We are SO EXCITED to share our interview with Rosie of Sweetapolita today! She has definitely taken the party world by storm with her fancy cakes and sweet confections. Rosie is as sweet as can be, and we are thrilled to share more about this fabulous sweets designer in the interview below! Sit back and enjoy!
Q. Where did you first develop your super sweet love of Cake?
A. Well, I have a feeling that this love and appreciation I have for cake has been with me from the dayI was born, but perhaps it really kicked in when I was a young teenager and began working my first jobin a high-end German bakery/cafe in my hometown of Kitchener, Ontario. I quickly realized how much the entire world of cake really fascinates me. My palette was also spoiled from that point forward, being surrounded with such authentic cakes and baked goods! I used to sneak upstairs where the pastrychefs were creating the European tortes, cakes, and more, just so I could watch them work and take in the divine smell in the air. After that point, I continued baking at home and, of course, indulging inthose fancy treats from time to time. Years later, my love for baking and caking grew, and I discovered a whole new world of decorated cakes, when I came across Elisa Strauss’ The Confetti Cakes Cookbook. I bought it, read it from cover-to-cover on the ride home, and realized nothing excites me the way cakes do; I almost immediately signed up for courses at the highly regarded Bonnie Gordon College of Confectionary Arts in Toronto. It was then that it all came together, and my dreams were going to become a reality.
Q. It’s no doubt your photography blows us away! Do you shoot your own images? Any tips for bakers+ design lovers out there with their pictures?
A. First of all, thank you so much for the amazing compliment! Yes, I do shoot all of my own images,and the truth is I am quite new at photography, food photography in particular. I really am passionate about it, which is what I’ll attribute any accelerated learning to—that and tireless practice. I really love the photography aspect of the blog as much as the baking, truly. As for photography tips for bakers and designers, I would love to share a few quick tips and basics that really caused the biggest improvements for my own photos. I believe that you don’t need a fancy camera, but that you just need to follow a few simple rules:
1. Always turn off the camera’s built-in flash. If you depend on natural light, your photos will instantly appear so much more professional, natural, and polished.
2. Place food or object on a table a few feet from a natural light source with a nice diffused light (not direct sunlight), and place a white board or foil board about the same size as your object on the otherside, to bounce the light onto your subject. I find the best times to shoot are early morning and late afternoon. The light is so warm and ambient, which can make for glorious photos.
3. Edit your photos. Just a few quick clicks of a photo editing program (it doesn’t need to be fancy—I use Photoshop Elements 8.0), and you can really spruce them up, and most images can use a boost (or two!). Trust me when I say that I could not live without this step!
4. Play around with composition. The biggest mistake I used to make was styling a photo a certainway, thinking it was all great, and shooting dozens of images with the same configuration. What a
disappointment to sit down afterwards to edit photos and realize that you aren’t happy with one particular aspect of the composition that is in every shot! It’s best to try several different angles, props,etc. Even something like a fork facing an awkward direction can be distracting and essentially ruin an otherwise great image. It seems obvious, but sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in making sure all of the other technical elements of the photo are working, and overlook composition. Really take notice to how the image is coming together through the lens, and then take a moment to preview them on yourcamera.
5. Start with simple backdrops and set ups. I tend to love photos in which less proves to be more .All white or neutral backgrounds are a safe bet and seem to highlight the subject in a simple way, particularly if the subject is colourful or has a lot going on.
I hope these photography tips help in some way!
Q. What has your favourite sweet project that you have baked so far?
A. You know, that’s a really great question. From a taste and decadence standpoint, the cake I literally could not stop eating (no matter how hard I tried, and I did try), was the Campfire Delight cake I bloggedabout recently. It’s a 6-layer Chocolate Malted & Toasted Marshmallow Cake covered in a fluffy, satiny, Belgian chocolate frosting. It was like hitting the cake jackpot! As for my favourite decorated project, Iwould definitely say the two glitter & confetti-themed cakes I created for the Fall/Winter 2011 issue of Wedding Bells Magazine. The colour-story and concept of the shoot was so fun, and I really connected with the project. I was so pleased with the way the cakes turned out, and I can’t wait to share (the issue hits stands in July.)!
Q. What inspires your designs of the cakes + confections? Do you have a favorite magazine or websiteyou browse for ideas?
A. The truth is, some days I am overwhelmed with inspiration—literally! Since I tend to be most inspiredby other facets of design, aside from cakes and confections, I really enjoy design blogs and inspirational cataloguing sites such as Pinterest. Well, “enjoy” may be a slight understatement—I am currently addicted to Pinterest! I find I’m most inspired by fashion colour-palettes, paper crafts, art, and for kids’ confections, I even love using kids’ clothing as inspiration. It’s amazing how an entire cake can come tobe from something as small as a cute trinket or beautiful piece of jewelry.
Q. What is your favourite baking “accessory” to use (glitter, coloring, pretty cupcake liners, etc)?
A. I would say that edible glitter and 24 karat gold paint definitely hold a special place in my baking heart. I joke on the blog sometimes that both of these things can be addicting, but they really are. I suppose it’s because they add so much visual interest, even with the littlest bit, and I sure do love sparkle!
Q. Your two girls are absolutely gorgeous! Do they get to taste test the treats? How do you find thetime to create the gorgeous photo shoots while being a Mom? Do they love to help out?
A. Thank you so much, Courtney! You know, I will admit that I do often let them taste test the treats, but really, it’s just the littlest one, Neve, who would eat them all, if she could. Reese, our 4-year-old, lovesto “lick the spoon,” but really, she’s not much of a cake eater—thank goodness. They both, though,love to bake with me, which means a lot to all of us. I’m really fortunate that my work is somethingthat just happens to be a wonderful pastime for mommies and children. As for the photo shoots, well,I won’t lie—it’s really tricky with the girls at home. Reese is in school a few days a week, so I tend to do photo shoots during that time, but Neve sure makes me work for it! On one hand (quite possibly the perfectionist one), I worry that I don’t always have enough quiet time, during the proper daylight hours,to create the photo shoots that I want to, or that I envision. On the other hand, I make sure to not wishaway these years when the girls are small, because I know someday I would regret that. Because I tend to give my projects my entire heart & soul, I do have to make a conscious effort to find the mommy-work balance. It can be really challenging, but I just keep telling myself that if I can pull this all off now,with minimal time to myself, imagine what I will be able to achieve when I have the days to work!