Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Piece of Cake - A New York Cake Baker Extraordinaire

 You know what I like even more then cake?
No. Really. It's possible.
Someone who is brash, and can answer a question all while being witty and real. 

I want to introduce you to someone who can create a mean cake and who can answer my 20 questions like a piece of cake.
Why when I'm trying to be witty it comes out lame? Damn. Lame?
Who uses that word anymore?!

Some of you may have seen this post I wrote a little while back on service and selling. I think that the person selling the service and product is just as important as what they are selling. I want to showcase that. The passion behind the product.
The face behind the brand.

She studied in Paris France and has worked with the iconic chef's at Wolfgang Puck. 
She eats pastries for breakfast and makes a cake look too good to eat - literally.
1/3 baker, 1/3 sculptor and 1/3 artist.
I'm pretty sure she could give Sylvia Weinstock a serious run for her money.
Actually, I'm sure of it. 

Her name is Lindsey and she is the face, spirit and entrepreneur behind the name and cake - Elegantly Iced.

This being my first 'spotlight vendor', I didn't know really what to think.
Who would take the time to answer these questions. Where they too silly? What if I am the only person who believes that people make the product? What if no one reads it?

All of the 'what if's' went right out the window when I got Lindsey's returned e-mail.
I devoured her answers, nodded in agreement, and truthfully even cringed at some.
Who knew I can relate to a baker with other then eating?  

I hope you enjoy this 'interview' as much as I did.  

1. What has been your favorite custom cake creation thus far?

Oh wow. That's impossible. All my cakes are like my children. You make them with a lot of love, do the best you can, then send them out into the world and hope they are loved by others! I think that every time I make a few cakes- let's say 5 or 6- I have a favorite from the bunch...until I make more. My new favorite spring cake is this little green one that I made for me and for my display window. I love not only sculpting (flowers and figures and such) but I've always loved hand piping. I think it's becoming a lost art in many ways. The whole base has string work around it, and then I was just so happy with the peonies and the tulips and all the Spring-y goodness!

S: Yes folks, I asked. The flowers are edible.

S: It's kinda hard to believe, right? Aaaaamazing...

2. Are you seeing any new trends for wedding cakes this year?

Texture!! Ruffles, pleats, big fabric flowers, imprinted patterns- it's all the rage right now with almost all my brides!

3. What is your most requested flavor combination, what is your favorite flavor?

It's so funny- about 2 months ago hands down I would have told you my most popular was my "Lemon Framboise" which is a Lemon Pound Cake with a Framboise soak, fresh raspberry preserves and lemon buttercream. All of a sudden though, everyone has just shifted and they're all asking for my White Vanilla-Bean cake with a rum soak and Dulce de leche buttercream. For whatever reason, people tend to pick the same flavor in groups, then a few months go by and they all switch to something else.

My favorite is quite simply cake! Whatever is around that I can eat for my breakfast in the mornings is my favorite for the day!

4. From your first consultation to delivery, how many hours are spend on your custom cakes?

Ooh. That's so hard to say, because each cake is a completely custom and unique creation. The time it takes all vary greatly on the complexity of the designs. If a cake is dripping with flowers and has a ton of detail it can take days and days to sculpt, paint, bake, shape and decorate. Then again if you want something that's "simple and clean" looking, it can take a lot of time to make sure that all those bare surfaces of your cake look absolutely flawless, too.

I would "guesstimate" that on average most cakes take between 45 and 75 hours. Sculpted cakes- ones that look like a giant Blackberry or a real car- can take well over 100 hours though!

S : My personal fave is below...
Dramatic and glamorous. And. You. Can. EAT. IT.

S : Again, these are REAL flowers - every petal and stem.
S T U N N I N G !

S: Having a nautical or beach-y wedding theme.
You need this cake!

5. I find being a photographer, life gets so busy with my clients that I have a hard time carving out time to photograph my own family. Do you cook or ever bake for yourself? If so, what are your favorite meals/desserts)?

Well, it's definitely true that I don't get the chance to make things for myself that often, and when I do I usually cook whatever I've had time to get from the farmer's market more than I bake.

If I've got the time I tend to fall back on my French background. I love to make rich buttery and creamy sauces, and anything with cheese! Generally if it's dessert at home it involves puff pastry somehow.

About you...

