In the world of photography, working with a stylist is common. However, the idea of hiring a food stylist might seem a little much at first. There are plenty of reasons, though, to consider food styling if you're creating menus, brochures, advertisements, or other food-related products. You may want to have your food join the style revolution for these four reasons.
The most obvious reason to consult with a food stylist is to ensure all of your products or those of your clients will look appealing. Food doesn't hold up well under many conditions. Bread tends to flatten quickly after minimal handling, for example. A food stylist knows how to handle the materials to minimize the loss of volume and gloss that often makes things look more appealing. A stylist can also frequently restore some of the appeal if a bit of food doesn't have enough sheen or color.
Whenever you photograph any type of food, composition matters. If you think about the burger photography of chain fast food restaurants, for example, there is usually a clear composition. Most companies stack the burger a certain way to show off the sesame seeds on the bun and the crisp texture of the lettuce. The tomato and the burger always look juicy, too. If there is ketchup and mustard in the image, it has the right amount of ooze to be delectable rather than goopy.
These are all compositional elements. A food photo is fundamentally a still-life image. Just as a Renaissance painter would think about the placement of the fruit on a table, a modern food stylist will care about the composition of a picture that's going in a magazine or menu.
Getting the light right for a photograph might not seem challenging, especially if you've done lots of professional shooting. However, food can be a strange subject. Foremost, it's generally small. Likewise, food product photography tends to have a very formal lighting style to maximize the appeal of the product. Just as a makeup artist has to think about what a human model's best light will be, a food stylist has to think the same way about a salad.
Adding color to food photography is critical in most cases. People want the food to look vibrant and fresh. If you're looking at a bowl of peas, for example, you want it to look green. Food styling can address color needs in the photos. This ultimately reduces the need for post-production work, and then generally makes the images look more credible.
For more information, reach out to a food stylist near you.