Looking to assist stylist in Southern California...

WebFoodPros.com: Food Styling: Looking to assist stylist in Southern California...
By Kelly (Kelly) on Wednesday, August 14, 2002 - 01:51 pm: Edit

Hi. I am pursuing a career in food/prop styling and am looking for a stylist in Southern California to assist. I have a BFA in Interior Design, and a BA in Communication. I have always been particular about the way things "look" - especailly food. I believe my personal, professional, and educational experiences provide a good foundation for this career. Any information is helpful!!! Thank you...

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Sunday, August 18, 2002 - 11:57 am: Edit

You could go work for a chef to see how food is "styled",(decorated). See what Chef's use these days. There are some very talented people out there that decorate the plate, great.
(I'm not talking charlie trotts style either)
just my 0.02

By Mbw (Mbw) on Monday, August 19, 2002 - 03:45 pm: Edit

What is a food stylist??

As in design for product photography, filming, or design for food to be consumed?

I just wanted to know if you were looking for a career mixing food coloring with flake mashed potatoes, to make "Stage" ice cream, or designing REAL food for humans??

Is it creating sculpture with food??

Your scoop & shovel chef,


By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Tuesday, August 20, 2002 - 11:34 pm: Edit

I don't think she's talking real food.
By the sound of it she has all those degrees and she's readdy to make some money.
I don't know how anyone could, with out some sort of food back ground.
HEY!.....thats Hollywood!

By Ladycake (Ladycake) on Thursday, August 22, 2002 - 11:57 am: Edit

If you want feed back here, you need to respond. It is considered rude to ask questions and run. Are those trying to respond answering your question? Are you working with real food or video props?
Guys, I knew someone in San Francisco who did food photography and knew nothing about food. He was bummed when they told him he couldn't shellac (sp?) his food anymore LOL.

By Kelly (Kelly) on Thursday, August 22, 2002 - 05:51 pm: Edit

Thank you for everyone's kind responses. I am sorry, but I was of not aware of any "forum etiquette" - I did not intend to be rude. I actually hadn't been on my computer in a few days!!! I am interested in styling REAL food, but for photo shoots. I realize fake food must be used at certain times, but that is not my area of extreme interest. can't you make $$$ from real food? maybe there is a new need for realism? ...like NOT having everything look quite so perfect? I HAVE worked in restaurants and helped prepare food, and that is a good suggestion. Now do any of you have a job for me?!? I see you all are very witty. I'm sure ONE of you can help me out... ;)

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Thursday, August 22, 2002 - 11:10 pm: Edit

Call ever food mag on the coast.
Call every school and find out who does the photo's of their food, for their brochure.
Call photographer's and see if they do any food shots or if they know of any that do.
Call printing places and see if they know of any photographer's, cause since they print menu's they may know of some.
Call these companies that install new kitchens in homes and rest's. They must use something in their brochure to make their crap look good.
Call the studio's cause they are using less and less fake food and more real food.
That's about as helpful as I can get,short of having a fire hose in my hands.
Witty, wink,wink.
Good luck.

By Kelly (Kelly) on Friday, August 23, 2002 - 11:16 am: Edit

Good suggestions...thanks much. :)

By Smokenut (Smokenut) on Friday, August 23, 2002 - 05:43 pm: Edit

The best way to get into this business is to take a class at a culinary school so that you know what it takes to do it. Prop styling is very different from food styling. You MUST know the ins and outs of cooking and most especially, baking. You must know how to shop for "beauties" and how to (and not to) handle your raw materials, ie. how to transport and store fresh herbs, tomatoes, fruit etc.
Go to your library and find a copy of LeBook and the Workbook. These are reference books listing talent--photographers, food stylists, prop stylists, art directors, film directors and companies. Call up every food and prop stylist in the book and offer to assist for free, just to get some experience and learn the ropes. If you have the aptitute, they will start to call you for paying jobs.
Once you get a feel for what you are doing, call up the photographers and offer to "test". This is the process of portfolio building. You pay for the food, the photographer pays for film, studio and processing. Negotiate what kind of photo you want to produce that best shows off your talents.Then do a few shots together. Then you have something to show to potential clients.
Above all, do not listen to chefs. They may decorate plates nicely, but that is NOT food styling. You must learn about light, color (and how the camera sees it), camera angle, stand-ins, "Heroes", how to make food behave and the market to which you are speaking.
Above all, you must be a very facile cook in a variety of styles, not just restaurant food. Most styling is of very ordinary fare--pizza, grilled cheese, burgers and fried chicken. These also are some of the most difficult to style.
If this is a career track for you, plan to assist for at least 5 years before going out on your own. Know also that this market is in the process of contracting, it is NOT a growth field right now. All publications that use food stylists are cutting food pages-it is the second most expensive section of a magazine to produce. You also must go where the work is-LA for film and TV, NYC for editorial and advertising. That's just the way it is.
Good Luck

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Saturday, August 24, 2002 - 12:44 am: Edit

Hey Kelly, This advice sounds Great!
Good luck!

By Kelly (Kelly) on Monday, August 26, 2002 - 01:05 pm: Edit

Thanks Smokenut. I have alreday begun some of what you suggested, so I must be on the right path. I do appreciate everyone's time and thoughts.

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