Food Styling Tricks

April 1, 2010 · 1 comment

in Food,Recipes,Tutorials

I love photographing and styling food, but getting it looking perfect is an art form. Here are a few of the tricks I’ve incorporated over the years…

Meat shrivels up when cooked, so when photographing meat, it’s important that it’s only partially cooked. Use gravy, paint or soy sauce to give it colour, and a blow torch to crisp the edges. A coating of oil helps create a succulent juicy look.

Hairspray can be used to revive dried cakes and breads.

Glycerin diluted with water can be sprayed onto foods with a spritzer, this works wonders as the droplets last much longer under the the heat of studio lights, and creates a “just picked dew covered” appearance. Glycerin can be applied to almost any food for a juicy glistening appearance.

Baby powder deodorant sprayed on grapes creates a realistic looking frosting.

If you don’t want the tomato sauce to run everywhere, thicken it up with tomato paste and apply with a syringe.

Fake ice cubes are available in various shapes and sizes, and are fabulous for shooting beverages.

Mashed potatoes can be used to prop up soft foods such as pasta to give height and stability.

Make you own melt-proof ice cream by mixing solid shortening, corn syrup and powdered sugar.

Using thick cream (or even wood glue) instead of milk for cereal photos, as this prevents the flakes from becoming too soggy too quickly.

Create fake steam by microwaving cotton wool balls soaked in water.

Wooden blocks in different shapes and sizes are great for propping up anything from dishes and props, and even for propping up the food itself.

Do you have any tips and techniques for food styling? Please post comments to share your ideas!


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Arthur Peuckert May 15, 2015 at 1:08 pm

Hi Rikki

Great site!

Thanks so much for your wonderful advice. I am a photographer in Windhoek, Namibia & I need to do a whisky shoot for a client. I would be very grateful if you could perhaps let me know of a acrylic/glass ice cube supplier in SA.

Thanking you in advance.

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