2019 is almost here! And with the new year comes a new and fresh menu from The Spoon in Provo, Utah. They are the restaurant that makes fresh and healthy food at Nu Skin. It is open to the public and the new menu is pretty exciting. I’ll have a larger blog post with more photos of the menu, however, this post is going to feature my food styling.
Food styling is the art and craft of taking food and making it look amazing and delicious for the camera. A full fledge food photo shoot can take hours for just one menu item. It can include buying many buns for just the perfect hamburger bun. It can be the use of toothpicks, t-pins, vegetable oil, and huge tweezers to shape, control, and style the food. Here is a behind the scenes photo of me styling and moving corn one kernel at a time. I arrange the jalapeño peppers one at a time and place the feta cheese in just the right spot. I like to create triangles with food pieces. So hopefully there will be 3 pieces of corn in just a simple pattern. It helps the eye enjoy the food.
I also styled several other hamburgers. You don’t want to eat these after the photo shoot. By the time we’re done the food is several hours old and has been sitting out of refrigeration or heat for too long. But it looks delicious!
Given the right amount of time, we can create the perfect look for any dish. Although, for this food photo shoot, we had 2 hours to photograph 40 menu items. Sometimes time is more important. We had a team of 3 chefs building each plate. I would micro-food style each plate to make sure everything looked good enough. And then I would photograph the food while tethered to a laptop so one of the chefs could review the menu items. Each photograph ends up square, so we had a preview in square and we filled the frame.
I was moving chives one by one and little bits of carrots. I study each food item for the correct side that will face the camera. It is similar to having a better side of your face, left or right. In the old days I would shoot 20-30 photos of each plate. Now, I am rarely shooting more than 4 frames. Once the exposure is set, we position the plate, micro-style the food and then shoot. We preview, and if need be, we make an adjustment and shoot again. It saves a lot of time when we preview on a computer.
Here is a behind the scenes of the food photo shoot. In the past I would bring all my own camera gear, but we’ve gone shopping at Nu Skin and soon we’ll have all the camera gear we could ever use! Yay, it’s like Christmas!