Commercial Food Photography
Photographing food for commercial use is a hard earned skill. Food stylists, art directors and commercial photographers often have to rely on their experience and creativity to capture the perfect shot. In the past, food stylists had to manipulate food and props to overcome the heat produced by a studio’s light set and to keep the food from melting or looking dull. Luckily, lighting has improved, but there are still many tips and tricks that commercial crews use to keep products looking fresh.
A Great Shot Starts at the Store
When it comes to food, to get the perfect shot, you have to find perfect produce. When shopping for food that will be in a commercial photograph you have to find the best looking food that you can find. Everyone on our team has their own favorite store and tips for finding the best products. Shopping for the perfectly photographic food is tedious and time consuming. For one shot, the best apples were found after going through the produce manager’s back-end inventory.
Food Stylists are Chefs and Magicians
Not only does a food stylist have to be one great cook, they also have to have a visual eye and have a few tricks up their sleeves. Here are a few tricks stylists and commercial photographers use to keep food looking fresh and appetising for photography:
- Milk can be replaced by glue or hair products to keep cereal from getting soggy
- Browning agents are used to make meat and poultry look fully cooked while maintaining moisture
- Water and oil are sprayed onto food to make food look moist and fresh
- Mashed potatoes, shortening or icing may be used to replace ice cream or whipped cream
- We love acrylic fake ice because it won’t melt and it glistens just like the real thing
Food Photography DIY
Over the years, food photography trends have changed just as much as the average American’s diet. Now a days, quick photos taken on an iPhone can capture the essence of a beautiful meal and can be shared around the world. We think that’s a good thing. Although we work in commercial photography and design, we are all into self-published food photos, mostly because we love food, but also we love the care and positive energy that goes into creating a meal or a dessert for loved ones and friends.
Give Thanks and Make Art
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we thought you might enjoy a few tips on how to take your own mouthwatering photographs to share with friends and family.
- Use natural light whenever possible
- Consider composition
- Style your photo and clear the clutter
- Use colorful and interesting accessories
- Add garnish
For more tips to photograph your creations, check out A Beginner’s Guide to Food Photography by Serious Eats.
We hope you enjoy the tips and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!