I was watching the Food Network Challenge show yesterday and the show was about superstar food stylists competing for a prize. This prompted me to write a post about food stylists and their talents (and why we love to have them on the set for a shoot).
Food Stylists are masters of making food look amazing for the camera, whether for print or video. They tweak, doctor and enhance the food while still making it appear natural and most importantly appetizing. It's very much about the form and the color that comes through on film. As one of the moderators on the show (Alice Hart) mentioned "We eat with our eyes. So if it doesn't look good, it probably doesn't taste good. It's all in the detail - the meticulous, fine, patient work - and that's where the art of food styling lands."
Food photographers, art buyers, creatives, and the client depend very heavily on the food stylist to make the product amazing and keep the ingredients alive and fresh looking. I love working with food stylists because they always have fun nuggets of information and tricks of the trade. Some things I've learned from food stylists I've worked with: Less is more and deliciousness is in its imperfection with drips and crumbs.
The best part is that food stylists understand food, ingredients, and how it comes together with photography.
Still Life With... - a food stylist and food photography blog
Food Styling for Photographers - a step-by-step book with instructions to create mouth-watering photographs
Food Stylist Directory - A comprehensive but not complete list of food stylists in the US, Canada, and Australia.
International Conference on Food Styling and Photography