Description: Food stylists work in conjunction with food photographers to ensure that food looks attractive in the finished product. Food stylists prepare and arrange food for the photography seen in cookbooks, magazines, commercials, and more.
Knowledge Required: Food stylists understand design and the different techniques, tools, and principles involved in food preparation and presentation. They also communicate and work closely with photographers and media professionals, and must understand terminology specific to the craft of media.
Skills: Time management, creativity, attention to detail, the monitoring and instructing of photographers and assistants, communication, efficiency.
Career Path: Apprenticing with established food stylists is a common way to break out into the industry. In addition to receiving culinary arts training through a culinary institute or trade school, aspiring food stylists can also take courses in art, design, and business.
Best Cities for this job: Metropolitan areas such as New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. employ the most photographers.
Median Annual Income: National: $30,000-$50,000, CA: $50,000
Future Growth: The National Restaurants’ Association expects the U.S. food service to post its fourth consecutive year of sales growth and continue to expand the overall economy in job growth.
From the field: "I love working with the photographer and the art directors in creating something beautiful that other people look at and makes them just salivate.” - Kim Kissling
Did You Know?: Food stylists often use a jeweler’s torch to brown the edges of a steak or melt chocolate chips in a cookie.View more Day in the Life videos »