Many people I meet have never even heard of a Food Stylist, let alone know what they do! Food styling is a relatively niche market compared to other food industry jobs.
How does one define what a food stylist does? I believe a great food stylist uses food to help define and produce a photograph, advertisement or show reel that sells a dream, brand, product or lifestyle. In the same way an artist uses paint, a food stylist uses food. In short, a Food Stylist styles everything and anything to do with food.
A food stylist’s job is diverse in its nature; some examples include production companies who use food stylists on TV and Film sets; food companies use food stylists for packaging or advertising; print magazines use food stylists to create a story with recipes and of course publishers use food stylists for cookbooks
However food styling is not just about making food look great. Interestingly the actual styling part is the smallest part of the job, even though it’s the most important. To be a good food stylist, you need to be an excellent organiser and bargain hunter in some cases. Many are under the illusion that food just magically appears without much work done beforehand. Consider the following before a shoot day commences; initial contact with the client, quoting, discussion of the brief, show-and-tell brief; shopping list, shopping, prop sourcing, storage, prepping, setting up on set…and this is all before a shot of food has been taken!