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What does the typical work day of a food stylist look like?

My friend informed me of this profession a couple of months ago and I've pondered a lot about it because it sounds like a fun and intriguing job.

#food #stylist #hollywood #films #tvproductions #movies #JULY20

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Subject: Career question for you


3 answers

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Natasha’s Answer

As it seems that you are based in the New York area, there are likely many (tons of ) creative professionals in the food styling industry whose brain you could pick. Get your parents' permission to contact some Chefs in the city (via Instagram, for instance) to ask for recommendations or to be connected to their food stylists. That role might fall to someone who does marketing, PR for clients, a chef who has creative projects such as food styling or a professional photographer who is hired by an agency representing food brands, events or chef brands.

Start with NYL and Instagram, find related hashtags (do ask your parents' permission).

Additionally, check out your local food magazines (online or print) for works and project inspirations. Don't forget to use the resources of NYPL, one of the most comprehensive library networks in the country, for research. Talk with your school's career counselor for further insights and guidance.

Stay Hydrated and Well,
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the extremely helpful advice, now I know where to start! Rachel C.
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Aditi’s Answer

Hey Rachel,
Hope you are doing great?

FOOD STYLIST DEFINITION: "The role of the food stylist is to make the food look attractive in the finished photograph. The time and effort a stylist takes to carefully and artfully arrange the food, is the cause of differences between the way the stylist presents it and the way a home cook or chef may. Visual know-how is also a requirement, as is the knowledge of how to translate the perception of taste, aroma and appeal that one gets from an actual dish, to a two-dimensional photograph"

Food styling is a very upcoming career option and a lot of new job opportunities have been introduced in the market in today scenario. A typical day in a food stylists life depends on the type of job system they are in. If you have a Full time Job, Part-Time or Freelance Job type.

Full time work with an agency would give you a fixed working hours could be 6- 8 hrs of thinking of creative ideas to dress food and make it presentable so that the food Photographer could do his job in a better way. Freelance would be more according to your time and project availability.

You could actually get your parents permission to contact different small food outlets and with a friend or 2 who might be interested in the same thing do some freelance work for the outlets which will help you build your portfolio.

You could also use these tools to build your blog which could help you present your work in a better fashion:

You could also look up this link to see a NYC based food stylist+photographers work:

Let me know if you have further questions.

Thank you!

Thank you comment icon I'm doing well and I hope you are too. This is such valuable information, thank you for the bountiful resources! Rachel C.
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Louis’s Answer

As a chef, we don't always work directly with food stylists, but I have friends who wanted to go in that direction after finishing culinary school. A food stylist is an artistic specialist who makes food for photographs or television. They will often work jointly with chefs, editors, and photographers. Food stylists typically make dishes and use styling techniques, so food looks great and lasts for the length of the photoshoot. In some cases, the food stylist might be the food photographer as well. Many food stylists work as freelancers, but some companies also hire in-house food stylists.
What sort of education do you need to be a food stylist?
Although it's optional, many food stylists have a culinary arts degree from a culinary institute or trade school. An associate's or bachelor's degree in culinary arts can also be helpful. Studying art, photography, and business may also assist in becoming a food stylist. Working or interning under an accomplished food stylist is a good way to learn some know-how.
What kinds of abilities are the best fit for becoming a food stylist?
Knowledge of both art and science: Cooking food for photographing requires many different skills. Food styling is both an art and a science. Food stylists need to understand the properties of the foods they cook for photoshoots to know how far they need to be made in advance. This includes knowing what color an item would appear if it were freshly baked or how to alter chemical compounds of the food, so it looks its best and lasts longer.
Interpersonal skills: Food stylists, particularly freelance stylists, are always meeting and working with new people, including photographers, art directors, and clients who are paying for photos or filmed food.
Attention to detail: Food stylists must arrange the food just right, so it looks the most appealing and beautiful. This demands an eye for aesthetics and attention to detail.
What is the job outlook for food stylists?
In general, the amount of money a food stylist will get paid will vary, depending on several things. Food stylists in larger cities will usually be more in demand, for the situation, and command a higher fee. Since many food stylists work as freelancers and the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not collect data for this profession, calculating the average salary of a food stylist can be difficult. Individuals who work in special food services are the closest type of professionals to food stylists. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these professionals made an average salary of $40,890 in 2010.
It is difficult to project the long-term career outlook for food stylists for several reasons – mainly because their profession is relatively small. Nonetheless, over the past few decades, the food stylist profession has grown slowly with various media outlets' needs.

Urbanrootsmn (2020). Career Profile: Food Stylist. Method:,length%20of%20the%20photo%20shoot.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the thorough response, it was extremely informative! Rachel C.