Food photography styling has come a long way since its birth in the 1950s. When 4-color food photos first started to replace culinary illustrations, the emphasis was on perfection. Everything matched, every cherry in the Jell-O mold perfectly placed, and props were quite formal, showcasing the recipe or food product at its “best”.
Today we strive for recipes that are approachable, look do-able, and most importantly have that I-want-to-eat-that-NOW appeal. Not only are crumbs left in plain sight, they are often strategically placed. But while the goal is for a more relaxed portrayal, creating a compelling image is just as hard. The challenge is how to make a recipe tantalizing without the use of all five senses. Photography must rely on only one – VISUAL.
Today, anyone can add a bit of style to an image, and must if there is any chance to make that photo go VIRAL! When the stylist is also the photographer, there are no limitations on how to present the food.
A professional food stylist can be limited by decisions (camera angle, lighting, central focus, and more) made by the team, including the client, art director, and photographer. Still, it’s important to remember that photography decisions are inextricably linked to food styling needs. So here are some tricks of the trade for food styling and photo shoot tips to help you get those mouth-watering photos.
Some products are worth shooting before eating
I took these images for myself. Some products are worth shooting before eating them.