Sunday, August 12, 2012

Food Styling is really just playing with your food.

nwafoodie Lyndi Fultz Beth Stephens
That's me, food styling a plate of white-colored and boring-looking food.
That's Beth in the back... she has the fun plate of colorful fruit!

Food.  It engages our senses and most often simply the sight of a beautiful image of food hooks us.  It doesn’t matter whether you are a food blogger or someone who just happens to eat.

Think about it. 

Turn on the television and observe all the screaming ads for Wendy’s, KFC, breakfast cereals, and chain restaurants.  Surely I am not the only one who has marveled “if only a Taco Bell taco actually looked as good as it does in that ad in real life.”

It’s all about food styling, the art of staging your food in a pleasing and enticing manner. 

I like to call it playing with your food.

Friday I had the pleasure of doing just that (along with Beth Stephens, the Food Adventuress) at the home of Jenny Marrs, an adorable and instantly engaging sweetheart of a gal who just happens to be an accomplished Northwest Arkansas photographer and mommy blogger.  Jenny is a guest speaker at the upcoming Arkansas Women Bloggers Unplugged Conference for the #FoodieFriday sessions on food photography and food styling.  Her sessions are going to be so unbelievably helpful and inspiring. 

If you’re a women blogger, check out the conference details and join us. Yours truly is the hostess and I would love to meet you.

Because I looooovvvvee to share what I learned from Jenny on Friday (but not allowed to give all the secrets yet), here are two sneak peak tips about food styling that you will learn at the conference.

Food Styling Tip #1 

It is all about the lighting.  Take your plate of food close to a window with natural light.  Open the shades.  Close the shades.  Prop open the shades.  Stand up on a chair.  Consider the way light falls on your subject.  Experiment.  You have a digital camera, after all.  Delete what you don’t like.

nwafoodie food photography capturing the light
Jenny shows why she is the professional:  standing on a chair, playing with natural light
and working the shot.  Don't worry, that wasn't my food styling masterpiece.

Food Styling Tip #2

Arranging your “art” is a blast yet the best part is eating it!  Okay, okay, that is not really a tip but seriously, I just HAD to take that snapshot of Jenny.  Tell me from that photo that she isn’t having a grand time!  Food styling can bring out the little kid in your.  Don’t take your food too seriously.  Live a little.  Play with your food.

Thata' girl, chow down!  It's the best part of food styling!

Speaking of food styling tips, did you know that when you go to a restaurant that you should ask for a table closest to a window with natural light?  Have you ever rummaged through your cupboards to find something with a unique color or texture that adds just-the-right-touch to a photo?  Do you have a props basket or box full of items specifically for your photo shoots? These are just a few of the tips that we will learn at the conference.

I would love to hear from you about your tips and tricks when it comes to food styling and photography.  What is your little secret? 
Eat well, my friends.  Eat well.



  1. Oh it looks like you girls had so much fun!!! I cannot wait until AWBU!

    1. Oh yeah, it was a blast! It was also truly inspiring. I had the great pleasure of Jenny training me for a one-on-one photography workshop about two years ago (she offers group workshops in the #NWArk area). I learned so much then and Friday rekindled that desire to truly push myself to take better photos.

      See you soon at AWBU!

  2. This was SUCH a fun afternoon! no kidding - you and Beth are welcome over anytime if you feed me like that! :-) Super excited for AWBU!!!

    1. Thank you so much for inviting us into your home... AND... for teaching the upcoming workshops! Super psyched!

  3. Looks like you had a great time, thanks for the tips

  4. It was SO fun, and it has already affected my posting. Working to be less "speedy" and take the time to have the right lighting, a little fluff and less grainy shots. I even stood up on a bar stool yesterday to capture a shot for, and confirmed for my family that I am insane. :)

    XO - let's definitely plan a fall session!

    1. You're so professional and all that now. You've changed.

      ha ha ha!

      XOXO - let's!

  5. So much fun meeting you this weekend! Really cool to see you taking the pics here we saw in Foodie Friday!

    1. It was so much fun meeting you, too! Jenny really knocked the photography sessions out of the park, didn't she?


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