Do We Need a Food Stylist?

Maybe, maybe not…  If you want the job to look as professional as possible, and budget isn’t an option, then by all means, don’t do the job without a stylist.  The reality is that not all clients have unlimited budgets and most are willing to make compromises in one way or another.

The big question is what kind of clients of projects can do without a stylist.  Let me give you my opinion and some generalities on the subject.

Large Food Manufacturers

If you have a decent budget for food photography, I suggest that you use it and assemble the best team possible in order to create the best food photos possible.  After all, the better the photos, the more of that food you’re going to sell.  If the product is “national” and the marketing is too, then the actual photography cost will be a relatively small percentage of your budget.  Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish.

The Product Doesn’t Need Much Preparation

Candy or cookie companies may not need a stylist.  Stylist usually have a great sense of design and can come in handy, but where their skills really shine is in the kitchen prepping food.  If there’s no food to cook or prepare, then there services may be a bit less valuable.  That being the case, if your photography budget is limited and the food doesn’t require a lot of work, then maybe you don’t really need a stylist.

If Your Marketing Budget is Tiny and You Have Access to a Good Chef

If this is the case, then maybe a chef will do the trick, especially if it’s the difference between shooting and not shooting…  I’ve made some really great food photographs,working with a chef for a restaurant.  And not only were the photos really good, but we got a lot of them done in a single day, must more than I could of ever done working with a stylist.

These are just three instances and my opinion on the necessity of working with a stylist.  Chances are that you don’t fit exactly into one of these situations.  If that’s the case and you’re still not sure if you need a stylist of not, please give me a call and we can discuss your project.  I’ll give you my honest opinion and we can talk numbers so that you can get a feel for the possibilities…  412-232-4444 or you can email me.