Friday, March 28, 2008

Food Styling Secrets Revealed!

I received an email titled "Fast Food: Advertising vs Reality" showing pictures of ads of various fast food items versus the actual food photographs and got some replies to the stark contrast between the actual and the advertised versions.

I replied to the thread saying what they see on ads may not be food at all due to the tricks used by the food stylist in making the food subject look marvelous before the photographer takes over to shoot the "food."

as you know, the number one tip for aspiring food photographers is to hire a food stylist, the second tip is to hire a food stylist, the third is to hire a food stylist, then prepare the lighting equipment and composition.

my personal knowledge of the shoking truth of food photography and food styling are these:

what i know is that you clean the plates with glass cleaner to remove finger prints and other stains that may show in pictures

for salads, you sprinkle greens with glycerin to create the "wet look" fresh salad

the sesame seeds of the burger bun may have been placed there one by one by the food stylist while the buns are purposely baked for the photo

one of the photographers i talked to said a certain chicken company shot took two days because they couldn't roast the perfect chicken (if only we can order the perfect chicken regularly)

another narrated how the food stylist used a blow torch to "roast" the chicken to golden perfection but the insides remain raw, stuffed with tissue paper (cooked chicken shrinks, so plump chicken on pictures are fake) parts that can't be browned are painted by hand or manipulated in photoshop

for cereals, milk was replaced with white glue diluted so that the cereals won't turn soggy.

for ice cream, colored mashed potato is substituted for the real ice cream (real ice cream will instantly melt under the hot lights of the photographer

in cakes, they use styrofoam to hold the layers with the styrofoam covered by icing

others depends on the creativity of the food stylist

in food shots, the subject should look mouth watering first before the
photographer takes over with his lighting and composition

taking pictures in restaurants is hard simply because you have no food stylist
to make your food mouth watering made worse by available lighting which is always bad (tip: i prefer to be seated near an open or glass window when I want to
take pictures of food for my blog)

food photographers might kill me for divulging these secrets!

food stylist for food = make up artists/shoot directors for fashion/glamor and an overdose of photoshop...

that's "truth" in advertising!

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