you probably won't be able to change the background (you can bring your own light box but you may struggle to get it in place if the cake table's quite small). I've lost count of the number of times I've had a less than desirable wall. Radiators, awkwardly placed plants, bad lighting and sharply creased tablecloths are par for the course. So if you can blur the background with a good camera or edit, it'll help enormously.
If you're still at home or work, there are a few rules to go by. Firstly, don't have anything in your background that doesn't complement the cake. This includes washing up, people and the colour red. It's amazing how the eye is immediately drawn to what someone's up to, a brightly coloured tea towel or a fire extinguisher.
But it's not just about colour or dirty mixing bowls. If you look at the photo of the cake on the left above, there's a line from the wood that crosses the cake at an awkward point. If you can get rid of this and have a seamless background, you're onto a winner.
Tip 4: Get a pretty blackout blind
But how do you do this? Do you have to invest in something expensive? Not if you use your loaf.
I managed to buy a blackout blind from my local Dunelm Mill in the sale for nine quid. I chose a fairly neutral design and colour that suggested weddings. I ironed the blind carefully to take out any creases and weighted it in place on the counter with a sandwich maker (it was the heaviest thing to hand).
Tip 5: Get your lighting right
It'll save time editing your photos if you've got the light right beforehand. Although natural light is usually best, I put an extra spotlight onto the cake (angled from the front) to soften the look and make it less orange.
Tip 6: Position your cake carefully
If a cake goes too close to a wall it can create unwanted shadows. Therefore, making sure the cake didn't go too near to the counter, I photographed the cake so it was surrounded by the blind.
Tip 7: Use a cake stand (or something that looks like one)
A cake always looks better when it's lifted off the surface it's on. That means having a cake stand. Or does it? Before you dash off to get something expensive, try balancing your cake on an upturned bowl or candlestick. Just make sure it can take the weight!
Do you have any foolproof cake photo tips? Do share them below!