Food Styling – Korean Style

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Fancy Korean Rice Cake

Fancy Korean Rice Cake

So here’s my excuse for not posting lately…I have been taking Food Stylist classes in Korea since January. In the recent weeks, we have had 3 photo sessions where we prepare the food and table setting and a professional photographer takes food photos for us. It is total chaos until everything from table linen to forks are all set to look good on camera. We also get help from our professor on some tips on styling.

It has been a really fun and interesting class overall, we learned all the different food styling areas: package styling, tv/video ads and print/magazine ads. Each area has its own difficulties and quirks but personally my favorite is the print/magazine ads as it has more to do with how a photo feels and the stylist has more freedom on how the shot is designed.

We also learned tips and tricks on how to make foods look yummy on screen. How to show “sizzle” by adding additional ingredients to foods. It’s not particularly my favorite thing to do but interesting nonetheless. One of the most interesting story I heard was from a tv ad stylist-it was when she had to style 200+ glasses of beer for a TV ad.  They could have easily used computer graphics but the producer wanted the real scene. She told us that by the time she was done pouring the 200 glasses, the foam from the beer was already all gone! So their solution was to use hair mousse mixed with beer for the foam!!!

One of my goal in taking the food stylist class was to learn how to style Korean foods. So the photo you see on top is my attempt to style Korean rice cakes (yes, aren’t they so pretty? It’s the latest trend and has no traditional name – these are quite expensive and often used as gifts to relatives as part of Korean wedding tradition) in a more modern way. The photo below shows Korean songpyeon dduk (송편떡) – the little oval shaped colorful rice cakes – which is traditionally made during the Korean fall harvest (chooseok) time. The square shaped pink rice cake is called Seolghee/Seolki/Seolki/Seolgi Dduk (설기떡). This photo is styled with more traditional colors and feel.

eongpyeon and Seolki Dduk

eongpyeon and Seolki Dduk

Anyway, this week we have our final class + exhibition of our class member’s photos so I should be able to come back to blogging very soon!

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