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This is my simple equation of what it takes to make a beautiful photograph. I have been a professional food stylist for 23 years. I started out with a degree in visual communications and a love for photography. In fact, my early years out of college after leaving behind the field of graphic design, I was sure photography was the career for me. But I soon found out there was a profession in which I could combine all of my passions: Food, Photography and Art. And I am pretty sure you food bloggers hold those passions as well. If food blogging would have been a thing back then, no doubt that would have been my career choice.

So, how does a food stylist who has styled food for thousands of photos teach her techniques? One at a time. Over the years I have learned so much about so many different foods having come face to face with many types of foods and food styling challenges on the job. I still learn something at every photo shoot I go to.

The main thing I teach is to have patience, plan your presentation first, and to learn the art of trouble shooting on the spot. Planning your photo shoot ahead is super important. Also, having an idea of how your food could fail or fall apart and having the right tools to fix things close at hand is key. It’s a process of continuous assessment. Is the cheese looking cold? Is the sandwich leaning too much? Is the ketchup too sloppy? Does it look too perfect and unreal? Many questions and many adjustments are made as you are shooting. It is a process which many don’t understand and many don’t have the patience for. But you do. I know you do! Because you love food, you love the light and the photography and the scene and the mood and the process. Seeing your creations come to life and look as beautiful as they taste is the best. That’s the magic. That’s the allure. That’s what keeps us coming back.

In my ebook, 15 Fabulous Food Styling Tips: How to Take your Food From Average to Awesome, I outline my top 15 tips for making your food look fabulous. It’s a great guide for getting you to think about your food and how it is presented. There are some great tips for giving your food that extra something special that will put it into the “WOW” category. Food for thought…wink wink. Just click here to get your copy:15 Fabulous Food Styling Tips: How to Take your Food From Average to Awesome.

And for more on food styling techniques, visit me at The Food Styling School.


Jennifer Janz