I’ve always been interested in the “behind the scenes” inter-workings of just about everything. I love the extra features of a movie, pull-back shots of a set up, and most importantly, Mr. Roger’s segments on visiting factories and places around town — those were my all-time favorites. I don’t think I’m alone. I think everyone loves to see what makes things work, the inspiration behind a product and all the things that make up the end result. This becomes a new interest for me when I think about businesses…what makes them work and the inspiration behind the business/service. So how does this translate to photography? Well…in the world where EVERYthing is visual, I think it’s crucial for businesses to have their own access to quality, amazing photographs for websites, blogging, social media and various print and digital opportunity. Did you know some of these stats? 

  • 66% of updates on social media are visual content.
  • Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without.
  • Ongoing research survey  by Software Advance & Adobe shows 80+% survey respondents pointed to images being “very important” or “important” for their marketing optimization on social.
  • The brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than it does text.

(referenced here)

The reality is business owners need to have websites, be on social media and it’s not enough anymore to have a small number of strong images of your final product. People (aka your clients/followers) want engagement and just like me, they want to know the behind the scenes, the thought process and the reason why what you do is unique/important. What makes your company/organization/product unique and different and how do you communicate that to your fans?

I’ve done a few shoots that helped me dream up this idea but I was able to follow through completely on the feature below. Elisa and I worked together to showcase her cake business, Decadent Cakes of Richmond. I was thrilled to feature her impeccable craftsmanship and show what makes her unique in the land of sugar, eggs and fondant. So enjoy her story below…

INTRODUCING…Decadent Cakes of Richmond

Although the start of this local cake shop started as a hobby, it’s become much larger than that. Owner, Elisa, is an artistic baker that thinks in terms of how sugar, flour and fondant translates into a theme, a feeling and even a sculpture.

I love that our session started with Elisa taking notes from a potential client. It shows Elisa’s customer service and the importance of that relationship and the “behind the scenes” work that shows that having a cake business is more than just baking cakes.

CDP_4319_CarmenDohertyPhotography_LifestylePhotographyCDP_4318_CarmenDohertyPhotography_LifestylePhotography CDP_4313_CarmenDohertyPhotography_LifestylePhotography

Elisa offers cake tastings with potential brides and grooms. What a great opportunity to capture this experience and show prospects the warm, welcoming, and highly personalized experience of working with Elisa. (Remember, these images will become part of Elisa’s own photography library so she can set the stage and show prospects what to expect!)

CDP_5378_CarmenDohertyPhotography_LifestylePhotography CDP_5372_CarmenDohertyPhotography_LifestylePhotography

Now, we’re on to the fun stuff! CDP_4127_CarmenDohertyPhotography_LifestylePhotography

But not without some love from her littlest man. I truly believe that one of the largest differentiators in small businesses is the personality of the owner/person who runs the business. I love showing off her little guy running around the kitchen as she’s baking. I think sometimes we forget that even when a hobby becomes a business, the goal is to be profitable so she can help support her family. Showing that aspect of her business is important to her fans and clients.

CDP_4351_CarmenDohertyPhotography_LifestylePhotography CDP_4141_CarmenDohertyPhotography_LifestylePhotography




This may be one of my favorite images. This was the first time I saw fondant being rolled out. That stuff is tough and takes a lot of work. I love how the image below shows the stress of her hands on the fondant. It’s a wonderful example of the hard work she’s putting into her quality product!


And Elisa is working on her heirloom family table with so much character…it’s a prime opportunity to use these images to talk about her childhood experiences and how that impacted her baking business and passion.


File965_CarmenDohertyPhotography_LifestylePhotography CDP_4447_CarmenDohertyPhotography_LifestylePhotography

The attention to detail is absolutely flawless. I love the intimacy and concentration in these images.




More kisses from the little guy…seriously, love this image!



The final product!! Love this cake. Part of the goal behind these images is to show the quality and the importance of the work/service that one offers to create value. Can anyone not look at this series of images and question the value of not just making a cake but actually running a cake business? I don’t believe the one final image gives you this feeling. I think it’s the series of images that creates the sense of value, effort and uniqueness that makes Decadent Cakes of Richmond who it is!


Love this last image. File1196_CarmenDohertyPhotography_LifestylePhotography

It was an absolute pleasure to be able to document the quality of work from Decadent Cakes of Richmond. Now, Elisa has a library of images to share with her followers, fans and prospects about the experience of working with her and the cake-making process. I look forward to seeing how this impacts her marketing and her business.

If you and/or someone you know has a small to medium sized business and is interested in their own personal stock photography library of images, please let me know. I’d love to learn about the business and help tell a story that will engage clients and followers.

c o m m e n t s