Philadelphia Food Photographer
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Stories

My thoughts put into words and photographs.  Come travel and dine with me!

Food Styling

I wrote this post and forgot to save.  Guess what, Firefox was like.. NOPE!

I was reading a post on Petapixel about food styling.  Maybe from the 90s to early 2000s.  In the photo series are images that described with what stylists used to "enhance" the food for the photographs, e.g., items like motor oil, shaving cream. 

Bagels and cream cheese from Philly Style Bagels.  Coffee from ReAnimator Coffee.  No other added things to style this.

Bagels and cream cheese from Philly Style Bagels.  Coffee from ReAnimator Coffee.  No other added things to style this.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, food stylists did use motor oil to make meat more brown, shaving cream to make cake icing, mashed potatoes and food coloring to make ice cream.  I am sure that you can google the rest to find out yourself on what food stylists used to "enhance" the food.  Now I can understand why, preparing to photograph the food back then took much longer and with food photography, time really is of the essence.  But today? 

First, let me put this out there, all my food photographs are all natural.  You can eat the food and drink the drinks after I photograph them.  Well my fingers do get in there.. For myself, it is prepare the scene first then plate the food. 

Food magazines have gone completely all natural since 2004(?) for their food photographs.  Bon Appetit had a story on their staff photograph, Alex Lau.  It's a fun read.  But helps show what I am writing about.  Food publications food photographs are all natural.  Commercial?  That I am not so sure, but I am hoping that it is all natural too. 

So I hope this helps elaborate how food used to be stylized and how I work with making food photographs.