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10 Reasons Why Your Restaurant Needs a Professional Food Stylist

Food stylists are like wizards in the culinary world; they know the tricks to make food look mouthwateringly appealing, especially in front of the camera. They meticulously place every garnish, adjust lighting, and tweak the setup to ensure that your dishes look as delicious as they taste.

Food styling is an art, and stylists have honed their craft to ensure that every dish photographed looks nothing short of irresistible.


By making your food and menu photographs more appealing, you could attract more customers and enhance your brand image. Keep reading to learn why a professional food stylist could be a game-changer for your restaurant, including:



How Restaurants Benefit from Professional Food Styling

You might think your food photographs are fine the way they are. However, there is a good chance a professional food stylist can take them to a whole new level.


There’s a world of difference between a good food photograph and a great one. A great one can make people salivate just by looking at it, compelling them to book a table at your restaurant.


Remember, in the digital age, your online presence is often the first impression potential customers have of your restaurant. Make it a good one with professional food styling.


The way your food is presented online can significantly impact your customer's perception and ultimately their decision to dine at your restaurant.


So this isn’t just about making food look pretty.


In fact, various studies have shown that appealing food images can influence people's food choices, significantly benefiting restaurants. Additionally, professional food styling can help highlight your restaurant's unique selling propositions, enhancing your brand image.


A professional food stylist knows the ins and outs of food, how it behaves under the camera, and how to manipulate it to look its best. Remember, people eat with their eyes first, especially when they're deciding where to dine based on online photos.


10 Ways a Food Stylist Showcases Your Food’s Best Features

Food stylists possess an array of skills that can elevate your food photographs from pleasing to mouthwatering. Here are just a few ways they can showcase your food’s best features:


Perfect Plating: The arrangement of food on a plate is an art in itself. A food stylist considers the color combinations and textures of different elements on the plate, always mindful of the rule of thirds to ensure balance. They understand that our eyes are naturally drawn to certain points in an image, so they strategically place the hero ingredients at these points. It's this meticulous attention to detail that results in a visually appealing dish that entices customers to try your food. Moreover, they incorporate contrasting colors and play with different shapes and heights to create a dynamic and exciting plate.


Lighting and Angle: Every dish has its own 'best side', just like us! A food stylist collaborates with photographers to find the perfect angle to showcase the food's most appealing features. Whether it's the golden-brown crust of a pizza or the luscious layers of a lasagna, they know how to position and light the dish to make those elements shine. They might use side lighting to emphasize texture or backlighting to create a warm glow around your food.


Prop Styling: Beyond the food itself, the stylist also considers the whole scene. They select the perfect dishes, cutlery, table linens, and even the table itself to enhance your food's appeal. A rustic pizza might be best served on a wooden table with worn-out cutlery, while a sophisticated dessert may require elegant china and a sleek, modern table. The stylist will also consider the color and texture of these props to ensure they complement your dish without overshadowing it.


Special Effects: Capturing the steam rising from a hot bowl of soup or the cheese pull in a pizza slice can make your dish come alive in photos. Food stylists have an arsenal of tricks to create these effects, like using a steamer or a heated metal skewer to generate steam or warming up the cheese just before the shoot to get that perfect pull.


Consistency: A food stylist will work with you to create a consistent aesthetic for all your photos. This means using a consistent color palette, style of props, and even the way the food is plated. This consistency not only builds your brand image but also makes your photos instantly recognizable to your customers.


Food Preparation: Some foods, like ice cream or salad, can wilt or melt under the harsh lights of a photo shoot. Food stylists know how to prepare food so it remains photogenic for longer. They may use mashed potatoes as a stand-in for ice cream or spritz salad with water to keep it looking fresh.


Longevity: Related to food preparation is the issue of longevity. A stylist knows tricks to make food look appetizing for longer, like undercooking vegetables so they don't wilt or applying glycerin to create the appearance of condensation on a cold beverage. This gives the photographer plenty of time to get the perfect shot.


Color Balance: Food stylists understand that color can affect our perception of taste. They will play with different colors to make your dishes pop in photos, often using complementary colors to create a vibrant and appealing image. They might add a sprig of mint to a strawberry dessert to provide a pop of green, or a dash of paprika to a creamy soup to add a touch of warm red.


Highlighting the Best: A food stylist knows how to showcase the best aspects of your dishes. If your burger is known for its juicy patty, they'll ensure it takes center stage. If your risotto is loved for its creamy texture, they'll find a way to highlight that in the photo. Their job is to make the most appetizing elements of your food the star of the show. They will emphasize what makes your menu unique, and enhance these elements visually to attract your potential customers.


Narrative and Concept: Last but not least, a food stylist can help you create a narrative or concept around your food. People eat with their eyes first, and a story can make your dishes even more engaging. Are your recipes based on your grandmother's cookbook? They can create a nostalgic, homely setting for your photos. Do you serve avant-garde molecular gastronomy? They can use modern, sleek props to reflect this. This storytelling through visuals can add an emotional connection to your food, making it more attractive to potential customers.

professionally styled display of food


How to Book a Professional Food Stylist

Food stylists bring more to the table than just making food look good for a photoshoot. They're crucial in showcasing your food's best features, narrating your restaurant's story, and ultimately enticing more customers to dine with you. Remember, food is not just about the taste—it's an experience, and a skilled food stylist can elevate this experience to new heights.


Learn more about food styling by contacting Food Styling for Film today!


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