As a photographer there are several golden rules: don’t work with children and don’t work with animals. But even inanimate objects can create chaos for those picture snappers. Here’s a list of cheats used by food photographers in order to make their grub looking delicious on camera.
Using motor oil instead of syrup.
If you’re a maple syrup fan, you’ll understand the perils of drizzling your pancakes only for them to soak up the golden goodness. So engine oil is used instead of maple syrup.
Washing up liquid for beer foam.
We bet you never thought beer classed as clean eating – but when photographers work with foamy drinks like beer and lattes, they use liquid soap to make it look good.
Hairspray makes fruit shiny.
Everyone knows the secret to gorgeous-looking fruit is to make it shiny – so hairspray is used to add shine.
Shoe polish for grilled food.
Those juicy burgers you’ve been lusting over? They’re actually raw, save for a few seconds of roasting to make sure they look plump. Photographers colour them with shoe polish and use hot skewers to create grill marks.
Glycerin for fresh looking seafood.
There’s something fishy about the way photographers keep seafood looking fresh – with a mixture of water and glycerol.
Here’s the scoop: the culinary favourite, mash, is used instead of ice cream so that photographers aren’t placed under time constraints before the ice cream melts.
Does your mouth ever water after spotting delicious desserts in adverts? Well, you could be salivating over shaving cream… that’s right, whipped cream melts unlike its replacement, shaving cream, giving the photographer plenty of time to whip up a fantastic shot.
PVA glue looks like milk.
If you tried to eat the cereal advertised on those colourful breakfast carton, you’d be in a bit of a sticky situation – the milk is actually glue, because real milk would sink to the bottom too quickly.
Chickens get stuffed with paper towels.
To create tasty chargrilled chicken, the meat is cooked under a low heat and then painted. It’s then stuffed with paper towels to make the chicken plump.
Nothing is steaming hot… it’s all faked.
When photographing hot food, capturing the sexy trails of steam makes the food look tasty and appetising. However, food doesn’t stay steamy for long so wet cotton balls heated in a microwave are placed inside a dish creating a few extra minutes of steam.
Antacids to increase the bubbles.
You won’t be getting heartburn any time soon with these smartly-photographed fizzy drinks. The bubbles disappears too quickly in normal beverages, so photographers add an antacid or two to add a bit of fizz.
Cardboard in cakes and sandwiches.
You think that cake you made tastes like cardboard? You haven’t tried this food styling trick: placing cardboard between each cake layer before covering it with icing to keep the cake dry.
Glucose in noodles.
To keep noodles looking sweet, photographers coat them in glucose syrup. That’s right – the kind we normally use in dessert. Doesn’t look so appetising now, does it?
Ice melts when placed under direct heat from objects such as lighting equipment so plastic ice cubes are used.
Coloured wax in sauces.
To create the perfect consistency and colour, melted wax is used in sauces – looks great on camera and less mess!