Food Styling

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  • The authoritative and comprehensive guide to the art and craft of food styling Based on her 30 years of experience in food styling for advertising, magazines, books, and films, Delores Custer presents the definitive lifelong reference on food styling-complete with lists of handy tools and vital equipment, recipes for artificial foods, and guidelines for running a successful food styling business. Full of ingenious advice on styling in any media and packed with full-color photographs, Food Styling reveals every trick of the trade, from making a beverage appear to sweat to producing those perfect grill marks on meat without a grill. Filled with resources and organized in a simple problem-and-solution format, this is an ideal resource for both experienced foods styling pros and first-timers alike. This is the only book of its kind on the market, shedding light on the art and craft of food styling More than 300 full-color photos reveal the process of styling and the spectacular results, teaching and inspiring anyone interested in food and how it is presented in media The book features a timeline of 60 years of food styling, a glossary of important terms, and a listing of vital styling resources The only book the aspiring or professional food stylist will ever need, this exceptionally thorough resource covers challenges from flawless fried chicken to fluffy, cloudlike cake frostings-and everything in between Whether you're looking to break into the food styling business or just touch up on the latest and most effective techniques, Food Styling is the ultimate guide to creating stunning culinary visuals.
  • Author:
    Delores Custer
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    Food Styling

Recent User Reviews

    "The Food Styling Encyclopedia"
    Pros - Well written explanations.
    Cons - The book should have more details about lighting.
    Reviewed by Namthip Paine


    Food Styling: The Art of Preparing Food for the Camera is about the 30 years of experience of a food stylist, Delores Custer, who shares her knowledge on how to achieve perfect photographs for all media. The book goes into detail about food styling, with tips, techniques, and entertaining personal stories. The author is an expert in her profession and knows how to keep the reading interesting.

    This book has 416 pages in 15 chapters.

    - Food Styling Overview

    - The Medium is Everything

    - Your Food Styling Teammates

    - You Got the Job...Now What?

    - Prepping the Assignment

    - At the Shoot

    - About Photography

    - The Basics of Propping

    - The Basics of TV & Film Production Work

    - The Food Stylists Tools of the Trade

    - Working with the Food

    - The Business of Food Styling

    - Beyond Food Styling

    - Tips for Chefs, Caterers, and Others who want to Style their Food

    - Reviewing the Last Fifty/Sixty years of Food Styling and Photography

    How is this book useful?

    This is a big hard cover book. The printing and page layout are high-quality. The type is easy to read and the pictures are clear and colorful. This book offers many tricks of the trade and tips from the author, including food setup pictures, step-by-step instructions and recipes for success. It also provides details on how to choose, prepare, assemble, and plate food. At the end of the book are summaries of food photography styles from 1950-2000, a vocabulary of food styling and resources.

    As a chef, food stylist and photographer, my favorite sections are on chapters 8 and 11. In chapter 8  the author tells us how to choose the right props, pick colors and set the mood for the shot. In chapter 11 the author talks about the importance of understanding the basics of food science. The more we understand the science, the more control we have over the food.

    What problems are there?

    There is no question this book is written for food stylists. The author gives her best advice to make food as perfect as possible, whether it's for film or cookbook. There aren't as many details as I would like to read about the lighting setup. Also, food photography changes with the trends of the times. Currently, food styling is casual and comfortable. Slightly melted ice cream, cake crumbs or half-empty plates are fine. It would be interesting to read about how this type of casual food styling.

    As a blogger, I style real food, to be consumed after the shot. Although I want a perfect photo, I won't manipulate my food to the point that I can't consume it. I will use propping and lighting to enhance the photo, but I won't use something inedible in my food to make it look better. If you share this attitude you may find this book discouraging.

    Who might enjoy this book?

    I strongly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in getting into the business of food styling as well as people who want to learn how to improve their own personal food photography.


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  1. foodnfoto
    As the reviewer says in the last paragraph, this is a book for those who are interested in the profession of food styling. At professional food shoots, lighting is done by the photographer, not the stylist. Also for the pro stylist, it is important to always be aware of the intended use of the photo and the audience it intends to speak to. The casual look seen in so many food magazines emphasizes the connection to a specific recipe geared to the home or non-professional cook. That look would not be appropriate for food photos intended for packaging or in publications geared to the professional.