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cake international birmingham 2012, part 1: a beautiful shoot with Adam

Anyone who knows me knows I’m not very good at telling stories, so in classic Beth style, I will start this one from the end! Yesterday, I spent a lovely few hours with my friend and fellow wedding guy Adam Johnson of ARJ Photography. I accidentally ended up taking full advantage of both Adam and his children by using some of their stuff for props for the shoot (thank you Felix for your bedsheet and Casper for your little table…I resisted the urge to test out the frog chair…just!) but I hope to make it up to them all soon with some very exciting plans we have in the pipeline for the New Year!

I have been a huge fan of Adam’s work ever since we met at a networking event, I ribbed him about not wanting to be seen eating a pink cupcake and he took it really well. Last week was very tiring and stressful, and I spent a good proportion of the time kicking myself about my Cake International wedding cake design, so Adam was the perfect person to make me feel better about everything, through the medium of photography.

I have a bit of a split personality when it comes to cake competitions. Partly, they terrify me as there is nothing more scary than a complete stranger analyzing your work down to the last minute detail, with no back story, no description, no idea of where you were going with the idea or what you were aiming to achieve. I made the mistake of standing and watching my wedding cake being judged at this year’s NEC Cake International and it was a truly harrowing experience. I am very glad that the judges are thorough, picky and judge all angles of your work as it means that their conclusions really mean something, but watching them poke and stroke and peer at and rotate your work…why didn’t I turn away?? I’m putting it down to morbid curiosity.

The other half of me seems to be completely fearless. I hate voting competitions and to be honest, I hate being judged, but when it comes to opportunities to physically make and present my work, no matter how large or prestigious the event, well, I am there! I did spend most of last weekend muttering “never again” to myself, and anyone else who would listen, because I just didn’t leave myself enough time to sensibly do what I had wanted to and had to go all out to finish it. This meant some very late night working, which is always a risky business. It’s just so difficult to fit in work that is ultimately for yourself, when you are so busy with real weddings and events. My Cake International entry got sidelined…and then sidelined again…and then I had it all to do in just a few short days! Panic!

Having said all this, Cake International comes to Manchester in March 2013 so for the show to be on my doorstep, it’s just too tantalizing to resist. In fact, and I know I will be cursing myself again nearer the time, I am upping the anti and am very excited about it so watch this space! 🙂

As you can imagine, when I found out that the results were out for the wedding cake entries, I was very apprehensive indeed. I’d seen the judges dissect my work, I’d seen their blank expressions (they seriously don’t give anything away!), I’d gone over and over in my head about what I could have done (and definitely did do) wrong and what they wouldn’t like…so it blew me away when I arrived at my stand to find this waiting for me!:

I think I was actually numb for a good while as I like to think I’m fairly honest/scientifically critical with myself so I really didn’t think that I would match my achievement from April’s show! It took me until the next day for it to properly sink in, which is when I asked Adam if he would mind doing our beautiful little shoot 🙂

I have a few Cake International blog posts coming up, where I will show you the inspiration behind my design (illustrated with more of these gorgeous pictures!) and other fabulous entries from the show that caught my eye, but for now I will leave you with a few of my favourite shots that Adam took.

And finally this one, which along with the falling leaves image at the beginning, could well be my joint absolute favourite!

Huge, huge thanks to Adam Johnson for humouring me for the day and taking such beautiful photos. I really am blown away!

Thanks very much for reading. Until next time,

Beth x

Adam is the man behind ARJ Photography www.arj-photo.co.uk

and also, as I found out when his friend and fellow photographer, the very funny Chris Mee, came round during my visit (and who I then made about two hours late for lunch), also one half of the dynamic duo that is Mee and AJ www.meeandaj.com

14/11/2012 - 4:52 pm

Adam Johnson - Congrats on the win. Expert leaf chucking skills. Fun times.

14/11/2012 - 10:02 pm

cakesbybeth - Thanks Adam! Definitely a fun day. Sorry you had to lie on wet grass to get the shots. Hopefully worth it though 🙂 x