WAKE UP ALL THE SENSES WHEN SHOOTING YOUR FOOD
When is comes to creating jaw-dropping, gorgeous images , FOOD STYLING is CRUCIAL! It’s an art to make food look attractive in front of the camera. It’s what makes people drool when they look at your food images.
But it’s not only about making food look pretty. It’s also about visualizing the taste, waking up the senses, your taste buds including! Your task is to ignite your viewers imagination and create an impulse to act upon what they are viewing.
When you walk into a bakery, all of your senses are bombarded at once, right? Your eyes can see all the colors, textures and shapes of baked goods, you can smell freshly baked bread, hear the crust crunch and feel the texture of it while you hold a sandwich in your hand.
Food photography should create the same experience – the hard part is, you have to do it all through your viewer’s eyes. So, let’s talk about the food styling details that create the sense of vitality, energy and visual excitement.
The truth is, food styling takes a lot of thought, time and EFFORT! When I say effort I mean – taking the time to plan how you are going to approach the dish preparation and putting it all together. It also means, going the extra mile to source the best ‘photo-worthy’ ingredients. And taking all of the time needed to properly prepare the dish.
Getting the freshest ingredients possible is of course non-negotiable – but I am sure you already know that. It happened on several occasions that together with a client we swapped the ingredients in the dish for something else (also delicious) rather than use a not-so-good-looking produce item that was available. We just knew it wouldn’t look attractive in the image and it that case the photograph wouldn’t encourage anyone to cook the dish.
When I say fresh I also mean, your job is to keep food ‘alive’ when photographing it. There is always a lot happening on set, so make sure that you always look back at the food to check if it still looks tiptoe, before capturing your final shot.
Always style the subject dish for the angle you are shooting to show off different components. Some dishes might work great from several angles but you need to trust your visual instincts here. Some dishes, sadly, won’t. When styling a dish when a client asks me to do two different angles of the same dish, I style the dish twice – one for overhead and a different one for 3/4 angle.
And just last little thought, my friends! Try to keep your photo styling as natural as possible otherwise your dish will look forced. Imperfections are perfect. Embrace them!