6. The last song you couldn't get out of your head?

Hmm. I tend to be very fickle with my music- I listen to everything under the sun. My latest intern just asked me what the deal was with all the music because she never heard the same type of music in the shop twice. I've been on a bit of an Indie kick lately, so I think it's a tie between "Sweet Disposition" by The Temper Trap or "Help I'm Alive" by Metric.

7. What three adjectives would your references use to describe you?

Passionate. Driven. Meticulous.

8. A blog you read most often?

Cake Wrecks! It makes me chuckle every day.

9. What is one thing you find yourself doing that you said you'd "never" do.

lol. I have become my mother.

10. Tell me about your most favorite picture (what/who/where/when was it taken)?

My most favorite picture in the whole wide world is of my Grandmother. She's the person who's responsible for not only teaching me about baking and given me my love of flowers, but also where I
inherited my never-contented sweet tooth.

Before she had kids, she worked as a recipe tester for both McCall"s and Women's Day magazines. I have this amazing black and white photo of her at work in the test kitchen. The thing is though, it's from the 50's, so the kitchen doesn't look anything like an industrial kitchen. It looks like a perfect little home kitchen. Even better though, she is wearing this perfect little white dress- belted at the waist and then with a big flared skirt- and HIGH HEELS!! It's crazy and wonderful all at the same time; so far removed from what I've ever worked in as a woman in the food industry today. The aprons that I make and wear now are both in homage to her, as well as being the closest I could ever come to working like that!

S: I about died when I read that answer above. It was so sentimental and nostalgic. Loved it!

Annnd last but certainly not least. I always said that if I ever did an interview I would include these questions...and you know what, it's my blog so I'm doing it just because I can. ; )When I first heard these questions, I thought they were brilliant. It feel it gives you so much insight into the person. Silly yes, but so thought provoking. The questionnaire concept was originated by French television personality Bernard Pivot , after the Proust Questionnaire. Then in 1994 James Lipton, used them for his series
"Inside the Actors Studio."

I love that you're asking these questions. I'm a big fan of them, too...though it's so hard to pick just one answer!!

11. What is your favorite word? Conundrum. ....or persnickety......or shenanigan's.
12. What is your least favorite word? I'm sorry. It's hideous. I hate even typing it. Vagina.

S: hahaha, great answer. That's the answer I cringed on. I hate it too. I even thought of pulling the question cause I hate the word so much. I know. Weird. But then I thought, there has to be more of us that feel the same way, right? I remember watching Grey's Anatomy when they referred to it as 'va-jay-jay'. I think most people would agree that sounds better. : ) 

13. What turns you on? Creativity and intelligence.
14. What turns you off? Whining and willful ignorance.
15. What sound or noise do you love? Unabashed, sudden bursts of laughter.
16. What sound or noise do you hate? An animal suffering in any way.
17. What is your favorite curse word? Fuck.

18. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Probably a fashion designer, or anything where I got to travel for a living. If time were also not an issue, I would absolutely be a 1920's lounge singer.

19. What profession would you not like to do? There are so many. I guess tops would be anything where I have to sit at a desk and not create anything all day long.

20. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
"Finally! I need a hand with something...."

Thank you Lindsey for going above and beyond for this interview. 
I loved learning about you and your craft.
I loved being able to showcase you and your whimsical, delightful work.
I loved hearing your story and what makes you, you.

Thank you for taking the time to do this.
Thank you for answering so truthfully and honest.
Thank you for putting your heart and soul into the most beautiful creations I have ever seen.
Oh, and I think I should thank one more person...your Grandma.


Visit 'Elegantly Iced'  here.


To read an interview with Sylvia Weinstock click here.
To see Sylvia's work click here.
I think you'll agree with me, that Lindsey's work is up to par and she does a waaay better interview! : ) 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Meet baby James...

Look at those lips


The rolls were almost as precious to me as his adorable face!

It's as if you drew him right?


I love this angle for some reason. He looks just like a baby doll to me.

Can someone please explain why these rolls look so darling on him...but not on me?
I don't get it.
Unless they do?! ; )

I know this is a tight framed shot but I liked all of the little 'bits' it showed and highlighted.

Dontcha just want to squeeze him?

Seriously...just look at him!
Couldn't be more relaxed...

Thank you Amanda for taking the drive out to Long Island.
James was so wonderful to photograph. What a sweet disposition.
It was wonderful to see you and the kids!


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Have an Eggcellent Day!

