I had met Colleen of Colleen Mathias Photography at a bridal shower shoot several months ago. I had provided a couple of cakes for the shoot, one of which was for sharing with all the vendors after the shoot. After I cut a couple slices out of the cake, I thought it looked so pretty and delicious and that it needed a picture taken of it. Colleen took a few shots of it, and it was then that I got the idea that I needed pictures of the insides of my cakes for my website. I had tons of pretty pictures of my work, but no pictures that answer some basic questions my clients regularly ask: “How big is a slice?” “What do the layers look like on the inside?” “What will my guests be served?” “How many layers of filling and cake will there be?” So when I learned that Colleen was getting married, I right away started to strategize. We agreed to barter services – a wedding cake in exchange for cake photos!
My thinking was to make a few buttercream cakes and slice them up and take pictures and we’re done. I thought we could just do this in my home-based cake studio and keep things simple. But then Colleen asked if I’d like to get head shots done as well. This question set into motion the making of a collaborated styled shoot.
Head shots meant I needed make-up, and immediately Nancy Bolen with Make Up With Nancy came to mind. I really love her LimeLight by Alcone Make-up! One email and I had Make-Up!
And then I had the pleasure of meeting Wendy Darby with Premier Jewelry who was interested in tapping into the wedding market, so I invited her to help with my photo shoot by providing jewelry for my head shot pictures. She perfectly matched me with some beautiful pieces that finished my outfit.
Shortly after this, I met Laura Spivey with Laurel Calligraphy. She specializes in classic calligraphy. Right away I saw an opportunity to work together and help promote her work, so I asked if she’d like to make tent cards for my various cake flavors, and so calligraphy entered the picture.
And then there is Maira Cruz with Constantly Bloom. She makes these beautiful paper flowers that have adorned my cakes on several occasions. She simply texted me out of the blue and asked if I had any upcoming photo shoots that she could be involved in. Now I had flowers!
As my group started growing, I realized we could no longer do this at my house which was my original plan. Not only that, but we needed to do this outdoors for best lighting. It seemed appropriate at this point to find a venue with a pretty outdoor space, so I reached out to my wedding vendor network and quickly received an offer from The Matthews House in Cary, NC. They have a lovely garden space that makes for a gorgeous backdrop, especially as everything was coming into bloom. What a beautiful venue both inside and out!
At this point, I knew it was time to bring the big guns out – Caroline & Emily!
I have worked with Caroline Cash with The Prettiest Pieces, a vintage rental company, a few times now at a couple of photo shoots, and sometimes it wasn’t even in person, but her prettiest pieces showed up in her place. So of course, she was the one I thought of for making this shoot extra special. At first I was only going to borrow a few items the next time she came to Raleigh, since she is a whopping two hours away. And as I struggled with putting a vision together, all it took was a phone call and she helped me gain focus. Even more, I think she had more of an idea of how to pull this together than I did! I am so grateful she decided to not only provide some props, but went the extra (many) miles to be on site and help set up, stylize the shoot, and make the magic happen. She brought tables, dishes, cake stands, but more importantly, her style and ability to just create and make a vision become a reality. And she does this effortlessly! And let me tell you, that woman can haul some furniture!
Then there is Emily Thomas of Emily Katherine Events. I was so happy when she agreed to come over and help me! As an event planner, she brings a variety of special gifts to the table. First, she is always calm, which makes me calm. She orchestrates and manages processes – a true leader. She also has an eye for style. She can convert a space into something very special and picture-worthy - a visionary. And she and Caroline make an awesome team! They put the “us” in Fabulous! I love seeing them work together because everything they touch transforms to beautiful. Their synergism results in an end-product that is greater than the whole.
So that brings me back to where I started – Colleen. I was worried that my growing requests to my growing shoot was asking too much, but she embraced it and was excited to do it. Colleen is golden and her work is magic, and after seeing her work from the bridal shower shoot, I simply could not wait to see the end-product of my Love Cake shoot.
Professional photography makes a website, it makes your marketing materials stand out, it looks fabulous on social media and even better when/if it gets published. Great photography makes your business shine, which makes you shine, because it gives you greater confidence when presenting your business. And each person involved in my Love Cake shoot got to benefit from Colleen’s dedication, skills and talent. I have received so much great feedback from customers who can now see the insides of my cakes! You can see for yourself here on my Flavors Page. So thank you Colleen for all your hard work and beautiful photography! And thank you to all the vendors who had a part in making this photo shoot happen!