1) Milky Madness: Have you ever wondered why the milk in cereal commercials looks so much more appealing than it does in your bowl? Well that’s because 10 times out of 10…IT ISN’T MILK. Some popular alternatives are yogurt, shampoo and (my personal favorite) glue! These tasty options offer a creamy milk look without getting the cereal soggy allowing more time to shoot photos with that “fresh pour” look.
2) Meat Mania: During photoshoots, to maintain a picturesque and fresh looking burger advertisers pull a few fast ones in preparing the food. First, they sear the burger with a blowtorch to get it the perfect color. Next they heat up a branding iron and burn grill marks on either side. Finally to finish off the patty they apply a coat of shoe polish to get it the perfect color for the camera. YUM!
3) Bonkers Burgers: Once the patty is finally ready to shoot they construct the rest of the burger with only the finest cheese and cardboard! Often, ingredients are very hard to manipulate so photographers take a short cut and construct a burger with toothpicks and cardboard ingredients to make it perfect for your viewing pleasure. Even going as far as gluing seeds on a bun!
4) Pancake Pandemonium: Personally, pancakes hold a special spot in my heart as they are the greatest breakfast food hands down. While they’re perfect in every other way, they aren’t exactly perfect to photograph. To combat this most professionals coat the cakes in a layer of fabric protector (to seal them) and instead of syrup, which is the most camera shy of all toppings they replace it with some fresh motor oil!
6) Grimy Grapes: If you’ve ever seen a grape advertisement and noticed how appealing that crisp matte color over them is, you are actually admiring the handy work of the assistant who coated the grapes with a perfect layer of spray-on deodorant.
10) Filler Foods: Every industry has a “fix-all” tool; maintenance workers have duct-tape, mechanics have WD-40 and painters have caulk. Well the end all tool for food photographers is…mashed potatoes! These cure-all spuds are used as an ice cream stunt double, they’re injected into meat to beef it up, and even baked into pies to keep it supported when sliced in commercials!