Book review – Food Styling for Photographers

by Linda Bellingham and Jean Ann Bybee

It may be easiest to start with what this book is not. This book, and the lessons within, will not make you a food stylist. This book will not take work away from stylists. We all know there are times when we don’t have the option of working with a professional stylist, whether due to budget, time or logistical constraints. They will not replace the expertise, talents and skills of a professional food stylist.

They will however allow you to understand and communicate the processes a bit better. They’ll also allow you to perform some limited and relatively small tasks on your own when a food stylist simply isn’t an option.

One of the biggest lessons of this book and of food styling in general is that preparing food for photography is nothing like cooking food for consumption. This seemingly simple sentence is well illustrated and supported in the following 200 or so pages. The book is broken down into food/shot types with a full chapter devoted to each. There are step by step narratives and tips for working with beverages, meats, sandwiches, salads, desserts, veggies and pasta. There’s also a great recipe for fake ice cream on page 168.

In addition to the narrative, step by steps and equipment lists for each shot, there’s also call outs and asides written from a photographers point of view. This book is not about food photography per se, it won’t teach you the basics of food photography. The authors assume a reasonable knowledge of food photography on the reader’s parts – but the insights into the working process of other photographers is always valuable.

I’ve had this book on my shelf for a few months now and it comes down every now and then when I have a particular question about how or why to do something styling related. I had it down just yesterday while planning a quick portfolio shot. It’s not a page turner, and you’ll probably not want to read it cover to cover in one sitting. But if you’re looking for insights and tips and trick of styling this is a good addition to your library.

You can read excerpts from and purchase this book at Amazon by clicking ::amazon(“0240810066″,”here”)::

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