We come across hoards of perfectly clicked food items and advertisements that pride themselves with a gleaming and drool-inducing product. But everybody knows that there is a lot of Photoshop that goes into every click. But where does Photoshop end and sorcery (read, artificial beauty) begin? Here are 10 tricks that food stylists use to make food look amazing.
Yes, glue. There is a reason the cereals look so drool worthy on TV. Here’s the sticky truth. Real milk tends to make breakfast cereal soggy and rather unappetizing in pretty short order. You know what doesn’t do that? White glue. Yogurt or shampoos have also been known to do the trick. I feel lather in my mouth.Image Source: Cracked.com
Let’s face it; our syrups and toppings refuse to sit firmly atop or gleaming scoops of ice cream. But here’s how they behave themselves on ad shoots. Photographers cut out little amorphous pieces of paper towel, lay them over the top of the ice cream, and then cover the paper towel with the syrup. Apparently it does a bang up job holding the syrup in place.
Sponge, Cotton Balls & Tampons
It’s important for hot foods to look hot – steaming hot. The way to do that is to show steam wafting off. Instead of stopping every few shots to heat the staged food, photographers often soak one of these items in water, microwave it, and skillfully hide it in the shot. But seriously, tampons?
Soap & Antacid
Soda doesn’t look so crisp and refreshing without an overabundance of bubbles. A little antacid tablet or some dish soap typically gets the stuff churning and bubbling. Also, to make milk, tea, coffee and other drinks look freshly poured; food stylists add dish soap bubbles to the surface just before shooting.Image Source: Cracked.com
Ok, this is getting nastier by the point. Most of the time, meat products aren’t actually cooked because cooking can cause them to shrink and dry out. So items like steak and hamburgers are carefully seared with a blowtorch. Afterwards, grill marks are added with a branding iron and, as a finishing touch, some shoe polish may be applied to provide a nice color.Image Source: Cracked
Fabric Protector & Motor Oil
A nice huge stack of pancakes is always picturesque. The only problem is those breakfast items are quite porous – so the syrup just seeps right in. Photographers solve that issue by coating them with a healthy layer of aerosol fabric protector. And, because maple syrup doesn’t always look great on camera, they might turn to motor oil as a stand-in. Wait, are we still talking about food?Image Source: Cracked
So this vegetable has also filled in for a lot of items – literally. Mashed potato is loaded into syringes and then injected straight into meat to plump up specific parts of a turkey or roast. They’re dyed different colors and used to play the role of ice cream. So the next time someone calls you a ‘couch potato’, don’t feel bad!
If a product is cold or icy, you can bet the version in the TV commercial is covered in glycerin. The substance is used as a sort of catchall on food shoots to provide gloss and sheen, or give the appearance of moisture on everything from a beer bottle to the salad leaves.
No, those rich cake slices on TV haven’t been brought in from the Land of the Perfect. In fact, have layers of cardboard and toothpicks holding it together to avoid any crumbs.Image Source: Cracked
The Ultimate Sorcery
So we don’t really have to tell you that burger you see on a hoarding and the one that you actually get is the Pauper version of the Princess. Watch this video to find out why.