Although the fruit might look fresher, we know this is probably one fruit hack you probably wouldn’t want to try at home. Picture: Pexels
Although the fruit might look fresher, we know this is probably one fruit hack you probably wouldn’t want to try at home. Picture: Pexels

Blog spills the tea on secrets behind making food in ads look good

By Lutho Pasiya Time of article published Apr 29, 2021

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For me, food photography is arguably one of the most challenging types of photography out there.

What I have learned is it is more than just snapping what is on my plate, but rather there are certain rules that you need to follow which makes it all very difficult.

I can only imagine how they do it when it comes to television and billboard adverts because we all know that how food looks is one of the first sensory criteria that we use to make decisions about the foods we eat, so brands always have to bring their A-game.

It is a tough job but someone has got to do it - make us drool when we see commercials and ads for our favourite food.

This is a skill that has been perfected in fast food commercials, in a bid to make the fries, burgers, and drinks look as appetizing as possible. Because we don't get to touch, smell or taste the food in these ads, the stylists have always been a bit shady with how they present their products.

It's easy enough to see when you go and buy the food and your expectations of size, shape, and even taste aren't met, it's because it could never live up to the visual presentation.

We have decided to do our own research on how the food we know and love looks better than what it is in reality, and we found the answers on the Fresh Edits blog, a personal website that is dedicated to interesting, inspiring, and nurturing stories about entertainment, fun, and trendy content along with helpful tips and information about topics that relate to anyone.

Below are some of the tricks they uncovered.

Shine fruit with deodorant

Picture: PxHere

Have you ever noticed that the strawberries on the advert look so much more succulent and colourful than the strawberries in your refrigerator?

Well, while you might think this is down to a special lighting trick, the food stylists simply just add a dash of deodorant.

In the same way that we use hair spray to make our hair glossier, deodorant can actually have the same effect on the fruit. So while the fruit is being photographed, the food stylists simply spray it with deodorant and it can help keep it looking shinier, more appetising, and can help protect the colour from fading.

Although the fruit might look fresher, we know this is probably one fruit hack you probably wouldn’t want to try at home.

Shoe polish burgers

Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or meat fanatic, most people would admit that the burgers in commercials look like chargrilled masterpieces. Well, the meat always looks more juicy, succulent, and irresistible on TV.

Still, this is another trick that the food stylists probably wouldn’t want us to know. The burger hack commonly used in the industry is, in fact, shoe polish. In reality, the burgers you see in the commercials are nothing like the ones you’d expect to eat in the restaurant. That’s because the burger patties are almost raw and are lightly roasted for just a few seconds.

The reason that they look so brown is that photographers coat the patties with shoe polish. Then they make the burger look chargrilled with hot skewers. No wonder our burgers don’t look the same.

Picture: Supplied

Coffee soap

For most of us, starting our day with the perfect cup of coffee will provide the fuel we need to power through the day. Still, to create the perfect shot of blended coffee, cappuccino, or steaming hot latte for a commercial, photographers have a few other secret tricks under their sleeves.

In truth, many use the same trick to create an ice-cold glass of milk or a refreshing glass of beer. The reason these beverages look so attractive on camera is because of liquid soap.

When you order your favourite cup of cappuccino in your local coffee shop, it will look like a coffee showpiece for a few minutes. However, it’s trickier to make its foamy appearance last for a long photo shoot.

So many food stylists actually add liquid soap to most beverages, from coffee, beer, or milk, as it creates a foam that will last, and looks natural and attractive on camera.

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