Food Styling: The Art of Preparing Food for the Camera
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Hard cover, 398 pp., $75.00
Over the years, photographic food styling techniques have often been held close to the vest by photographers and stylists. In contrast, this comprehensive book brings the practice of food styling to life in a clear, well-illustrated narrative.
More than 300 full-color photos reveal many of those proven secrets along with before and after examples of how working stylists have solved typical problems in making food look more appealing for photo purposes. With more than 30 years of experience, Custer proves to be a credible guide to an art that, up to now, has almost always been learned by apprenticing.
The book offers key chapters on Prepping for a Shoot; Tools of the Trade; Building Sandwiches Layer by Layer (for a shoot), and many more. Along the way you'll learn how to select and use props more effectively with tools ranging from white cotton gloves and steamer irons to emery boards and sodium bilsulfate.
Custer also covers various food idiosyncrasies that affect photography and sections on styling almost every major food category: dairy products, sandwiches, ice cream, breakfast foods, soups, pasta, potatoes, pizza, and many others.
While this book will be very helpful for budding (or accomplished) food photographers, its focus is on styling food, and on prepping, arranging and designing food presentations for a shoot, not on lighting and camera technique.
If it turns out food styling is something you really enjoy, the book also offers helpful chapters on how to turn it into a business: how to bid for assignments; tips on working with advertising and PR firms; knowing the differences between editorial, packaging, catalog and advertising work, etc.