Food Photography Class - 15 
Q: What do these two photos of a salad and pasta have in common?
Food Photography Class - 11
A: These photos are used for a food styling class and it is NOT edible!

I was really shocked to know that 100% of the photos that you see in magazines like Yummy, Food, or Appetite, are NOT edible!  I recently attended a Food Styling and Food Photography Class by Jo Avila and Pixie Sevilla Santos, and all the bloggers in the group were shocked to see the behind-the-scenes of food photography.

The plates are cleaned with a glass cleaner to remove any trace of finger prints or any type of blemish on the plate that can show up in the photo. You would put drops of glycerine in the salad to show dew drops to communicate that it is fresh. Underneath the salad and pasta above are wet rolls of tissue paper to give the food some volume. Most of the ingredients are not cooked and usually handled by dirty hands.You cannot eat them period.

The goal of Food Styling is to entice the viewer to stop and look at the photo so that you can linger to read the text. Also,  it is used to educate the viewer about the subject. The goal of food photography is to enhance the food so that you are enticed to buy the food even if you get disappointed with the actual look of the food.   The food is treated as props and there are a lot of substitutes or fake ingredients (fake ice, fake charcoal, etc..) just to enhance the photo.  White paint is sometimes used as milk. There are a lot of tactics used just to produce that perfect photo.

I will NEVER be a food stylist. I cannot stand the lies that is captured in the food photos. I feel that I have a moral obligation to viewers/ readers to take actual photos of food that you can eat. I can’t help it but look at photos in food magazines with disgust.

I’m proud to say that 100% of the photos you see in the blog (except for the ones above) are photos of food that you can actually eat. If there is one thing I learned in the P3,500 Food Photography Session, is that I will NEVER be a food stylist!


Related Posts:
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Is There Really Truth in Advertising?  by  Confessions of a Marketing Addict

Check out the rest of the Food Photography Class and I’ll share with you some tips that I learned from the class…

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Food Photography Class - 1 
Nena arranged a private food photography and food styling class from the country’s top professionals — Jo Avila and Pixie Sevilla Santos of Yummy.  Here are some practical tips:

1. It is a No-No to use light sources in front of the food. The natural light should be behind the food or on the side. 
2. It is the shadows that show the texture (and not the intensity of the light).
3. Composition of the Food on the Plate should be Counter Clockwise Spiral. Forks/ Spoons should be pointed inside the plate.
4. Always Odd Never Even in the number of ingredients.
5. Use neutral colors for the plate and use plain background.
6. Position of food and props should always be perpendicular and in active position vs. a parallel position.
7. One food composition technique is to use a finished food with its ingredient on the side.
8. Use bigger ingredients because they tend to be smaller in the photo.

Food Photography Class - 2 
Food Styling Tool kit: (P1,500/ kit).  You have glycerine bottle and petroleum jelly as part of the tools of the trade.

Food Photography Class - 3 
There is some brush to paint oil on the food and some clay to stick food in the plate.  Tweezers, Syringes, and Cotton Buds are essential tools for Food Styling.

Food Photography Class - 6 
Group 1: Markmet Man and Mila chopping their ingredients for the Salad shot.

Food Photography Class - 5
Group 2: Here is my partner Franco of Table for Three Please, slicing the orange carefully.

Food Photography Class - 7
Group 3: Nena of GypsySoul, was the one who arranged this private photography class. Thanks Nena!!

Food Photography Class - 10
Mila is putting glycerine drops onto the salad as Jo Avila looks on. 

Food Photography Class - 9
Pixie is demonstrating to Nena’s team on how to setup the salad.

Food Photography Class - 8
Pixie inserting additional ingredients via tweezers inside the lettuce of the salad.

I learned a lot from Jo Avila and he gave me an excuse to buy a new telephoto lens .  Thanks Jo and Pixie!!