I am not what you would call a food stylist. As food becomes more fashionable, we seem to focus more on appearances than flavour. When it comes to my food photography, I go for authenticity. What you see is what is really happening in my kitchen. Yes, I may move a dish towel out of the shot but in general you are seeing the reality of my cooking and baking experience. Of course I want my food to look pretty, who wouldn’t? But the realities of life in my kitchen often reflect more chaos than foodie serenity.
As important as it is to make food look appetizing so people will be inspired to make it themselves, I think it is equally important to show that life in the kitchen is messy and that’s OK. There are times when things go wrong, there are other times the craziness is part of the process. I care way more about how food tastes and how you really make it than making that cupcake look pretty. I admire people who unlike me have lots of natural light in their kitchen so everything glows and is perfect. That is not my reality. My kitchen faces north with one little window and I live in Nova Scotia which seems to always be covered in gloom:
There are always challenges in the kitchen. Mine are lighting, health and the weather but we continue on. We turn on the lights, deal with the ugly fluorescent glow and work with what we have. Keep making a mess because food is fun and it is for everyone!
Yes, it would be nice to think that life in the kitchen is calm, serene and under control but the truth is, chaos reigns a lot of the time. It is not always pretty and there is nothing wrong with that reality. I encourage you to not be discouraged when things go wrong, document it. Learn from it. Share it!
We are real people in real kitchens making real food. Our lives are not glossy food magazines, at least not every day. Keep cooking, continue baking and make one heck of a mess. Just make sure it tastes good!