First of all I would like to thank my readers for the fabulous response to my previous post which was about food styling tip for beginners. So as promised in the last post, I am here with a list of things I make sure are always there in my food styling kit. This is the kit I carry with me to all my food styling projects.
When I started to shoot food few years back, my studio was a small balcony in my apartment. I used to run around in the house to gather the things every day and then putting them back at their respective places.
There were things I needed everyday like tissue paper, brush etc and there were a few which I needed once in a while like a water spritzer or a flame torch. After a few days of running around like a chicken, it stuck to me that I must make a master kit and use it everyday for the shoot.
This decision made my life quite easy during the shoots and my work more productive. Starting from the basic everyday needs to some things that were required occasionally, this kit has it all. So without wasting anytime, here is what you all must have in your food Styling Kit. If I have missed on anything, do leave me a comment and I will include in the list.
Food Styling Kit Essentials
Kitchen Tissue – Kitchen tissue comes in very handy in cleaning the edges of plates and bowls and the surface. If your food is releasing water, you can keep it on a kitchen tissue until the extra water is absorbed and then keep it on the plate. If the nature of the food is such that it keep to release liquid, fold a kitchen tissue into multiple layers and keep it beneath the food such that it is not visible. It will keep absorbing the water released from the food and you will have a neat plate. I also use kitchen tissue to add bulk in a bowl if I am shooting dry things for Eg, Indian Dry snacks like Namakpare. Just crumble a kitchen tissue and keep it at the base of the serving bowl. Top up with the food you are shooting.
Baby wet wipes – Very useful in cleaning the greasy edges of the plates and bowls which are otherwise difficult to clean with using just water.
Ear buds – Helpful in cleaning the edges of the serving plates and bowls with food without messing it up. If there is a small oil or curry stain on the plate that you want to clean, ear buds are your best bet.
Tweezer – Keep a few different types in the kit. They are useful in keeping small ingredients at just the right place. I cannot do without a good tweezer and place all my garnishing using it.
Brushes – Comes in handy for clearing out the crumbs on the plates and background and for brushing the food with oil or sauces just before shooting.
Bowls of various sizes – I keep a few small bowls in my kit. Sometimes the garnish sauce is too thick and it is difficult to spread it nicely over the food. In that case I just mix it with little water in one of these bowls and use. These bowls also comes in handy for soaking herbs in ice cold water before using them. You also need them for pouring the oil before brushing it on the food.
Water spritzer – Use water spritzer continuously to spritz water on your styled food to make it look fresh. I use a mixture of glycerine and water to spritz on drink glasses. It gives a nice look to the glass.Use plain water to spritz on fruits and vegetables.
Coins – Keep a few coins in your food styling kit. They might come in handy to make the objects at the side of the picture look straight.
Sharp knives – Required to cut and carve the vegetables and fruits.
Scissors – To cut something.
Ruler – It might come in handy if you want to cut something in exactly same sizes.
Toothpicks – To hold things for example in a sandwich or a burger.
Straws – to blow away crumbs.
Chop sticks – To arrange things on the plate and also for pulling out the food if it has gone flat on the plate.
Other things that you should also have in your Food Styling Kit are
Small mesh strainer – To sprinkle powdered sugar on desserts.
Small funnel – To pour oil or anything else in the bottles.
Glass Beads – If the curry is thin and the main ingredient sinks into it, you can pile up a few glass beads in the bottom of the bowl and place the ingredients on top of them.
Metal Skewer – To make grill marks of meat
Gloves – To avoid finger prints on glasses or crockery.
Modelling clay – To stick something where you want to.
I keep sharing my food styling and photography ideas on Instagram Stories. So do not forget to follow me and watch how I style and shoot my food.
Let me know if you found this list helpful and if there was anything missing. I would include it in the post along with your mention.
BOOKS ON FOOD STYLING
Some of the books that I have read on Food Styling are.
- Plates To Pixel by Helene Dujardin
- Food Photography : Pro Secret for styling, lighting and shooting by Lara Ferroni
Food Photography Background and Props
I have collected my props and boards from around the world, but these shops in India are my current favourite.