15 must-haves in my food styling kit
5. Craft knife
A decent chef’s knife is essential, but sometimes you need more precision, for example, breaking into the batter of battered fish or carefully cutting into a pie before teasing out the filling.
6. Sticky things!
Napkins that won’t stay put, cutlery that catches a glare, fruit that keeps rolling out of shot- you can never have enough sticky things on set.
Blue tack on the end of a wooden skewer is great for dabbing up stray hairs & crumbs too.
7. Beef stock pots
Stock pots are great quick fix for giving a natural glaze to meat where more colour and/or moisture is needed.
Recent recipe writing and food styling for Booths supermarkets.
Let’s say you’re taking a shot of a beautiful curry with some Basmati rice. By the time the dish is plated and the shot is composed, the lighting set up, the curry looking just right and the individual grains of rice placed just so. That rice is going to be stone cold. Solution? Soak a tampon in boiling water and place it out of shot behind the pile of rice - you’ve got steaming fragrant rice, looking perfect on cue.
9. Water Mister (Spray bottle)
For adding fine droplets of water, to create the appearance of condensation on glass or metal to give the viewer a visual cue on temperature. On salad, fruit & vegetables a light mist can enhance their ‘freshness’
When the rest of the shot is composed, capture the moment the ice cream just runs over the edge of the cone, the chocolate sauce spills over the edge of the sundae glass, the gravy begins to ooze from the broken into pie. Sometimes you can capture these moments naturally, but pipettes give you that extra control. These are readily available online and super cheap too.
11. Spray duster (like the ones you get in offices for keyboards etc)
Using the same background board set up for the next shot? Crumbs, cocoa powder, sugar all over everything? A blast of this is the fastest way to clear it up.
12. Cotton buds
Extra long cotton buds, (one wet to clean and one dry to remove the moisture mark) will quickly remove any unwanted spillages on props or background boards.
Tying things together, rustically
A little glycerine applied with a brush will give a ‘wet look’ to food that won’t dry out
15. Heat Gun
Similar uses to the blow torch but more gentle. Can be used for bringing heat back to food without the need to remove it from set. Certain foods, for example pizzas, roast chicken & pork sausages can quickly lose their ‘straight from the oven’ appearance. A heat gun can help bring it back with minimal fuss.
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