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Pro Food Photographer Debunks Viral ‘Food Styling Hacks’


Those “food styling hacks” videos that go viral online every few months might not be entirely truthful—in fact, they’re often entirely misleading. Which is why professional food photographer Scott Choucino put together this video reacting to/debunking some of the most common hacks he’s seen online.

Choucino sent us the video earlier today, explaining that he and his wife—who happens to be a food stylist—felt compelled to make a “myth busting video” that explains what actually happens on a real life commercial food photography shoot. “I have seen loads of these food photography hack videos out there,” he writes in the video’s description, “and most of the information isn’t true, so here are a few facts to throw into the mix.”

Over the course of the 8-minute video, Choucino tackles several popular examples: drilling a pizza into a board and using glue to get a clean “cheese pull” shot, creating “bubbles” on top of coffee so it looks freshly poured, coloring in fruit, blowtorching and “painting” raw chicken to make it look cooked, and several more. All of these (and others) are either totally wrong or mostly misleading.


The TL;DR is that many of the hacks shown are meant to be shortcuts; shortcuts that professionals like Choucino and his wife don’t use and haven’t seen used. They won’t blowtorch and paint a chicken—they might staple or tie it up before cooking, and they may cook 6 so they can pick the best one to photograph, but they’re not photographing a raw chicken. The same goes for coloring in strawberries with lipstick… why not just buy some that are ripe?

Check out the full video up top to hear about all of the “hacks” that Choucino says are just not true, and a few techniques that are actually real and used on a daily basis for commercial food photography. This little exposé might not go quite as viral as the food hack videos have, but it’s nice to have a professional’s take out there.

And if you want to see some of Choucino’s professional work, head over to his website or give him a follow on Instagram and YouTube.