Monday, 22 August 2016

Free Advertising

Recently, I got an enquiry from a large company (who shall remain nameless!) asking me if I would heavily discount or "donate" my cupcakes to an event they were holding at their shop in return for them leaving my business cards out/free advertising. I politely said that there were no discounts available in return for this and that I could only offer the discounts that I would give to anyone depending on the quantity they ordered. They said thank you and didn't take the order any further.

 I do not have a problem with charities asking me for cupcake donations (I don't give them, I give vouchers to limited numbers of charities and usually small, local ones) or people enquiring as to discounts BUT I have to say that it does put my back up a little when large, prominent companies who can most definitely afford to pay for my services and delicious cake, ask for freebies in return for advertising.

 I offer Branded cupcakes which are very popular with businesses to promote their services and do not believe it's fair on me, or those businesses that pay the full price for these products, to give other businesses my products for free. In hindsight, I wish I had asked for their products for free in return for me telling my customers about them because at the end of the day, how is that different? Apart from the fact they can probably afford to buy my products and I can't afford to buy theirs!!

Some examples of logo cupcakes

For me, this is not "free advertising", it is the hours I take to make the cupcakes, the electricity I use to bake the cupcakes and the of course, the ingredients that go into the cupcakes. None of which is free. 

It is something that artists and small businesses come into contact with repeatedly, work in return for "experience" or "advertising". Don't devalue yourself or your products. Don't work for "free".

Happy baking!


Sunday, 10 April 2016

Photographing Cakes

One of the things I notice repeatedly lets small cake businesses down is the way they take photos of cakes. It's no good making the most amazing looking cake and then ruining it by taking a photo of it in the dark or with loads of mess behind it.

In some ways, the taking of the photo is just as important as the cake itself. So, here are my top tips for taking photos of cakes.

First, make sure you take a photo of your cakes on a plain surface or back drop. DON'T take a photo of your cakes with all your dirty baking equipment in the background, it's not attractive and detracts from the cakes. All you want the customer to see is your beautiful creation. So often I see photos of cakes on the kitchen work top with stuff in the background. It's so simple to just clear a space and put a white sheet or piece of pretty wrapping paper/wall paper in the background.

Number 2: Wherever possible, take photos in natural light and when it is bright as possible. Make sure there are no shadows (see below) or streams of light affecting the photo. The best time to take th photo is when the sun is shining. If you take a photo in the evening when the sun has gone in, get a bright light - I have a light box which works really well as it imitates natural light (not only is it great for photos but it's great for winter days when I'm feeling a bit sluggish and have long hours to work.)

My next tip is something that I don't always do, so use your best judgement. Try to take photos of the cakes when they're not in the box. When you've got 24 cupcakes in a box it's just easier to take a photo of them all in the box, but try picking out some of the main designs and take a photo of them on their own. But when it comes to celebration cakes, DO NOT take a photo of them in the cake box. It looks messy and you can't see the whole cake. Even if you're short of time, you can still take 2 minutes to take it out of the box and take a photo. 

If you do take a photo of your cupcakes in a box (as above), be sure to crop out as much of the box as you can and focus on the cupcakes themselves.

Using the above tips you will be able to take great photos of your cakes and really make the most of your creations. 


Happy caking and photo taking!


I'm Back (I hope!)

I can't believe I haven't posted anything for 3 years! I'm going to try to post more now and have lots of recipes to share so fingers crossed, I can try to make time again. I've been really busy the last few years and the business has grown every year. You can follow all my cake adventures on and Happy caking!