Sometimes it's not about a pretty picture but the importance of it.

Today I wasn't a photographer, I was a Mom.

My Easter Sunday Morning...



and more hugs...

I like how carefree she looks and the way the light lights her face.

There is this old fireplace on my folks property were the girls were hanging out.
The photographer in me wanted to move them to some place greener, any place better for a picture. 
But the Mom in me won, and I just snapped the picture
 and enjoyed the moment for all that it was and all that it wasn't.
P E R F E C T!

I kid you not when I tell you that it's impossible to take pictures of your own kids.
It just is.
This is what all of my pictures look like.
I'm embarrassed to even post.
You know you don't have to worry about this. Unless my kids are in your shots! ; )

I'm sure you have noticed the jeans in the shots above and below on my son.
Cause of coarse my son slide on the wet grass and I only brought my daughters jeans.
So not only is he wearing jeans for Easter, he is wearing his sister's.
Notice the fab boot cut above : ) I'm sure I'll hear about it when he's older.

Have a Hoppy Day!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ava and Luke - A 'Little Tot Session'

What's it like having a 1 & 2 years old?

You never have a full conversation.
It's impossible.
You're always in a constant state of motion.
Being pulled left or right.
Bottles, diapers. Feeding. Changing.
Their needs over your needs.

Sometimes perfect parenting isn't about getting it perfect.
It's about balance. A cookie for a smile.
Sacrificing a fun location for a shoot, to keep a child happy.

Beth and I spoke about a portrait session last fall. It has been in the works for quite sometime.
She had her heart set on an outdoor session.

When I got the call a few hours before the session that she thought a melt down would occur if she left the house - we quickly decided to re-arrange our location plans and meet at her home.

Sometimes you need to trust your instincts. Mom's know their kids.
Beth knew without an afternoon nap we would be fighting a losing battle.
Sometimes it just doesn't pay to rock the boat. I actually know exactly what she was up against.
Cause I too have a one and a two year old myself.

So glad you trusted your judgement Beth.
It worked out perfectly.

Even though Ava is not totally looking,
 I think it caught her spirit perfectly!

Just in case you're wondering how hard it was to get a one and a two year old to look at you at the same time. Or heck, how about just being in the same frame?

The next image is what (okay I'm not going to lie), 75% of my pictures with the two of them in it look like!

Little Miss. Ava. 
You are a fashionista!
When you ran to get the coat - I saw Mommy cringe a little. 
We told her we would make it work so we could by pass a possible melt down.

Did you show us or what?!
I love the coat. 
Not to mention the smile and the eye contact you rocked for um a second ; ) 

Guess who just turned 1?

This was a moment I stole.
It was an 'out take' really, but I love it anyway. 
It's real and raw and special.

What is it about little boys when they dress up like little old men?
I freakin' love that!

I think a quiet moment can sometimes be the most beautiful. 
This quote always comes to mind when I see a pensive expression in black and white.

"When you photograph people in color you photograph their clothes.  
But when you photograph people in B&W, you photograph their souls."  ~Ted Grant

Thank you Beth.
Thank you for giving me the time and space to coax the kids a little.
Thank you for booking me based on a referral (thanks Lauren : ).
Thank you for being so excited and enthusiastic about getting to see the outcome.
Thank you for your Facebook wall post before even seeing the images.

Most of all, thank you for letting me into your world at such a busy time in your life.
I know how hard it is to even make a phone call, let alone schedule time in your hectic day for a 'visitor'.

I appreciate that you value a moment that will be a memory - but one now you will be able to re-live again.


So readers, let's hear which image is your favorite?
Leave a comment below and help this family get a complimentary print!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Meet Melinda

Artistic people inspire me.
They have the innate ability to see the world differently.
Through interpretation, color, paint, pencil or thought.
I always wonder when viewing an artists work how that particular image came to be.

How were they inspired? Was it a mood? Was it a person? Was it a fabric? What made them pick up the paint brush and create? I think that is the major allure for me when viewing art.
I want to know what they were thinking.

Meet Melinda.
An artist and an art teacher.
You can see her personal art collection, and read about the community murals
she helped to create and execute to beautify Long Island neighborhoods here!

