How to select the best cake stand for food photography.
There're tons of cake stands out there. It can be overwhelming to select the perfect one. Although you may think about purchasing a cake stand the size of your cake offerings, like a 6", 8", or 9", there is more to consider. Such as the cake size you plan to photograph, style, weight, base quality, and material. All of these will impact your prop-buying selection.
To help you select the best one, I have gathered some essential questions you should ask yourself to make it easier.
1. What size cake stand should I buy?
The most important factor is knowing the cake size you plan to photograph and your cake style. Generally, you want to select a cake stand that's 1" - 2" wider than your cake. If your cake has decorations along the bottom edge, such as flowers, fondant pieces, bows, etc., you need to allow more space. They will hang off the cake stand if the extra decorations are not considered.
For example, bake a 6" cake. After adding buttercream and decorations, you may end up with a 7" 8" or bigger, depending on the cake. Therefore, you will need a 9" or 10" stand for an excellent photograph. If the decor is simple, you will require something smaller.
2. How much does my cake weigh?
Next, you want to consider how much your cake weighs. Is it a 2-layer cake, 3-layers, or a double barrel cake? Are you making a 1 tier or multiple-tier cake? The more cake layers or tiers you add, the heavier the cake. Therefore, not all cake stands will withstand the weight of your cake.
By all means, I am not saying you need to weigh each cake you bake, but you need to understand your style and the approximate weight of your cakes. This will help determine the best cake stand for you.
3. What base and material should I select?
Finally, you want to know the base quality and material of the cake stand. There is an overwhelming amount of cake stands, some made of wood, ceramic, metal, acrylic, or glass.
Now that you know the size of your cake and the weight. You will select the base quality and material that will withstand your cake. You will encounter lightweight materials and good commercial-grade quality. Some may have a base made of one material and the top plate made of a different material. Make sure to inspect both parts of the stand. You don't want your cake to tip over once it's placed on the stand. That would be a recipe for disaster. Consider reading the manufacturer's weight limit, if available.
Suppose you are unsure of the cake stand's capacity. I suggest you test the cake stand by adding books until you reach the approximate cake weight. Let it sit for a while, and wiggle the stand a bit to ensure it holds up to the weight.
With these critical factors in mind, selecting the best cake stand for your food photography needs will significantly impact your photography journey. It takes time to figure out, but in the end, it will save you time and money. I hope these questions have helped you better understand and have made you confident about the type of cake stand to purchase.
If you are ready to kickstart your prop-buying collection with purpose, check out The Perfection of Props guide.