Arts and Culture
Food Styling 101
Take your styling game to the next level!
Don’t we just all love to eat? No matter how hungry we are, whether it’s Mom’s cooking or that bestseller from the resto, it’s been a habit for most of us to pause for a moment and take out our phones or better yet, SLR cameras to take snaps of our food. We even make sure to put props on the side to make it more IG worthy. Guilty? Food photography has been around but food styling gained popularity as well mainly because of the social media world. If you’re already into photography and would love to know more about the styling world, get inspired by the works and tips from the food stylist herself.
Kay Isabedra-Silva has worked in the advertising industry for a couple of years before realizing her true passion. “I just woke up one day and realized that it wasn’t the right fit for me. The fast-paced lifestyle didn’t really suit my personality. I know a lot of people who thrive in that industry, but I just didn’t consider myself to be one of them. Just like other twenty-something, I had to deal with the typical quarter-life crisis. It took me nearly two years before I found a new passion, food & prop styling that is. I’m now doing it as a full-time freelancer,” she said.
“Food & prop styling is my way of contributing art to the world. It is an extension of my being. For me, when they see an output of mine, there’s this feeling that I am able to connect with people I have yet to meet. You connect with them through the stories you tell in each layout you come up with. It deeply amazes me when you get to make something beautiful with the use of your own hands capable of making things you never thought it could. It reflects different emotions, from happiness to frustration, and everything that comes in between.”
Kay shares that she gets inspiration from her admired creatives in the Instagram community, specifically food and prop stylists based in Australia, US, and the UK. “Start by following people whose works you admire. Chances are, you share the same style and taste with those creatives, given the fact that you like their work,”
Apart from working for magazines, advertising campaigns and food brands, Kay started to impart her knowledge to others by conducting basic styling workshops. “I’ve always wanted to teach. I personally believe that for one’s career and character to grow, sharing should be one of the things he must constantly do, hence my mantra: “We grow by giving, we grow by sharing”. It’s very important to meet people who share the same interest, because it also helps to keep your passion burning. Also, building a kitchen studio is definitely in the pipeline.”
Kay in one of her recent workshops
Here are some styling output from the workshop attendees:
Tips in food styling
From food, props, lighting and camera, the stylist plays a vital role in producing the perfect product shot. Kay suggests that before anything else, know the food that you will be styling prior to the shoot proper. Get to know the brand or food to be featured. Next, instinct is essential, but practice is key. You have lots of ideas or pegs already from Pinterest but better see it for yourself to master the style you want to produce. And lastly, expose yourself to different color palettes. It’s best to experiment every now and then to make your audience more interested with your work. “For me, my personal style is deeply influenced by country and slow living, hence the dark mood and country-inspired set-ups,” shared Kay.
For those outside the metro and want to connect, discover and learn more about food styling, she will be conducting out-of-town styling workshops and slow living retreats in El Nido, Davao, Cebu and Pampanga starting January 2017. For now, you can simply follow her Instagram account @kee_says for more food styling inspo.