For those of you who missed the Q&A you can catch up here. We are also holding another hour this Wednesday (3rd July) from 7.30 – 8.30pm so ‘bring’ along your questions and join the fun!
So back to food styling. I am sure you’ve probably heard rumours over the years about fly spray and glue and all sorts of other horrors being added to food to make it look good for the camera, but for editorial recipes at least, this just isn’t the case. I keep it pretty simple, just a spritz of water to make the veges look fresh or perhaps a brush of olive oil to keep meat looking it’s best.
Below is a list of the basics that I carry to a shoot with me. I know it looks like a lot, but you don’t need all the bits on every shoot.
Food styling kit
I tend to keep my kit in a small fishing tackle box as it’s easy to access all the different bits and pieces and folds up neatly for easy packing.
1. Clear fishing line – this is super handy if you want to hang anything in the background of the shot – be it tissue garlands, tea towels, lights etc. and the line won’t show up or can be easily edited out of the pic.
2. A small jug – good for popping some oil in to brush the food or for pouring liquids into small vessels without spilling.
3. A plastic syringe – okay this one may seem a little weird, and I haven’t needed it very often, but it can be handy for certain specific things, like if you want to write words on a surface with a thick liquid for example. I picked this up at a Japanese $2 shop.
4. Blu-tack – this has a multitude of uses, from propping an uneven item up on one side to securing things to backgrounds or keeping cardboard flat.
5. Rubber bands – okay so perhaps this isn’t quite so useful on set but it is super handy for keeping cardboard and papers rolled up and also doubles as grip on tight jar lids.
6. Super glue – you just never know when you are going to have to stick props back together or do a quick crafty project.
7. Matches – handy for any candles or barbecues that need to be lit.
8. Water spray bottle – this is probably my number one used item in the kit. It works wonders on perking up salads and veges. You want a bottle that has a fine mist otherwise you will get big, heavy droplets on the food.
9. Small paint brush – probably number two in the most used items list. You can use it dry to brush any small crumbs or other debris out of the way and then use it wet with with oil or juices/dressing to make your dish look super juicy.
10. Mini pegs – handy for holding fabrics in place or for pegging items to lines.
11. Tea light candles – you never know when you might need to add some atmosphere to a table setting.
12. Small coins – these are also very useful for propping up uneven items.
13. Bulldog clip – like the pegs but more heavy duty. Can also hold background fabric or papers in place.
14. Craft knife – perfect for cutting any paper in the shot. I also recommend keeping a pair of scissors in there too.
15. Chux magic eraser – these little beauties have changed my life! You pick them up from the supermarket in the sponge section. They remove all sorts of marks and stains that nothing else will.
16. Thumb tacks and nails – great for keeping anything hanging in place.
17. Cotton buds – these are perfect for wiping up small drips and spills carefully.
18. Eucalyptus oil – this wonder oil makes removing sticky labels from glass and ceramic props a dream. I recommend keeping some paper towel and chux cloths handy to assist with this.
19. Single hole punch – whenever would you need this? you ask. I am constantly surprised how handy it is. When you just want to punch a single hole in a cardboard tag or paper bag, the double hole punch just won’t do. I picked this up at Spotlight.
Is that what you were expecting? It’s pretty simple and definitely low on tricks!