Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Photoshop Part 2- Enemy of the Baker

The last entry was about how can be used to improve the appearance of cakes, but it also works the other way. If you're a baker who delivered a cake, and you get a complaint about it later, what's the first thing you think to ask for? That's right, pictures of the problem. What if there wasn't a problem, but there's a picture of one anyway? With photoshop that can happen!

What if you received a photo like the crooked cake at the top, with the bride telling you that the cake started leaning, eventually collapsed, and ruined the reception? Now she wants her money back! Oh that's terrible, isn't it? Except that this cake didn't collapse, it actually looked like the second one.

I'm not saying that most brides do this kind of thing. Most people who I've worked with are very nice, and I've never had anyone try to scam me out of anything, but I've heard plenty of stories of people who have had clients who did. The first thing that everyone says it "tell her to send you a picture of the cake" to show the damage. That only goes so far, as we see. Like I said before, if I can make that tier look like it's going over, someone who's really good at photoshop can probably make it look like a big pile of mush on the cake stand.

I've received a few complaints about cakes, and the first thing I do isn't to ask for a picture. I always pick up the phone and call the reception site, and talk to the person who was there who cut the cake, or who saw what was going on. Once a bride told me that the cake was too dry and nobody ate it. Since I'd cut the cake into torted layers, used soaking syrups and three layers of fillings, I doubted that. Turns out that she'd ordered more cake than she needed in the first place, then had fewer guests than expected show up for the reception. The reception site coordinator told me that there wasn't anything wrong with the cake, she just had about twice as much as she needed. If I hadn't called to clarify the situation, there's no way that I would have known that.

So don't worry too much with pictures, call to ask what happened from someone who witnessed it firsthand and can tell you the truth of the situation. If it was something that you did you'll need to deal with it, but get the facts first. And these days a photo won't always give you the facts.

 Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at and


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tidbit of information I would have never thought to call the site, I would have asked for pictures. (knock on wood I never have to)

Kara said...

ALWAYS call the reception site! You'll get a clearer view of what really happened if there was a problem.

Anonymous said...

yikes, i never thought about someone doing that!?! thanks for the advice kara :D
cindy/cindy's cakery

Jennywenny said...

Wow, yet again, something I'd not even considered! I guess there are all types of people in this world!

Kelley Prather said...

Two years ago I delivered a cake to a golf course that put it in the walk-in instead of allowing me to set it up on the table. I took pictures of it in the walk-in just so I had proof it was fine when I left. Six months later the groom called and wanted his money back because he said the cake "looked nothing like the one they ordered and it had smeared icing and big cracks in it." I asked him for a picture. Three months went by. He called again very upset and told me I "needed to handle this". Again I asked for a picture. A YEAR later I finally get one in an email. It's not the cake I left... well, it sort of is...I'm guessing the actual cake is under the icing, but it looked like they might have dropped it when taking it out of the walk-in and tried to fix it. Two sides of it had a slightly different colored icing "swags"(this cake had Kelly Green swags and shimmery gold dots) and the dots on those two sides were now bright yellow and larger than the ones I piped.
That the venue never told the couple what happened astounded me... and that they allowed them to think it was my fault really ticked me off. A year after the fact there isn't much anyone can do, but I am so grateful I took pictures of it even though it was in a walk-in!

Kara said...

Kelley, that's just nuts! Anohter example of why you should always take pictures yourself. I've heard a lot of stories of venues doing things to the cakes after the baker left and trying to pass the blame for the resulting disaster.