3 inexpensive tools you need for DIY food styling

If you are a food photographer or food blogger, you most likely have to do your own food styling-- at least some of the time. Food styling is a real skill and, when it's done well, can truly elevate your photos and take them from just okay to awesome. 
Hiring a food stylist isn't always in the budget, though, so it's important to have a few (literal) tools in your toolbox.

1. Wedge shaped makeup sponges

These babies come in SO HANDY. You can use them to build up structure in a sandwich, prop up taco shells, add height to food, and so much more. 

One example: I used to shoot flat lays for an egg company that used plastic packaging and I was constantly fighting the glare from my strobe. By using some of these sponges under one side of the egg packaging, I was able to tilt the product away from the light slightly (it wasn't noticeable in the image) and avoid the glare. Success!

There are tons of brands out there but I usually buy something like these.

In the image below, I wanted the salmon to look a bit higher without having to raise the whole thing. So I used a wedge under the back part of the fish and, voila! The fish was angled a bit more towards the camera. 


2. Museum putty

Museum putty is another tool I cannot live without! You can tear it into various sizes and can use it to hold things in place, prevent round objects from rolling around, tilting utensils, leveling glassware or cardboard packaging, and pretty much whatever else you can imagine. 
I buy this brand. 

I use museum putty constantly for angling my flatware away from harsh lighting sources. In the shot below, you can see a bit of glare on the spoon. It's actually not bad and, if I wasn't writing a post about this, I would probably let it go but, in the interest of learning, read on...


And here is the image after using a teeny piece of putty under the left side of the spoon....


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3. Needle nose tweezers

There are tons of tweezer options out there and most of the food stylists I know have several kinds, usually of varying lengths. Tweezers are amazing for adding or removing things from hard to reach places on a plated dish. While I usually use my hands to move things around on set, some things are just too small or delicate to be adjusted with clumsy fingers and that's where my needle nose tweezers come in!

 

I hope you found these tips helpful and that these simple tools help to make your food styling life easier. 

Also, we launched a whole new collection of photography surfaces last week so make sure to check those out, especially if you are in the market for some new white backgrounds, some fun colors or new dark & moody backdrops-- we have it all!

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