Tricks photographers use to make food look better than it really is

Food 19/07/2019

The photos used when advertising food often look delicious enough to set our mouths drooling and our tummy rumbling.

But how come when we recreate a similar food, it never looks quite as good? 

That is because food photographers have a few tricks up their sleeve when it comes to photographing food.

Mashed Potatoes instead of Ice Cream Scoops

Those perfect scoops of ice cream in every flavor from mint chocolate chip to rocky road isn’t ice cream, it’s mashed potatoes.

They look like the same consistency, but mashed potatoes won’t melt under the lamps and lights you need for the photo.

Using a heat gun to melt cheese

Photo credit: Pixabay

To get the perfect melt without browning or burning the cheese, photographers use a heat gun to get it to move and glisten in just the right way.

Sponges to keep taco shells open

Using sponges make the tacos look like they are packed to the brim with delicious flavours.

Sunscreen and glue for milk

Photo credit: Pixabay

Photographing cereal would get soggy very fast if they used real milk! The common practice is to use sunscreen lotion or glue, then carefully place the cereal piece on top.

Meat is hardly ever cooked

Photo credit: Pixabay

Photographers will sear the meat on either side to get the texture right, but leave the rest uncooked so it doesn’t lose its shape or size. Then the actual coloring is done with a very steady hand and a paintbrush.

Empty ramekins are often used to help garnishes float

Photo credit: Pixabay

No soup on earth could hold up the heavy garnishes that food stylists use to decorate. 

To get around it, food stylists place a small ramekin under the surface of the soup for the garnishes to sit on.

Cigarettes are often used to make food steamy

Photo credit: Pixabay

One of the more popular options photographers use for creating the perfect steamy food, look is by hiding a cigarette behind the flat and letting it smoke up.

Cardboard helps cake layers look evenly spaced

Rather than pipe icing directly in the cake, food photographers will use cardboard to separate the layers and make it look like there is way more frosting than there is.

Liquid soap makes the best beer foam

Photo credit: Pixabay

Squirting dishwash liquid at the bottom of pint, and then filling the beer as normal creates the perfect foam to photograph.