Food stylist helps dishes whet your appetite


TED SIMONS: EVER WONDER WHY A PHOTO OF A BIG JUICY BURGER MAKES YOU "CRAVE" A BIG JUICY BURGER? SCIENTISTS HAVE FOUND THAT THE OLD ADAGE, 'WE EAT WITH OUR EYES FIRST" IS ACTUALLY HARDWIRED INTO OUR BRAINS, BUT IT'S NOT JUST OUR EYES TELLING US WHAT WE WANT, YOU CAN ALSO BLAME FOOD STYLISTS. PRODUCER SHANA FISCHER AND PHOTOGRAPHER JUAN MAGANA INTRODUCE US TO A WOMAN WHOSE JOB IT IS TO MAKE YOU WANT TO EAT.

SOT: A MILE HIGH SANDWICH, PERFECTLY COOKED STEAK, IF YOU LOOK AT A FOOD PHOTO AND YOUR MOUTH WATERS, CHANCES ARE, THIS WOMAN IS TOO BLAME.

MIKI GARCIA: KIM HAS BEEN STYLING FOOD FOR MORE THAN A DECADE. HER WORK INCLUDES NATIONAL RESTAURANTS AS WELL AS FOODS YOU PROBABLY HAVE IN YOUR FRIDGE OR PANTRY.

SOT: FOOD STYLIST IS RESPONSIBLE FOR NOT ONLY THE FOOD, BUT KEEPING A SHOOT MOVING, AND KNOWING THE CLIENT'S BRAND AND HOW THEY WANT THEIR FOOD REPRESENTED.

REPORTER: TODAY SHE STARTS THE DAY AS ALWAYS, WITH A MEETING TO UNDERSTAND HOW THE FOOD IS PREPARED, PLATED AND THE CHEF'S GOAL.

SOT: IS IT SHREDDED IN SAUCE? THE PURPOSE OF A FOOD STYLIST IS NOT TO LIE AND CREATE A FALSE SENSE OF THE PRODUCT --

REPORTER: HE'S PLATING HIS CAP STEAK. THE TACO WILL BE UNDER THE LIGHTS FOR HOURS, A STAND IN TACO IS USED. IT WILL BE SCRAPPED FOR THE REAL THING SO THEY CAN DECIDE HOW TO PRESENT THE DISH.

SOT: A GOOD FOOD STYLIST, THE FOOD SHOULD BE BELIEVABLE.

REPORTER: SHE'S PART MAGICIAN AND PART MCGIEVER. SHE HAS PLATES, LINENS, TOOLS AND ITEMS THAT ALLOW HER TO MAKE THE FOOD SHINE, LITERALLY.

SOT: I HAVE BEEN DOING THIS A LONG TIME. I HAVE CREATED TRICKS THAT WORK FOR ME. THE THING I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT IS WD40, TWEEZERS, GLYCERIN, FOOD COLORING AND KITCHEN BOUQUET.

REPORTER: TAKE BEEF FOR EXAMPLE, IF LEFT OUT IT BEGINS TO OXIDIZE AND LOSE THAT JUICY LOOK. WD40 WILL PERK IT UP. GETTING THE SANDWICH TO REACH DAGWOOD PROPORTIONS TAKES LOTS OF FOLDING AND PINNING WITH TOOTHPICKS AND A SPONGE OR TWO TO SEPARATE MEAT SLICES AND PROVIDE HEIGHT. SHE SAYS NO DETAIL IS TOO SMALL WHEN IT COMES TO GOOD STYLING.

SOT: WHAT THE DIFFERENCE IS, THEY ADD ELEMENTS, RAW ININGREDIENTS, A GLASS THREE INCHES FROM A DIFFERENT DIRECTION. IT'S ART. IT'S THE FRAMING OF A PHOTO.

REPORTER: ICE CREAM FOR INSTANCE IS NOTORIOUSLY DIFFICULT. HOT LIGHTS AND ICE CREAM DON'T MIX. IT'S STILL THE ONE SHE HAS A HARD TIME STYLING. SHE DEVELOPED HER OWN FAKE ICE CREAM. IT LOOKS LIKE PLAY DOUGH AND USES IT AS A STAND IN FOR THE REAL THING.

SOT: THE WEATHER WHILE SHOOTING IN THE SUMMER, THOUGH WE ARE IN A CONTROLLED ENVIRONMENT, WHEN WE GO INTO MONSOON SEASON, I HAVE MELTED ICE CREAM. GETTING THE PERFECT SHOT NO MATTER THE FOOD TAKES TIME, AND LOTS OF IT.

SOT: IT'S SO DIFFERENT THAN SAY A PORTRAIT. YOU COME IN AND TAKE A PORTRAIT OF SOMEONE WITH A FLASH AND IT'S DONE. BY THE TIME YOU GET SOMETHING SET THE GARNISH DOESN'T LOOK GOOD. THEY ARE CONSTANTLY REFRESHING THE SET AND MAKING SURE EVERYTHING SHINES, GLISTENS, LOOKS APPEALING AND NOT TOO STAGED.

REPORTER: IN THE END, THE HOURS, AGONIZING OVER THE PLACEMENT OF A CONDIMENT IS WORTH IT WHEN THE FINAL SHOT REVEALS ITSELF.

SOT: WHEN I SEE A BEAUTIFUL SHOT AND THAT THE CLIENT IS HAPPY, WE HAD A GREAT DAY.

TED SIMONS: SOME TIPS FOR MAKING FOOD PHOTOS MORE APPETIZING. LOOK FOR THE LIGHT. PHOTOGRAPHING BY A WINDOW ALLOWS FOR GOOD NATURAL LIGHT, AND AIM FOR THE RIGHT ANGLE. FOODS LIKE BURGERS LOOK BEST WHEN PHOTOGRAPHED AT AN ANGLE TO SHOWCASE THE MEAT AND TOPPINGS, WHILE A COOKIE LOOKS BEST WHEN SHOT FROM ABOVE SO YOU CAN ZERO IN ON THE INCREDIENTS.

TED SIMONS: TOMORROW ON ARIZONA HORIZON IT'S THE JOURNALISTS' ROUNDTABLE A MAJOR SCHOOL DISTRICT SAYS THAT TEACHERS WILL "NOT" BE GETTING A 9-PERCENT RAISE THIS YEAR, DESPITE WHAT THE GOVERNOR SAYS. AND A JUDGE UPHOLDS THE STATE'S BALLOT HARVESTING LAW. THAT'S FRIDAY, ON THE JOURNALIST' ROUNDTABLE. THAT'S IT FOR NOW. I'M TED SIMONS. THANKS FOR JOINING US. YOU HAVE A GREAT EVENING.

Ever wonder why a hamburger always looks so good in an ad, even more so than when you actually buy it? Go behind the scenes in a visit with food stylist Kim Krejca, who uses her tricks of the trade to help photographers make food look delicious.

“A food stylist is responsible for not only the food, but keeping a shoot moving and knowing the client’s brand and how they want their food represented,” Krejca says.

On a shoot, Krejca goes to work with a variety of tools and linens, including some everyday products that can help the food shine on camera – including WD-40, tweezers and glycerin.

Food photography is so different from what most people think, says food and drink photographer Debby Wolvos. “It’s so different than, say, a portrait, where you come in and take a portrait of someone with a flash and it’s done. With food styling, it’s hours,” Wolvos says. “They’re constantly refreshing the set and making sure everything shines, glistens, looks appealing and doesn’t look too staged.”

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In this segment:

Kim Krejca, food stylist
Debby Wolvos, food and drink photographer

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