Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Is the Styling of Food Necessary?

The need for food styling is a question that is often raised. The photographing or filming of food is very involved, and many techniques are employed to stabilize, sustain, and, if necessary, enhance the food to be photographed. Most important is that the food look as fresh and appetizing as possible until the image is captured, but this process can take hours. During that time, the food needs to be kept "alive," or replaced as often as needed, sometimes very often. It should be remembered that foods are like ‘children’ it ‘misbehave’ especially in-front a camera. For example, it is difficult to take a photograph of a barbecue grill with flames lapping up through an arrangement of a piece of king prawn, because the flames will char the food within minutes. The food might need to be replaced a several times and look identical each time so as not to affect the lighting or camera framing. Or to shoot a commercial that features a slice of pizza with a piece being bitten off, twenty takes with twenty perfect slices might be needed before the director gets the shot in which the dough or pastry looks identical enough. Even a bowlful of salad demands a unique knowledge and set of skills to keep it looking crisp and moist. This knowledge and these skills are essential to successful food styling, and ensure that the process of capturing the needed image on film is efficient and cost-effective.

While there is a trend toward a more documentary style of photographing food that seem to be turn away from the arts of food styling , however this seemingly straightforward approach might need to involve many of the same considerations that go into typical food photography such as props, lighting, camera angle. Although food photographed straight out of the kitchen might have a natural honesty about it, the end result is not always attractive. Most consumers, and more importantly the clients, still expect to see images of appealing food.

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