Thanks Melinda for spicing up the shoot with such a rockin' outfit and style that stretches out for miles.
I love glamorous.
You my darling were the definition of it!


for all of my photographer friends - the images above were taken with the lovely 85mm 1.4


Make-up above was done by Timeless Beauty.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Ooor maybe pastrami!
Wait. I forgot what I was talking about for a second.

Ahhh yes. in mentors, people you admire.
Fabulous people doing fabulous things.

Before my crazy season began this spring I decided to take some time for myself. Not only invest in me, but my clients and my business. I'm a huge believer in self improvement. I think it's vital for my business to better myself, and find a way to diversify my portfolio by surrounding myself with some amazing people in the photography industry. I wanted to be motivated, inspired and pushed to think beyond my own ideas.

I met with four dynamic people.

Jasmine Star. Jerry Ghionis.  Sandy Puc.  Lawrence Chan.

I thought I would fill you in a little on each of them!

Her laugh proceeds her. I think it comes from her toes.
Her ability to make you immediately comfortable by quickly going through a list of her own faults - makes her relatable, okay even a little irresistible. She is witty, clever, animated and an extremely hard worker.
Her experience, persona and writing skills set her apart from the average.
She's different.
I like that.

I loved her presentation, her honesty and business skills. If you have a free moment, do yourself a favor and check out her blog! Her photography style has an editorial/fashion edge but I'm sure more then her photography will catch your eye there.

She was worth the travel to CT by car, and then by Ferry. Even with laryngitis and in the snow!

 What was even more fantastic was meeting up with a group of photographer's there who I have become friends with on the awesome photography forum '{B} School'.

Thanks girls for being so super (as J* would say)...fabulous!

Sandy Puc and Jerry Ghionis toured together and presented a fabulous show in NJ.
While Sandy brings her marketing aspect to the table, Jerry brought his idea of seeing things differently.

 Towards the end of the evening Jerry asked the audience to all stand.
'Feet planted firmly on the floor, twist your body to look behind you as far as you can go.'
We all did.
'Remember what you see", he said.

We all came back to the starting position and he said 'now put your hands in the air'.
We did some light stretches (which felt amazing after sitting for over six hours), then he asked us again to twist around.
'Now tell me what you see.'

I'm sure if you were there you would have seen the room illuminated from the light bulbs over every one's head. It was a moment of clarity for each of us. 
That two minutes of exercise gave us the ability (when we turned around again) to see so much further.

Stop what you're doing and try it yourself.

How interesting to see the results so immediately, right?
Now if only dieting could be the same! ; )  

What that showed me was that if you can push yourself just a little bit further,
you have the ability to see a whole new world. 

And last but certainly not least, I had the pleasure of speaking with Lawrence Chan from Tofurious.
We had a one-on-one Skype consultation.
If you know me, you are thinking, 'she did Skype'?!

No need to look out your window, pigs are not flying.

If you are a photographer, I would highly recommend it. 
Check out his site which focuses on everything from album/blog design templates, and branding and marketing strategy. 

Lawrence has the unique ability to draw the essence out of your work (and essentially you) to form your business identity and establish a fantastic branding/marketing approach. Simple really, but quite powerful. I enjoyed his thought process. Instead of just logic, he was interested in the psychology behind it. The 'why'. What makes you, well you? Not only was it informative, it was a huge moment of clarity for me. I know. I'm full of clarity in this blog post! I'm looking forward to letting you all in on the top secret discussion we had regarding some new ideas!

What have you done lately that helped you step up your game? Have you started any new projects?
Have you picked up that book, started that class, or even figured out a new way to organize that closet?

Learning anything new breathes fresh life into the ordinary day to day.
It stretches the imagination, helps you think bigger thoughts and gives a better perspective.

Have a happy weekend!

Monday, April 11, 2011

5 O'clock Shadow

I recently came across a fun photo challenge on a great site 'I Heart Faces'.
The site posts weekly challenges where you can push yourself to think differently and have fun.

This week's theme was 'shadow'.

An image I had taken from Jill and Cameron's e-session stood out to me when I thought of an photograph that fit.
It had a little bit of a double meaning. Can anyone spot it?
The obvious shadow on the wall and the rugged-ness of his awesome 5 o'clock shadow.

Looking forward to seeing all of the entries.
Check them out here and vote for your fave!
See you there...

you can check out the rest of Jill and Cameron's engagement session here
and check out 'I Heart Faces' on the button below!


Just found out this image took fourth place, out of the top ten.
Yay, thanks for the votes!