The Secrets of Perfect-Looking Food Pictures

posted: 01/07/16
by: TLCme

If you've ever ordered something based on how delicious it looked in its menu photo or attempted to make something based on how it looks in the recipe book, only to be disappointed by the actual product, then you'll probably not be surprised to learn a lot of work goes into making that photo look so good. A lot of work and creative substitutions to help give the food a little more oomph.

A fascinating article in The Guardian spoke to several "food stylists" (yep, that's an actual job) and learned some of their tricks of the trade. Among them:

1. Soy sauce looks like better coffee than coffee does when photographed. And soap foam is longer lasting and easier to shoot than actual milk foam on a cappuccino.

2. Instant mashed potatoes are the secret to a substantial-looking burrito. Hidden beneath that plump tortilla is more than just beans, rice and meat.

3. They also make a pretty nice looking milkshake. Bonus: they don't melt before the photo shoot is over.

4. Beauty products make more photogenic "milk." As anyone who's left their cereal standing for more than 5 minutes knows, crispy flakes and cold milk are not compatible. Solution? Sunscreen-lotion-consistency hair product and/or glue.

5. Iced beverages with "frosty glasses" are usually covered with spray-on deodorant. Yep.

6. Steaming, piping hot pasta is actually swathed in incense. Or, worst case scenario, cigarette smoke.

So if you're absolutely dying to up your Snapchat or Instagram game, you can try some of the "swaps" above -- or just keep on doing what you're doing and know that people will love you even if your food doesn't look "perfect."