Precision Food Styling with Syringes, Eyedroppers and Squeeze Bottles

Styling with syringes may seem a little bit sinister to the inexperienced. However, paired with a steady hand, they can work miracles on a food photography set. Getting sauces, gravies, and even droplets of condensation can be injected into just about any nook or cranny with this handy helper.

Food styling with syringes may seem a little bit sinister to the inexperienced. However, paired with a steady hand, they can work miracles on a food photography set. Getting sauces, gravies, and even droplets of condensation can be injected into just about any nook or cranny with this handy helper.

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Syringes, eye droppers, squeeze bottles with different tips offer great help with proper application of sauces, semi liquids and condensation on photographed food

Struggling to get the hero plate the way you envisioned? Does it seem impossible to have that perfect dollop of ketchup positioned smack in the middle of a mile high stack of french fries? Trying to get that perfect stream of mustard to erupt from the edge of some hamburger buns? Food styling with syringes or various plastic squeeze bottles may be the solution you’ve been looking for. With the push of the plunger or a controlled squeeze, the perfect portion of just about any semi-liquid substance can make its way into the most precarious positions. Sure, working with a nice set of brushes can be very helpful but, if precision is what you’re after, there’s no trumping the syringe or plastic eyedropper.

There’s no need to trek over to the nearest medical supply depot to get your hands on this accommodating tool. In the industry, culinary syringes are actually quite common. In fact, it’s possible to get a good one for under $20. Alternatively, you may also want to consider investing in a full culinary injector kit. In the kitchen, they can do anything from injecting pastry creams into puff pastry to helping homemade marinades seep into meat. But, in a studio setting, kits often include a number of different needles to fit whatever the task at hand may be. With a little bit of practice, you’ll find that each shape and size has something stylistically different to bring to the table.

The droplets of water indicating presence of freshly washed tomatoes in the sandwich can be created with glycerine solution using any of those precision application tools. Photography courtesy of © Richard Cheles

The smallest attachments are capable of attaining the finest details while retaining an unmatched level of control. Dying to get a single droplet of water trickling down the side of your glass? Whip up a quick water/glycerine mixture and start styling with syringes. Other tools, like the common spray bottle, can create faux-condensation just as easily. However, when working on the level of individual droplets, there’s no rivaling these simple cylindrical pumps.

A little intimidated by needles? No need to get worked up. A glass or plastic eyedropper can usually accomplish the same tasks while retaining a similar level of accuracy. Fine-needle tipped plastic squeeze bottles often used for condiments can often offer assistance, as well. Set aside any squeamishness you may have. Though an unlikely ally, a syringe is an effective way of injecting your own brand of creativity into any scene.

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Inside the Food Stylist’s Tool Kit

Have you ever looked at a food editorial or advertisement and wondered how they’re able to get subjects as unruly as spaghetti sauce or ice cream looking absolutely pristine? As it turns out, the art food styling is a precise one that requires quite a bit of patience, precision, and improvisation. In the Inside the Food Stylist’s Tool Kit segment Phoode examines the unexpected tactics stylists employ by digging through the tools they use on set. CLICK ON