Have you ever thought about doing more to make a creative cake-cutting photo? As a photographer doing weddings week after week, it is all too easy to fall into the habit of always doing certain wedding photos in certain ways. Yet this is a surefire way to book yourself a seat on the train to Boresville. You will find yourself just going through the motions and that is never good in a creative career.
So what can you do to keep things interesting for yourself and for your couples? One way is to stop thinking of yourself as a wedding photographer. Let’s break free from the shackles of “wedding photographer mode.” It’s within this mode that we sometimes churn out near-identical images across various weddings, inadvertently locking ourselves in a monotonous cycle. To escape this rut, dare yourself to embrace the boundless realm of creativity. Toss aside preconceived notions, and see more elements of a wedding as creative opportunities.
How To Produce A Creative Cake-Cutting Photo
There is a great photo from Ringo Starr’s wedding day with a group of people including some kids, the bride and groom, plus two of the other Beatles all positioned behind the wedding cake. It’s a brilliant example of a photo at a wedding rather than a ‘wedding photo’. None of the subjects are even looking at or interacting with the cake.
This creative cake-cutting photo from the brilliant Joanna Bongard has a similar composition. It is wonderful to see all the guest interactions, they bring an energetic dynamic to the frame. The curtain and the lights do give it a nostalgic setting, it reminds me of the John Hughes film Sixteen Candles starring a young Molly Ringwald which is reinforced by the bride’s beautiful hair colour.
However, what catapults this image to the realm of brilliance is the subtlety of detail. While the bride’s main focus is her determination to slice into the cake, her groom stands by, a pillar of tranquil focus on her. This nuanced connection takes the photo from great to truly exceptional, an embodiment of emotions within a single frame.
What Joanna said…
“I’ve been trying to challenge myself recently to make some of the more standard shots a bit more interesting. The obligatory cake-cutting shot is normally something that quickly happens before moving on to the first dance but I’m trying to make it into a bit more of an event for the couple (and get some great photos at the same time!)
I’ve started using the cake-cutting as another opportunity to get a really fun group shot of all the guests together in a much less formal setting than the bunch of group shots you do earlier in the day. So I get as many guests as I can fit in the space to stand behind the couple and the cake and for them to do a massive countdown together. This one worked particularly well because the venue had a bit of an old-school pink curtain behind everyone which gives it a bit of an 80’s prom vibe.”
The Tech Talk
“This one has a pretty standard setup of just one on-camera flash bounced off of the ceiling. Easy!”