Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Food Fanatics Tips

Over the weekend I attended a 2-day workshop for food stylists. If you haven't read about the program check out their website.

I took the class to learn some "tricks of the trade" to help make my photographs look better. We learned alot in only two days. Alot of what I learned I probably will never put into practice on Fer Food but there are a few things I which did take note. it was an eye-openning experience to have a behind the scenes look into the everyday life of a food stylist. Denise Vivaldo and Cindie Flannigan had many stories to share!

Anyway, here are a few things I want to mention:

1. Evian water spray is perfect for spraying on salads to make it look fresh for a photo.
2. Most of the food that stylists use for photo shoots isn't completely cooked. We made chickens that looked completely cooked by placing them in the oven for 10 minutes and then adding diluted food coloring in a spray, adding salt & pepper or additional herbs. The longer the chicken laid out the better the color of them became. We made hamburgers in the same fashion.
3. Fake ice cream that is used for photo shoots feels like silly putty. I know it is good to use for camera shoots as far as time limits are concerned but I couldn't separate how much better I like shooting the real thing. To make a nice scoop of the fake ice cream: the scoop is heated and pressed hard into the mixture. The perfect scoops of ice cream like that of a haagen dazs ad are made in pieces to achieve the look. First the stylist creates the "apron" or the pretty outmost circle. Then the actual scoop is made and placed inside the apron. They may do 100's to find and create the perfect scoop.
4. I think the most difficult assignment was the piece of pie. Just the simple task of cutting into the pie and pulling out a good looking piece with the tip and crust in good form is so hard. Food stylists use vasoline to patch the flakes of the crust. We were working on a cherry piece of pie. We were given a separate dish of cherry pie filling to adjust the filling or fruit as needed to achieve perfection. The pies we were working with were store bought so it was mentioned that it is important to buy different brands of the cherry pie filling as you don't know which one will match the existing pie filling. So-after a few manuvers with a tweezer I made mine look the best I could.
5. Fake ice cubes: What is the difference between a $8.00 ice cube and a $200.00 ice cube? The more expensive cube is clearer and heavier. I was amazed how good the fake cubes look.


Those were a few highlights. I also got to meet Matt from Matt Bites and L from Cook and Eat. How fun to meet fellow food bloggers who I read on a weekly basis!

-Fer

5 Comments:

Anonymous MeltingWok said...

Hey Fer :) Thanks for dropping by my blog, you commented on my chicken lollipop post a while back. Anyway, I finally get around to urs :) I love these tips you gave, kinda like crystals and diamonds on the last one hehe...now I know why my pictures turn out bad. Cheers !:)

1:24 AM  
Anonymous matt armendariz said...

It was so nice meeting you! I'm sorry it was so damn quick and I would have loved to have chatted and visited with you more :( Maybe I need to organize a so cal food blogger meet up :)

4:57 AM  
Blogger Susan said...

Hah! Thanks for revealing some of these styling tricks! Taking good photos without lots of props and lighting can be so challenging, and sometimes certain dishes that you think will be easy to shoot turn out to be the hardest!

2:20 PM  
Blogger Culinarily Curious said...

What an interesting class. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

8:36 PM  
Blogger Fer said...

Hi Melting Wok-
Glad to have you! I enjoyed the class and was happy to pass some of the tips on!

Hi Matt-
It was nice to meet you too! I think a so cal food blogger meet up would be great!

Susan-
Lighting can be challenging. It is so true what you said about sometimes what you think will be easy ends up being the most challenging. We love photography at Fer Food so much. We are always looking for new ways to capture the moment or new ways of lighting. I should maybe start a few posts on what we have found helpful in the way we light our photos? Let me know if that would be of interest.

Thanks for your comment everyone!

-Fer

7:46 PM  

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