5 things you didn’t know about food styling

There is a LOT more involved in food styling than just beautifully plated food. The art of styling food involves a lot of time and trickery.

  1. You wouldn’t be able to eat a lot of the food you see in ads.
    A lot of the time, the food you see on magazine pages or on TV is undercooked, as this is generally more visually appealing. Meat joints and burgers are usually raw on the inside and perfectly cooked on the outside.
  2. The steam you rising from food on screen actually comes from somewhere else.
    With limited timing on shoots, it is often hard to keep food warm for long enough to get the right photograph or shot. The effect of a piping hot meal is often created with a clothes steamer. However this is sometimes not appropriate as it can be too warm and, for example, would melt butter or cheese. Another method is to to soak and microwave a tampon or cotton ball, which is the placed in the middle of the food and releases steam slowly to give the impression that the food is still hot.
  3. You might get a mouthful of something other than food if you took a bite of a styled sandwich.
    The traditional lunch item is not as simple as you would think to style for a photograph. Sandwiches are rarely as stuffed full of ingredients as they appear in advertisements. Food stylists often insert cardboard between layers of filling to plump them out and toothpicks to hold them in place.
  4. You might be let down by the size of your pasta portion.
    Pasta naturally sits low and flat in bowl. For this reason, food stylists will place a polystyrene dome in the bowl then layer the pasta over it.
  5. Grabbing a slice of pizza is the opposite of fast food.
    Stringy cheese pizza shots are notoriously difficult get. The food stylist will only have a few seconds create this photo while the cheese is still hot enough from the oven. The rest of the pizza may also be nailed down to the table to make sure that it stays still while the slice is lifted.

Visit our website to see booking details for all our food stylists who are completely clued up on all the tricks of the trade.

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