Have you ever seen a picture of food that makes you craving and hungry? This is food stylist job to make food look fresh, good, tempting and irresistible. What is food stylist? The food stylist’s job is to create 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 prepared – in essence, seducing the viewer.
The food stylist brings to a photograph a creative eye, expertise in food preparation, and artistic interpretation of the black-and-white words of recipe (Lou Manna, NYC, 2005). Food is styled to be photographed for different purposes either for editorial photos such as magazines, and cookbooks or for commercial purposes such as advertising, packaging and labeling. Food stylist must know how to create a creativity on photos to make a photos look real, fresh and can attract audience.
Editorial purposes in food styling can considered as most famous and exciting job because food stylist can use he/she unlimited creativity to make food look good and attractive. Food stylist is not tied to any concept or idea. Examples of editorial are newspapers, magazines, menu books, cookbooks and recipe books. Food stylist can use as many props to make food look beautiful. The quality of photos does not need as good as advertising but it is good enough to be published in cookbooks and magazines. Commercial purposes divided into several types which are advertising, packaging and labeling, and Tv or film purposes.
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Paper ad such as McDonald, Burger King and KFC are examples of advertising in food styling. Usually food stylist will use fake food to make food in advertising more real and tempting. Besides that, uses of props and other supporting objects also help for make advertising look creative. Newspaper advertising, menus, brochures, flyers and billboards are also some example of advertising. For advertising purposes, as a food stylist and photographer must follow the idea and concept of advertising agency because the idea and concept already decided by ad agency.
However, quality of photograph is very important because photos may use in billboards and large ads in the magazine. Packaging is the most difficult, complicated and tedious. When style for packaging, photos must needs match with that product and make it realistic and favorable. A lot of effort and meticulous detail needs in styling food before being photographed. Use a maximum lighting but less special effect and cautions with props because it may overshadow a product. For this type of photography, the food presented must as clear and as detail as possible exactly as a product.
Food stylist has to put effort to ensure that numbers or pieces of the product in the package, color and ingredients if possible should be shown as realistic as possible (Neel, 2009) Tv or film is take a different purposes compare to advertising and packaging. Food stylist will work with a director or prop master on the set. Food stylist must learn and understand particular concept and idea before doing a job because it may not meets with original concept. The most difficult task when doing this job is the need to be ready to prepare as much food ‘actor’ and as identically as possible.
This is all depends on how many ‘takes’ are taken for that particular scene (Noor, 2011) We can conclude that types of photography can be divided into two which is for editorial purposes and commercial purposes. Quality of photos is depending on what types of food styling we want. If for advertising, it must in high quality while for editorial is just good enough for published in cookbooks. Editorial purposes can use our unlimited creativity because it is not tied to any concept or idea. Otherwise in commercial purposes, all the concept and idea have been decided by ad agency or director.
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