Essentials of Food Styling
Food styling over the time has evolved and has become a good career choice. One thing that would never go out of fashion is food. We need it for our livelihood. But you must be wondering, how does a food stylist come into the picture? The big posters, banners or the videos that you see of your favourite restaurants or person, the plating is done by a food stylist who knows in and out of the design aesthetics, market needs and food consistency.
Designers curate multiple things but it is a stylists job to make it photo ready and make everything look cohesive while keeping the essence of each piece intact. Just like a fashion stylist, a food stylist also works. They look after the correct plating of the food, the right way to bring life to the food, making it look scrumptious and appealing enough that just a single look at it and you go for it.
But as a food stylist, during a shoot, you need to be active and have the right gears to give the food or the plate the desired look. And that’s why you need to keep a certain objects handy:
Always keep a tweezer in your styling kit. It is a small tool but helps you conquer big things. Imagine a fully decorated plate and now you have to make small tweaks, pull out an extra piece of cucumber or salad leaf or decorative flowers, tweezers help you to get it done, without messing up the decoration.
2. Scissors and Craft Knives:
Scissors and craft knives are an essential if you are a food stylist. To decorate or chisel out that extra layer but in a creative way is something that can be achieved easily with the help of scissors and craft knives. Also, styling comprises multiple objects and not necessarily edible. To show the fluff of a pancake, stylists at times, put a small piece of cardboard paper in between two pancakes that give the top layer a firm look. To cut it out, you need to have scissors handy.
Brush is needed to glaze, to paint that extra layer of chocolate or just to decorate the plate. Brush is also essential if you just want to just create a line in between the dust of cocoa or sugar powder. Also, drizzling oil is not always the option, you can use it to brush and like an artist to paint your plate.
Blow torch is also needed to make the last minute rust over the food, to give it a smokey appearance. Or the top part of the custard, the caramel appearance. Or at times, blow torch can also become a part of your photo if you are trying to include a human factor in it.
You must be wondering why tampons? We are familiar with how absorbent tampons are. Tampons make up to be one of the best equipment to create a whiff of smoke in the photo. At times, by the moment photos are clicked, food goes cold. But to create a smoky effect, many food stylists dip the tampon in hot water and place it behind the plate, as the smoke comes out, photos become impeccable.
As a food stylist, Glycerin should be in your bag. Glycerin and water mix creates long lasting water droplets that can be clicked easily in the photos. Also, glycerin mix gives a shiny touch to the photo and is good to create glaze as well.
Food stylist, a career that is often overlooked, requires a special skill set and the understanding of photography as well as food. It is not an easy task to become a stylist as individuals need to have knowledge of the colour combination, latest trend, the photography angles and more. At JD Institute of Fashion Technology, Bangalore, there are several styling courses where students are prepared to prove their skills in the commercial line.