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Food Photographer and Food Stylist: What’s The Difference?

Making food look good is an important aspect of restaurant marketing. Two of the most important jobs associated with this aspect are food photography and food styling. Now, if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably gone through years without understanding the difference between the two and may have used either term interchangeably. It also didn’t help that the two are more or less linked together. 

Luckily though, after joining Piatto, I’ve learned recently what a food photographer does and how different they are to food stylists. Today, I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned.

Food Stylist

Now, if you’ve ever worked in the food industry, then you should know that people tend to eat first with their eyes. The more appetizing a food looks, the more likely you are to lure people into checking out your restaurant menu. Food stylists work with this philosophy in mind, making sure that the food you present looks the best that it can be. This is whether you’re presenting food at a food show, working on your menu or simply advertising your food for restaurant marketing.

A food stylist not only requires that you have a good eye for beauty, but also that you know how to handle food in general. Some food stylists start out as professional chefs who have experience working in a variety of establishments, like fine dining restaurants and hotels. Thanks to their unique skillset, they are able to source the ingredients, prepare the food just right and make sure everything is in place to have the finished product ready for its pictorial. 

Basically, if the food is the star, the stylist handles the make-up and costume.

Food Photographer

Just as the name suggests, the food photographer’s job mostly involves working with cameras. Now, this may seem like a trivial thing, but photographers do need to specialize in different things. For example, light reacts differently on a person’s skin than it does on plants, or on landscape, and this is especially true with food. 

Food photography also requires a lot of technical knowledge, just like regular photography. This involves knowing the best angles to go for, and you’ll also need to know how to maintain your equipment. You’ll also need to be knowledgeable with which lens and camera settings to best use. A competent photographer should also have the right equipment.

Experience also plays a huge role for a food photographer. To do well in food photography, you need to be aware how lights and shadows work around different kinds of dishes in order to maximize the work done by the food stylist. It’s not as easy as simply pressing a button.

Why Do They Matter?

Making use of a food stylist and a food photographer effectively can do wonders when you’re out trying to market your food or your restaurant. You can always do the photography yourself, but trust me when I tell you, the professional’s work will be leagues better than what you can do on your own. Both food photography and food styling are connected, resulting in an image that is not only pleasing to look at, but also something that can make your mouth water, or better yet, your potential customers’.

Now that you understand the differences between a food photographer and food stylist, it’s about time you updated your restaurant menu. Just like the professionals we’ve talked about, the guys behind piatto.io also know what they’re doing, and they can make your restaurant menu look the best that it can be.