Sometimes, as a food photographer, you have to make really ugly food look beautiful. There are many people who are true masters of this. I wouldn’t call myself one of them. But, I do have a few tricks up my sleeve. And the main one is distraction. The thing about ugly food is quite often, it actually is really delicious. Hummus is a big beige blob, but if you swirl it around, dress it with a little oil and finishing salt and put it in a nice bowl, maybe with a chip taking a little dive in, suddenly, it becomes the appealing dip that it actually is.
Last month’s photo remake was all about taking a dish of something that is probably not all the beautiful, and making it into something that looks like you may actually want to eat it. I had a recent photo shoot that included a recipe for a molded salmon pate. I was worried about the shot going in… it sounded like it might be fairly Fluffy Mackerel Puddingesque. My worries were justified… when I unmolded the pate, it wasn’t anything you’d want to take a photo of. (Of course, I did anyway) And then, I proceeded to style it to make it look like something you’d actually want to eat (because despite its looks, it was tasty).