A food stylist is a person who makes food look more attractive in a finished photograph. Stylists arrange food carefully and artfully. They must have the ability to perceive the taste, aroma, and actual dish to make food appealing.
Food stylists must train in culinary arts, just as the professional chefs around the world who have knowledge in cooking techniques and nutrition. They are resourceful shoppers and find ways to be creative with the presentation of food to make it look appealing in photographs.
Food stylists use their creative ideas and apply them to the food that they present to their clients. Bright and unique ideas are much better to impress clients with a stylist's creativity. Some of the people who finish culinary arts want to be food stylists because it is related to their chosen course, but most of the food stylists are freelancers; they don't work for a specific client.
Food stylists and food photographers work as a team. A food photographer's job is to get a good shot of food using a camera. They should know how to capture good pictures of food by setting the lens and lighting accordingly. These two jobs work hand-in-hand to make clients satisfied, and fulfill whatever wishes the company has to make their product look great in photos. Stylists must have good communication skills in order to negotiate well with people involved in photo shoots - like food editors, art directors and photographers. Food stylists must prepare the latest trends and must have a list of contacts of shops and suppliers for getting props. They always provide the props that are used in a photo shoot.
Requirements in becoming a food stylist:
You don't need a formal degree to become a food stylist. Many of those who graduate from culinary schools pursue a food styling career instead of being full-time chefs or anything that involves what they have mastered.
Learn from other food stylists. Assisting other stylists is good stepping stone to become a good stylist. Windows of opportunity will definitely arise from being an assistant to a tenured food stylist.
Being a team player is always important. Successfully participating in a team will be helpful for your career growth.
Flexibility is important. Flexibility helps you finish multiple jobs given to you in a reasonable amount of time. Recyclable things used in shoots should be kept for future purposes. A stylist must know when and how to use their imagination to work with their given resources.
Digital photography, which is the main medium of food stylists, as well as other advance technologies relating to this field make it easier for anyone undertaking this profession. Knowledge of any software used for photo manipulations is also a plus - although a good photographer rarely needs digital editing for their final output. Creativity and time management is vital to a food stylist's job.