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  • Writer's pictureEmily Fay

3 Main Styling Questions to ask Yourself Before the Photoshoot

Your goal is to capture images that evoke emotions and inspire people to taste the food you are promoting. Styling is a critical component of achieving this aim because it sets the tone for an image's overall look and feel. Every plate of food is different, so every photoshoot requires a unique approach. So, what are the three main styling questions you should ask yourself before a photoshoot? This blog post will break it down for you and provide some tips on how to answer these questions.

The first question to ask yourself is: do you want a messy or clean look?

Messy can be used to evoke a sense of comfort food, and to show textures that are pleasing to the eye. There are a few tips to help you style for each approach. When going for a messy look, create plenty of depth in the shot. Use three-dimensional items to reinforce the depth. You also want to make sure there is enough visual height within the plate to make food look abundant.

Clean styling works better when you want the main ingredient to stand out, and when the food looks best uncluttered. When you are leaning more towards a clean and simplistic look, remove items from the frame to keep a more natural and unfussy approach. Use negative space around the food or plate to really draw your eye to the hero. This approach will help create an elegant and sophisticated look.

The second question to ask is: do you want minimal or abundant styling?

Minimal styling refers to bare essentials in a photograph, where everything is stripped away except for the essential elements.

On the other hand, abundant styling is when the photograph is filled with lots of textural elements to create visual interest. When choosing between these two approaches, the food you're working with and the story it tells determines the elements to include or exclude, whatever reduces distraction and helps you achieve your desired end.

The third question is: What is the color palette or theme of your image, especially color composition? The color composition should create a tone that suits the genre or specific dish. Colors have their own emotional language and the basic tones can be classified into warm or cool tones. Warm tones are red, orange, and yellow, and they are energizing and dramatic. Cool colors, on the other hand, are blue, green, and purple, associated with coolness and peacefulness. However, colors are also influenced by culture and cultural background, so it's important to take into account the intended audience and their color preferences and interpretations.

Food photography is an art that requires creative intuition and attention to detail. By asking yourself the three main styling questions of clean vs. messy, minimal vs. abundant, and color composition, you can make more informed decisions to create stunning food images that tell a story and evoke the desired emotional response from your audience.

Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all approach when styling food photography, so experimentation and trusting your instincts are always key. With time, practice, and the right styling, you can make a striking food image that your viewers will salivate over and spread to their networks.

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