Nothing looks as good in real life as in advertising, and you’d be surprised to know how misleading food in the media can be!
WeGoRo collected 15 tricks photographers use to make food look fresh and appetizing.
Fruit always shines in advertising. No special tools are required — only a deodorant spray to add shine to fruit. Some food stylists also use hairspray.
Pancakes absorb real syrup too quickly to photograph, so photographers replace it with engine oil. Another trick is to cover pancakes with a water-repellent spray that creates a protective layer.
Burger patties are almost raw in advertising and are roasted for a few seconds to stay large and juicy. Photographers color them with shoe polish and create grill marks with hot skewers. Watch this video to learn other secrets of fast food advertising.
Seafood loses its presentation very quickly. To keep it looking fresh and juicy, photographers treat it with a mixture of water and glycerol.
It takes a few minutes to cook noodles, but they dry quickly, so advertisers coat the dish with glucose syrup (commonly used for desserts).
To keep cakes dry, photographers interlay them with cardboard and fasten them with toothpicks. They use the same trick in sandwich and burger advertising.
To take a picture of milk, coffee, or beer, photographers add liquid soap. It creates a stable foam that looks natural and attractive.
Ice cream melts too quickly under hot studio lights. Therefore, photographers replace it with colored mashed potatoes or a paste of starch, icing sugar, corn syrup, fat, and other components. Here is an example.
Unlike whipped cream, shaving cream doesn’t melt, and this is exactly what photographers need. They just need to keep reminding the actors that the "dessert" isn’t real.
Ice melts very quickly under lighting equipment, so photographers use plastic cubes in soft drinks. By the way, you can freeze the cubes and use them in real life.
Cereal quickly soaks in milk and sinks to the bottom. If you want to photograph it, replace the milk with white glue. The cereal will remain on the surface and keep its original form.
Bubbles of carbon dioxide in soft drinks disappear quickly. Therefore, photographers add heartburn antacids. The mixing of sparkling water and antacids causes a chemical reaction of neutralization, and bubbles reappear.
Chicken in advertising is never cooked on the grill. It is subjected to a minimal heat treatment and then painted. To add volume, photographers stuff it with paper towels and sew it.
To create the perfect consistency, photographers add melted wax of different colors into sauces.
Steaming food in advertising looks so appetizing. In truth, it isn’t even hot. Besides Photoshop, photographers have other ways to create steam:
Watch this video to learn more. Who would think that shooting a baked potato was an art?!