Food Styling Tips for Beginners
Food styling is a big part of my work - food can't just be good for you, it has to be delicious, and look irresistible. How you present your food matters - it can be the difference between a throwaway picture you send to your mom vs. getting paid to create recipes that people will crave. Now more than ever, making your food STAND OUT is important. We live in a digital age where we consume through our eyes and screens before it ever hits our stomach. I'm sharing a couple of my top tips for beginners, the main one? Have fun! You'll learn by doing, so practice whenever you can. It's also a fun way to plate up your nightly meal with a little extra care and gratitude.
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Not only that, but I believe that if you make nutritious food look incredible, people may be more excited about getting in their 5-a-day. There's no science behind that, but we can totally work towards making veggies sexy. For dietitians and nutrition professionals with a social media presence, you can impact your clients in meaningful ways by showing them how exciting, and fresh healthy eating can be.
Here are my top tips for beginners when it comes to Food Styling:
Pre-plan your set-up. Have an idea of the bowls and plates you want to use, and get them ready. Think about what makes sense for the dish you're serving. I find that using shallow bowls helps to keep the contents looking their best, and it's easier to style it when it's not an endless pit of broth or oats! I also like to use similar shapes when it comes to food and crockery - from circular pitas on circular plates with circular bowls of toppings, our eyes like repetition!
Props: Use ingredients as props. Showcase what's in your dish using fresh ingredients, and get high quality ingredients that look beautiful. I also love using serving-ware as props, from cute spoons or chopsticks, they can help tell a story about your setup.
Build in layers! Give your photo some depth using plates, bowls, linens, and serving-ware. It will give your photos more dimensions, which are more appealing than just a bowl on a plain background.
Make your colours pop - use complementary colours to make your dish stand out. Orange sweet potatoes with a light blue towel, green salad with red accents - have fun with it!
Check the scene through a lens. Things looks different through the lens of a camera, reframe, readjust, refocus and tweak as you go along!
HAVE FUN. Styling food is a form of art. It's one of my favourite activities to get creative and lost in. The more you practice, the more you'll get comfortable with your own unique style!