Food styling is an art or you can say 'makeup' of food to make it looks more appealing. The food styling is very important in many situations like when you are preparing food for being photographed like for restaurant menu, magazine, advertisement, websites and cookbooks.
A food stylist is a culinary professional whose job is to make the food photogenic. The food stylist needs to work closely with the chefs and photographers to create the required outcome for the client, in some cases; the food stylist might also be the food photographer as well. You might see images of delicious and stylish food in advertisements or cookbooks or TV cooking shows.
Job responsibilities of a Food Stylist:
- Find all the ingredients to style the food
- Prepare and style the food for photograph
- Coordinate with the chef and the photographer
- Experiment with the ingredients and come up with new ideas
A degree in the hospitality sector, especially in Food styling or culinary arts is a must for this career as it required extensive knowledge about how food acts, both aesthetically and scientifically. To pursue the bachelor degree, you must pass the 12th from any stream.
- Good communication skills
- Must be a creative mind
- Must be fascinated for different kind of foods
- Knowledge of the behaviour and properties of the different kind of foods
- Must have the knowledge of different food ingredients
- Keen interest in and knowledge of designing
- Must be able to work as a team member as he/she needs to coordinate with chef, client, photographer etc.
- Should have a positive attitude and patience as sometimes the photo shoot can take long hours
- Must be able to handle pressure
- Detail oriented and focused
Who should choose this career
If you love cooking and you are fascinated by different types of food. If you also have an interest in designing and photography then this is a perfect career choice for you.
How to be there?
Get a degree in hospitality sector, especially in Food styling or culinary arts.
If you wish, then you can go for a master degree in the same. This will help you in getting a higher management position.
Start your career as a Chef before step into this
Join an established stylist to gain experience of food styling before start you career as a stylist
After having some experience and have good contacts in the field, you can start work as a freelancer too.
It's not like a 9-5 job. The work hours depend on the assignment. Sometimes, you need to work for longer hours also if the assignment is big and the food needs to prepare is a kind time taking.
During the initial stage, one can earn Rs. 15, 000 to 20, 000 per month. With an experience of 2 -3 years, one can earn Rs. 25,000 to 30,000 or more. After that, your experience, the location, and your projects or employer will decide your income.
Most of the food stylist works as a freelancer, but they can get hired by cookery magazines, advertisement agencies and cookbook publishers also. One can seek employment in:
Magazine and cookbook publisher companies
Cooking shows on TV
One can start his own blog on food styling or write books if have an interest in writing. So the options are many if you really like to go with this.