What Is a Food Stylist?

The food stylist's job is to create the food and dishes that appear in magazines, cookbooks, advertisements, food packaging, television commercials, and sometimes even feature films. Using behind-the-scenes magic and culinary artistry, a food stylist is responsible for making food look exciting, enticing, and effortlessly preparedin essence, seducing the viewer. The food stylist brings to a photograph a creative eye, expertise in food preparation, and the artistic interpretation of the black-and-white words of a recipe. Having the food stylist involved in the planning, organization, and execution of a food shoot is a big advantage.


To find food stylists in your area, look to various organizations such as the Association of Stylists and Coordinators (http://www.stylistsasc.com). In addition, some food stylists have their own Web sites. You can search online and view their work to see if it meets your needs. Of course, word of mouth and referrals from other photographers, clients, and chefs are often the best sources of information. After you have identified a stylist, you should always meet personally to determine whether you will be comfortable working together. After all, it is a collaborative effort.

So what does it take to be a food stylist? Consider the following:

  • Food stylists must have culinary trainingindeed, some are professional chefs with culinary degreesor a background in home economics.

  • Food stylists must have knowledge of nutrition, cooking times, and techniques.

  • Because photo shoots can run rather long, physical stamina is a must.

  • Food stylists should have a good sense of humor. They should be open-minded. Patience, timing, and problem-solving skills are also imperative.

  • Food stylists must be part magician, able to create "make-believe food" at timesdepending on the type of shoot, real or simulated food may be used. Typically, taste is of little concern. Beautiful appearance is everything.

  • Food stylists must be savvy shoppers and resourceful when it comes to finding unusual ingredients year round.

  • Being able to envision the final photograph is an all-important skill of the food stylist.

  • Food stylists must keep up with industry trendsor better yet, be able to create some of their own. In recent years, the trend has been toward more natural-looking photographs.

Digital Food Photography
Digital Food Photography
ISBN: 1592008208
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 84
Authors: Lou Manna

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