The Magic of Food Styling

MPlus BLog Graphics (3)

You know the old saying you hear a million times as a kid, “don’t play with your food!” Well, imagine a world where playing with food is not only allowed but encouraged! Welcome to the marvelous realm of food styling! Where plating and crafting a piece of art with ingredients set on the perfect table scape with the sole purpose to make the viewers mouth water. Well, Mom and Dad, that is just another day in the office- well, the Marketing Plus office, to be precise!

So, what is the secret sauce behind food styling and what goes into it? The first step in the process is the recipe. At Marketing Plus we develop custom recipes for our clients with the latest food trends, flavors, and health or dietary needs in mind. Recipes range from quick and easy dinners perfect for a busy family during the week to holiday cocktails and appetizers to everything in between. Once the recipes are established, we start the preparation process to create show-stopping images which will appeal to the client’s target demographic.

Preparing for a photoshoot where food styling is involved requires several hours of planning. Each recipe needs to have a look, everything from the plate and cutlery down to the background décor is thoughtfully selected to complete the final presentation. Napkins, surface colors, textures and patterns are all critiqued to ensure the star of the food shot shines. Next, the ingredients – shopping for the groceries used in a photoshoot requires a careful eye. Bright produce, fragrant herbs, and fresh proteins are of the utmost importance when selecting items.

Shoot day means the clock starts ticking and the camera must be ready to roll!  We spring into action cooking up a storm and this is where the magic happens. All recipes are prepared onsite just steps from the photographer. Once the food hits the plate there is only minutes before it starts to wilt, fall, or look dry under the camera lights. Of course, we have our tricks to help counter these issues as much as possible, we don’t paint the roses, we paint the food – sort of. When we need a little extra shine the paint brushes do come out but are typically used to apply a little oil here and there. Each frame is inspected for lighting, focus, balance, and of course quality of the product. The slightest adjustment can make all the difference from a good shot to stunning.

So, are the rumors true? Do they really use mashed potatoes for ice-cream? Well, I can’t speak for all, but I can let you in on a few of our secrets:

  • Yes, we have used dry ice to super freeze frozen yogurt
  • Yes, we have used kitchen bouquet and a blow torch on a turkey (the inside was completely raw)
  • Yes, we have used toothpicks to hold food in place
  • Yes, we have used paint brushes to add the perfect about of spice, oil or topping
  • Yes, we have used plastic ice cubes

If you’re looking to spice up your recipe collection with mouthwatering images or add a new fresh, enticing twist on an existing recipe, give us a call! We would be more than happy to whip up the perfect masterpiece for you!