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Monday, October 08, 2012

Food Styling tips : Guest Post By Lubna

  As someone who enjoys food and loves food photography, I always enjoy styling of the food. As I believe in expression, presentation says it all. Food styling is significant because food digested in eyes first. And good presentation of food brings people closer to food than ever. I consider in food photography, food styling is a divine art. Food/Recipes can be identical but styling of food is unique. Lastly the oo's and wow's of a photo rest in style of presenting. Style defines food more photogenic, interesting, elegant and complete.

  When i asked Lubna to do a guest post about food and prop styling for me, she immediately accepted my request and she has come with this fabulous post. I am sure, many of you know her, she is a famous food blogger in blogsphere and also very talented person. Her food photography series event is an inspiration for many food photographers who want to improve their food photography skills. She has an amazing blog called Yummy Food. She is one of my favourite food blogger and also whom i consider as a very good friend. I am so pleased that she is sharing some awesome tips about food styling with you today by this post......

When Valarmathi of Simple and Yummy Recipes asked me to do an guest post on food styling or rather say behind the scenes of food setup….I was little in doubt what I can come up with.  As she was in no hurry with the post…I took my time and came up with these points….Hope these are helpful and useful to take you to next level in food styling..

TO START WITH:

As you all know natural light, good backgrounds and related props when come in combo make the food look appetizing…..no matter what the food is…I always feel there must be an dedicated place for taking out photos….but it is not so possible for people living in compact houses and in the places where finding natural light is bliss. You know how many times I run from kitchen to prop displayed showcase to fridge to the door or window to capture the perfect food picture…To kitchen to cook or fill the plate or bowl…to check what props and background will go with the recipe and then where the light is coming depending on the time of the day and depending on the weather outside….If you think creating an recipe or cooking a recipe is a creative thing then plating and styling is more creative than this….When the food is plated and served it is first eaten with eyes…so, an appealing look of the food  drags the person to grab it….

According to me the food click you capture describes the person you are or the mood phase at that time you are going through or your inner reflection…I don’t say I don’t struck while clicking food pictures…lots of recipes make me numb…how to plate, what to use in the background, what props goes with the recipe, what’s the angle, how to cut the edges, how to set the props, how much light is needed for the related recipe, is light too hard for the recipe, etc…..

CRACKING STYLING:

Food styling…. is it easy or complex subject? Let’s solve this question with some simple examples, If I need to put it into simple words then as you slowly learn to master your camera you will slowly gain confidence in clicking good pictures….same as it…as time go by you will slowly master this art of propping, plating and styling.

Let’s start with this simple example of Drumstick-Raw Mango Curry. I started on a simple note like just filling the recipe in a white bowl and with blank mind like what goes in the background and what props go with it….I just used crinkled an brown paper and used it as background….
Then I felt something is missing, so I used wooden plank in the background along with a fresh coriander leaves in the side…just to add some color to the recipe…..and clicked some shots….

Then I felt the clicks still need some makeover….so I chopped fresh coriander leaves and added…some on the background and some on the recipe…
Then I felt the click is not looking clean and appealing, then turned around the bowl and took of the fresh chopped coriander leaves from the background and clicked again….with just fresh coriander garnish on top…
But then too I felt that extra zing is missing in the clicks…so thought of using any props that neutralizes the picture or add some hue to the picture….upon thinking I decided with this ceramic coffee mug…
But for me the picture still need to be worked upon and I kept an fresh coriander sprig in the coffee mug…and then experimented with angles……
Here is the final picture which was satisfactory and according to me an appealing food picture.
Below are some examples, to let you know some simple styling tips:
In the above Cumin-Coriander Flavoured Oats Lassi, the cute flags (made from craft paper and glued to toothpick) are used to give fresh new look to the picture…
In the above picture I have used Ice cream sticks and to which I have glued fridge magnets…just to make simple Mango Lassi and eye candy picture….
Sometimes a piece of paper cut in different shapes……by  adding the name of the recipe or ingredient or just an note can be used for a change in the picture as you can see in the picture above…
Try to give life to pictures by adding some human touch….. people add emotion, tone and feel to the food clicks……..try out for a change and for some fresh new look….

As you can see in the above picture just simple fresh garnish and piling of arbi pieces drenching in graving...makes an neat looking picture....

