Food and Drink Stylist’s tips and tricks

screenshot 2023 09 21 at 152237client Deliveroo
ph Kris Kirkham
props Victoria Eldridge
Production Style Department

How do the Food Stylists make a still image look SO delicious. How do they make that food jump off the page? And how do they get my mouth watering just by looking at their work? Allow us to let you in on some of the industry’s secrets with top tips and tricks of the trade.

Tip 1- More is less

We all know food goes off and quick, and it can start to look unappealing before the perfect shot is taken. Having more of everything is essential, so that as one salad leaf starts to wilt, you can quickly replace it with a fresh new one. You also have extras to replace any mistakes made and you never know when the extras you’ve bought may be needed to fill out a frame.

Tip 2- Ice, ice, baby

Invest in good quality fake ice and save the drama of the constantly melting, real stuff under those hot lights. There are plenty of options to buy online and an investment in the top-quality versions can last you through multiple shoots, saving money in the long run.

Tip 3 – Save your money on celebratory drinks to actually consume

Wine can be an expensive and unnecessary purchase for a shoot, especially when faking it is so easy. For red wine, by mixing drops of red food colouring into water, not only does it save you financially, but it also shoots much better than the real stuff. For white wine, Kitchen Bouquet or soya sauce drops give the water that slight glint of a delicious chardonnay.

Tip 4 – A refreshing drink to finish off

Remember those classic beer adverts? What makes them look so refreshing? Condensation! Start with spraying the glass with some water and see if that gives the desired effect. If this isn’t lasting too long, mix glycerine or corn syrup and water. Try 50/50 to start with and put into a spray bottle, spritzing over the glass. To get those larger droplets, use a chopstick to place the mixture preciously. And it works on fruit too!

Tip 5 – Succulent looking roast chicken, the cheaters way

To give poultry that roasted, bronzed and plump cooked look, take a perfect looking uncooked chicken and pat dry of any moisture. Stuff with paper towels to make it look full and perfectly formed. Pin any excess skin taught and wings close to the body and secure with needles. Brush with a layer of marmite, until you achieve the desired golden brown. Finally, undercook the bird and add more layers of marmite to achieve a crispy roasted look. And voilà!

Check out Style Department’s fantastically talented Food and Drinks Stylists and watch for yourself how the experts do it. And if you’d like to contact us about working with any of our talent, email or call us on [email protected] / +44 (0) 7969 766 652.

scottkimble vuse32 ph Scott Kimble – Client Vuse