Pros use oil, glue, liquid soap in food commercials

Pros use oil, glue, liquid soap in food commercials

Fast food looks good in commercials as chefs, photographers and food stylists use a number of tricks to fool the audience

Professional photographers use various equipments to enhance the product.

Would you eat mashed potato if you were told it’s ice cream? Would you eat chicken biryani that’s half-cooked? Would you use white glue instead of milk for cereal? 

Well, that’s what people working behind food advertisements use to make the food look so good. Most of the time, they use artificial items or even things that are not even the final product for the picture. That’s why the well-stacked burgers you see on TV is usually just a flattened version with a charred patty in real life. 

It’s the job of the photographers and the food stylists to use as many tricks as they can to make food look incredible for marketing and advertising clients. And it’s not always the use of Photoshop that does the trick. 

It’s not fresh

One of the most common tricks in food photography is the use of half-cooked items. When it comes to vegetables, the more you cook it, the more colour it loses. So chefs don’t cook it through when preparing for a photo shoot. 

If it’s a cake shoot, most of the time the cake is a few days old. They are made to look fresh with frosting or syrup. Sometimes, they are blowtorched to get it warm. 

Looks are deceptive

Hairspray, engine oil, liquid soap and shaving cream are some of the common items used to give food its glossy effect. 

Meat is made to look juicy in food commercials with the help of oil. Hairspray gives the fruit shine, making it look fresh. If you’ve ever wondered how a mug of beer looks frothy only in commercials, it’s because the food stylists us liquid soap. 

Food stylists tapped in on the craze for slime and decided to use it as chocolate. Add a bit of brown colour and cocoa powder to it to make a regular slime look like chocolate. 

Keeping up with the equipment 

Food photography and food shoots take a long time —­ sometimes even a couple of days. In a professional set up, the use of lights is a must. Depending on the scale of the shoot, sometimes there are multiple lights used, adding to the heat factor. 

Food has to be prepared accordingly or use alternative items for the final outcome. So shooting items that will melt faster under the heat of the light is impossible. 

That’s why stylists use alternative items. In the case of items, mashed potatoes are often used. Plastic ice cubes are used instead of the real ones. Whipped cream melts under the light, so shaving cream is the next best alternative. 

Take it higher 

Ever wondered how certain ingredients stay afloat in a gravy-based dish? In most cases, there’s either something below the gravy that holds up the ingredients or something that looks like gravy is used. In the case of cereals, white glue is used instead of milk. 

The reason why burgers are stacked so perfectly is because small pieces of cardboards are used for elevation of each layer. Sometimes, toothpicks are used too. And the perfect drip of ketchup and sauce you notice on the sides are because they are added only on the side. 

The perfect consistency of sauces is achieved by melting wax. The shooting lights will keep it warm so that the wax doesn’t harden and give advertisers exactly what they are trying to sell. 

The takeaway 

At the end of the day, the advertiser’s job is to manipulate their audience and sell their product as best as they can. So it’s up to you to decide to go after the fakely constructed burger or just make them at home. 


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