Here is one more example showcasing the different settings of Dates which I clicked for Joy From Fasting To Feasting - V logo....The seeing the below collage you will understand how I arranged the cloth napkin and dates to end up with an satisfying picture....
Few days back when me, Valar and Deepa planned an surprise party for my sweet lil sis....we did a photo shoot of Pineapple cake, made by Deepa specially for my sis....You can see Valarmathi holding the foam board and Deepa holding the background paper.....and light coming from the right side window....that's the place where I click most of my blog photo's.....
It's always fun to shoot food and the fun doubles when you have food blog friends around you and help you out in the shoot with the inputs and comments.....Here is the final shot of the cake,
For more on Food Photography, Check out my Food Photography - Guest Series and you can even check my Pinterest boards for some amazing behind the scenes, styling and propping...

TO END WITH:

You don’t need any fancy things for styling…white ceramic crockery enhances the food. Some simple background charts, handmade papers, craft papers make good backgrounds….too much propping or garnishing can cause distraction from the actual recipe….Always keep in mind, the main focus or highlight should be the food/recipe….As I conclude all I have to say is cooking is easy…but plating and styling is much or less like yoga…bend or run…try finding your comfort zone….Happy Styling….Happy Cooking…Thank you Valarmathi for giving me this opportunity....


30 comments:

sowmya's creative saga said...

nice post ..

Veena Theagarajan said...

wow! nice post for people like me who still learning basics
great-secret-of-life.blogspot.com

Chitra said...

wow, nice post. very useful for me. thanks valar n lubna :)

Premalatha Aravindhan said...

wow amazing info,i always love Lubna's photography luks very natural and thanks for sharing:)

Kalpana Sareesh said...

worthy tips..

Archana Kumar said...

Nice post...Informative and useful for us bloggers...I always seem to struggle with the styling and photography, though its fun do do it all !

Curry Leaf said...

Lovely and informative post. Very useful to a non imaginative person like me. Thanks Valar and Lubna. :)

Deeba PAB said...

Beautiful post Lubna. I love the way you built the mood, and yes indeed, such fun to have helping hands around!

Reva said...

Very informative post Lubna... I have always been a great fan of your photos and this post is very simple even for a newbie to understand..:))
Thanks Valar for inviting Lubna to do the guest post..
Good job..
Reva

Hamaree Rasoi said...

Being Lubna's friend I have seen her growth ...day by day.Her photography series was helpful in understanding the details...I got to learn a lot from her. She never hesitates to share the knowledge. Very good post on food styling..I loved her cute flags..Thanks Valar for this useful post and Lubna steps wises showing the styling tips

Priya Sreeram said...

lovely post lubna; thanks for sharing valar

Priya Sreeram said...

lovely post lubna; thanks for sharing valar

Shanthi said...

VERY GOOD AND INFORMATIVE POST ON FOOD STYLING. LOVED LUBNA'S CLICKS AS EVER.

Ramya said...

What an inspiring and informative post Lubna..I love ur simple and cute styling:-) Especially the Mango lassi clicks..Soo simple yet soo striking!Big thanks to u both ladies..I already read the post twice:-)Bookmarked!!!

Uma Ramanujam said...

wow.. that is a great post to learn. It is time to implement all in my next photoshoot. thanks Lubna and valaramathi.

Priya said...

Very nice and interesting post..Loved reading.

Amina Khaleel said...

wow... such a fantastic post... very useful..

Prathibha said...

Thats a beautiful post by Lubna,love her fotography..Thanks valar for sharing this post.

Chef Mireille said...

great post - very informative!

Jay said...

wowwwww...such a lovely post...you guys rocking..:)
Tasty Appetite

Priti S said...

Love the writing,simple and effective no hi-fi stuff :) Love your pics Lubna ...and thanks Valar for doing this

Jay said...

bookmarking this page...awesome post dear..
Tasty Appetite

Reshmi Mahesh said...

Very helpful post...Loved the detailed description with clicks...Thanks..

Sayantani said...

lovely post Lubna. very well explained as how to create the mood. will try your tips soon.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. Not to many people in your position are so gracious. Your article was very poignant and understandable. It helped me to understand very clearly. Thank you for your help.

Swasthi said...

This is a very useful post for newbies like me, loved all your thoughts. Thanks Lubna and valar for the lovely post.

divya said...

wowwwww...such a lovely post...thanks for sharing...

Anu said...

Lovely post and nice tips.

Anonymous said...

You guys did a great job spending your time to create this article! If I had to explain my emotions about your website in only one word ? it would be WOW! Thank you! P.S. Subscribed for updates!

sakshi_sharma said...

amazing post...really really informative..!!thank u...

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