On my cookbook shoot for my debut cookbook, Naturally Sassy; My recipes for an energised, healthy and happy you I met Ellie, the wonderful food stylist. Ellie was at the studio before the sun rose preparing dishes ready for the day to come. After preparing the dishes, she then used the props to plate them, making them look as mouth-watering as possible! The intricacy of making sure the plate looked wholesome, delicious and fresh without any visual distractions was incredibly interesting to watch, and made me think so much more about the way I prepare the recipes I shoot for the blog. It inspired me to take more time and create movement and life in my photographs, whether that was from having a bowl of brown rice pasta swirled around a fork, or having an almond butter flapjack broken in half as if I’d just dived in (trust me, I wanted too!). All these little touches gave the photographs a real sense of reality and accessibility, exactly the brief for the cookbook.
I’ve taken the lessons I learnt over the exciting period of shooting my cookbook, and now use them daily when I shoot recipes. I can see such a wonderful difference in my photographs and wanted to share these tips with you too. Ellie has put together her top tips for Food Styling, and I think you’re going to find them game-changing!
See Ellie’s work in action and pre-order my cookbook Naturally Sassy; My recipes for an energised, healthy and happy you – here! It’s out August 6th (yay!) and will arrive straight to your door on release date, so you can get baking, blending and munching straight away! Maybe even try the tips below once you’ve made a recipe, and show us your pro-food styling!
Always think about the colour palate you’re presenting – use bright fresh ingredients in the recipe to make the picture jump out at you – or garnish last minute, by sprinkling on some herbs or adding some chopped nuts. I also find lemon zest can always lift a dish and and helps the flavours of a dish stand out.
DON’T BE TOO SAUCY!
If you have a sauce or dressing on a dish think about just adding a little, or even serving on the side this will help keep the ingredients looking fresh and the shape of the food stand out, if everything is covered in sauce you can’t see what’s underneath!
Think about the shapes you’re creating when cutting food. Cut spring onions at an angle or rip rather than slice bread. Vary the way you prepare each ingredient, to give the dish more life. This can all help your recipe look a bit more special.
DRESS TO IMPRESS
A drizzle of oil or a spritz of water right before you snap your picture can help the food look really delicious and fresh. You can use a small paint brush, or even an eyeshadow brush to gently coat the food in the oil, this helps to be a little more precise and not knock over any of the ingredients.
EVERYTHING IN MODERATION
Keep portions small and give the food some space on the plate, not piling the whole quantity on can help you see all the delicious ingredients of a dish.
BEAUTIFY YOUR PLATE
Think about grabbing some tweezers and pulling out a few of each ingredient to the top of the dish – that way we can see all the key ingredients.